Jibber Jabber – Michael Phelps Vs. a Shark in promotional stunt


Chad T. Jones, Public Affairs Officer

Michael Phelps, the greatest Olympian of all time, has 23 Olympic gold medals and is the closest thing to Aquaman we’ve ever seen.

Obviously, those accolades weren’t enough because on Sunday, the greatest swimmer in the history of swimming decided to take on a shark.

The shark won.

Now this isn’t the first time man took on shark: There’s “Jaws” I-IV, “Deep Blue Sea,” a few films on Syfy, etc, etc. In each one of those contests, the shark wins because they are sharks, and in most cases, the human competitor is eaten because sharks don’t see friendly opponents. They see food.

In fact, the only time I’ve seen a man win a one-on-one battle versus a shark is when Fonzie jumped the shark net on “Happy Days.”

I do not get man’s obsession with taking on animals in things the animal is designed to do. I mean Michael Phelps isn’t even the first Olympian to race, and lose, to an animal.

Technically, Jesse Owens did beat a horse, but only with a 40-yard head start and the horse only getting to a gallop.

And if Olympians are going to race animals, drop the performance enhancements. Phelps was wearing a tailfin the size of a Beluga’s. That’s not fair.

If sprinters want to race horses in a 100-yard dash, don’t start 40 yards down the track. Or, humans, be happy with our place at the top of the food chain and stop wasting the animals’ time with petty nonsense.

Seriously, if Phelps wanted to be fair, or have a race that actually proved something, he should have gotten in the water with the shark and let Earth’s “ultimate killing machine” chase the Olympian down like a wayward sea turtle or surfer.

That definitely would have led to a more accurate time for the shark. It probably would have helped Phelps’ time as well.

In fairness, Phelps was doing the race as a promotional stunt for Shark Week, which is excellent television and does a lot to help raise awareness for sharks, so props for that.

Also, it isn’t even the most one-sided event scheduled for this summer. That honor belongs to Floyd Mayweather versus Conor McGregor. More on that after my vacation.

But come on Phelps. You are the pride of Maryland, America and the best mankind has to offer — be happy with that.

Drop the gimmicks and remember what The Rock said: “Know your role.”

If you have comments on this or anything do with sports, contact me at chad.t.jones.civ@mail.mil or hit me up on Twitter @CTJibber.

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