Bode Call: In his fifth and final event on Saturday, the slalom, Bode Miller straddled a gate early in the race. Thus disqualified, he didn't bother to finish, skiing off the course, his hands raised in triumph. His final scorecard, in order, reads: 5th, disqualified, did not finish; 6th, did not finish. But Bode was never in it for the medals; he was in it to "Go Fast, Be Good, Have Fun," to quote the title of his autobiography -- and by his own admission, he did just that: "The expectations were other people's. I'm comfortable with what I've accomplished, including the Olympics ... As far as my own personal involvement, I would not change anything. I had an awesome Olympics."
To say that some pundits disagree with this assessment would be an understatement. The critics were waiting to tear him down even before the Games began, and their moralistic commentary continued throughout competition, but they saved a healthy dose of bile for the very end:
"He came in bad, left bad. Left worse ... He lasted about 18 seconds yesterday, straddled one last slalom gate. Then he left the Olympics, swinging his ski poles in faux triumph, uttering hedonistic nonsense that made him sound more like Paris Hilton than an athlete."
-- Filip Bondy, New York Daily News, Feb. 26
"If you're scoring along at home, that made the final tally Sestriere Bars 5, Bode 0."
-- Gil LeBreton, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Feb. 26
"Miller has etched his name at the top of the list of all-time failures in the history of American athletics. Can you come up with a better choice? Has anyone disgraced the Team USA uniform in an Olympics worse than he has?"
-- Steve Politi, New Jersey Star-Ledger, Feb. 26
"But why stand tall when you can slump on a barstool? Party on, Bode. You're about to get just what you want. Forgotten."
-- Ann Killion, San Jose Mercury News, Feb. 26
"He's the biggest bust in Olympic history."
-- Gwen Knapp, San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 26
And although the talking heads will probably continue to shake their heads and point fingers at him for a few more days, this being Bode Call, we're going to let Bode himself have the last word:
"I just want to go out and rock. And man, I rocked here."
-- Joe DiMento
Tyler Perry cleans up at the box office: The big box office hit of the weekend, opening with a whopping $30.3 million, was Tyler Perry's "Madea's Family Reunion." Blowing away its closest competition, "Eight Below" ($15.7 million) and "The Pink Panther" ($11.3 million), Perry's newest comedy, which cost only about $6 million to make, has him in three roles, including the title character. Perry also wrote and directed the film. (Box Office Mojo)
George Michael busted for drugs: After a passerby found him with his head slumped against the steering wheel of his car and called the police, Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou -- aka George Michael -- was arrested on suspicion of drug possession in London over the weekend. An ambulance was called to the scene, but medical personnel determined the singer was fine, if very out of it. When police searched the car -- which was parked at an angle on Hyde Park Corner, one of the busiest intersections in Britain -- they reportedly found marijuana and liquid ecstasy. (The Sun)
Britney Spears' emergency visit to the hospital last week -- which was said to have been for her baby son, Sean Preston -- may have been for another reason entirely: Spears "was throwing up and had stomach cramps," a source tells the Scoop. "She's pregnant." (The Scoop) ... Sheryl Crow underwent surgery for breast cancer last week; her prognosis is said to be "excellent." (People) ... "The Sopranos" creator David Chase says the show will definitely come to an end with a miniseason next year, though he doesn't rule out a big-screen version: "It may be that in two or three or four years I could be sitting around and get an idea for a really great 'Sopranos' movie. I don't think that will happen. But if one morning somebody woke up and said this would make a really good, concise, contained 'Sopranos' story, I wouldn't rule that out." (N.Y. Times) ... DreamWorks has a new CEO: Stacey Snider has announced she's leaving her position as head of Universal motion pictures to take up the reins at DreamWorks. (Hollywood Reporter) ... Don Knotts, famous for his jumpy roles in "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Three's Company," died at age 81 in Los Angeles on Friday. (E! Online)
Director Jason Reitman on the sex scene involving Katie Holmes in his upcoming film, "Thank You for Smoking," which caused a miniscandal when the scene went missing during screenings at Sundance: "People started saying there was nudity, people said it went on longer than they thought, people said it was steamy and sensual and it's none of that ... Yesterday I was in Boston showing the film to a lot of college kids and you know one kid in the audience in the Q and A said, 'I thought I was going to get to see -- uh, something much naughtier.' And he wanted a refund. And I just told him to go rent 'The Gift.'" (Boldface)
It's the premiere of the fifth season of "The Apprentice" (NBC, 9 p.m. EST) with Donald Trump, plus offspring Donald Jr. and Ivanka, while Jon Stewart appears on "Larry King Live" (CNN, 9 p.m. EST).
-- Scott Lamb