Sunday, August 17, 2008

Off Topic - Michael Phelps: The Real Deal or a Fraud?

We can save the banter about the joy of actually winning a series for a change at a later date, I mean, after all, it was the Royals, it is our God given right to beat them so I'm not feeling like I should waste the space. (we'll talk about Moose and Gardner tomorrow)

What I want to talk about for a moment is all the attention that Michael Phelps is getting. The love fest of Phelps in the world of sports media is rivaling the level of Chris Matthews and his tingly leg when he hears Obama talk.

Let me make this analogy and then you can tell me where I'm wrong. If MLB legalized aluminum bats and then we saw someone break the single season HR record - is it legit or would you take a step back and say, it's not the same?

That's how I feel about this cat Phelps. He's breaking all of these records with a suit that adds buoyancy - essentially the aluminum bat of swimming. So, how in the world is it right to erase the achievements of the swimmers in the past? It's not.

Phelps is good, but he's not the best ever, nor is it right to say he is better than the Giambi 'stached guy from the Munich games.

Am I wrong?


old professor said...

Mid, Phelps broke a lot of swimming records before the use of the suits. In addition, the IOC has approved the use of the suits. He was the world's best swimmer before the suits and now he is even faster.

Now back to baseball - goodbye to Cabrera maybe he will learn that to stay in the majors is a privelege not a right. Cano could be next.

Moose goes six and earns his 16th four more wins and he gets his first twenty game season. (He should be brought back next year if he wants to play). Gardner no longer seems over matched and is playing with confidence. Matsui to return on Tuesday (who goes down??).

57 said...

I respectfully disagree with you. If I jumped in the pool today with Phelps' type of suit, i'd probably drown trying to swim 10 meters. Bottom line, Phelps was great before the suit and great after... the suit helps him, but does not make him. It was not about the shoes with Michael Jordan (contrary to Mars Blackman's assertion) and it's not about the suit of Michael Phelps. Congrats on his 8 gold medals, but that is enough... please lets move on from the media gulping him.


In other news, the Mets are good...

crash said...

Mid to use your analogy, if MLB legalized aluminum bats, and someone broke the home run record while using one, guess what the record still counts because the governing body of the sport made it ok to use it. Additionally, everyone else would be using it too.

Sports technology evolves. By calling into question the swimsuit, you have to question every technological change in any sport in which records were broken. Last time I checked, basketball players aren't wearing Chuck Taylors, golfers aren't using real "woods" to drive a ball, football players are more protected with better performing helmets and pads, baseball players are using lighter bats made from a more dense wood, the baseball is wound tighter, etc.

With the swimsuit, everyone at the games was using it. Phelps was still better than everyone else there. I'm not calling him the greatest athlete ever, but his performance at these games has to go down as the best performance in a single Olympics ever, and he should be known as the greatest swimmer of this generation.

crash said...

Oh and I must have fallen asleep this week, when exactly did the Mets move into first in the NL east and get a 2 game cushion?

Mid said...

57 - if you jumped in with his suit and you drowned when trying to swim 10 meters, that may have to do with, well, that you're fat more than how good Phelps is.

Mid said...

Crash - a few things, one, yes he was better than all the other swimmers this year. I'm saying is it right to compare him to the 70s dude and say that Phelps is better than him?

2nd - as we saw last year, a 2 game lead with the Mets is only safe when there is 1 game left to play.

And, you didn't notice because it is the NL Least

crash said...

It's only fair to say Phelps has won the most gold medals in Olympic history (both at an individual Olympic games and over his entire Olympic career).

Any other comparison can not be justified. I think it was ESPN that compared his race times to those of Spitz and it showed how much better Phelps' times were this year. I don't think it was done to say look how much better Phelps is than Spitz, rather look at the differences over the years how far the sport has advanced.

57 said...

Crash, maybe if you read my blog you'd be in the know...

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