‘I need the name of your therapist’ said Jonathan Edwards to Michael Johnson on the BBC Olympic games round up last summer.
The cross-sofa-quip was in response to Johnson’s sangfroid reaction to losing his 200m world record. Indeed, to fully understand the comment’s gravitas, we must remember that Jonathan Edwards’ current ‘shrink’ is the prominent Jewish therapist – Jesus Christ.
What we witnessed that night was, devout Christian, Edward’s realisation that big J.C. is old news and atheism is as reactionary as a mid-teen tongue piercing. Michael Johnson is the new messiah.
Johnson is at least seventeen times as good at punditry as he ever was at athletics. When he was an athlete, MJ’s competitors often slumped from the track complaining of leg veins that felt ‘deep and thrombosissey’, such was their comparative immobility.
As a pundit Johnson has no competitors, yet he sets new records: most laconic wit; fastest Phelps fanfare flinger; easiest smile; Mark Lawrenson juxtaposest…oh the list goes on. These are records that will stand long after his 400m world record has tumbled, records that no lightning bolt, from Usain nor Zeus himself, can strike down.