This editor wasn’t aware Michael Phelps would race a great white shark in July until recently discussing August’s Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Connor McGregor fight with a friend.
The conversation inevitably turned to the fight’s spectacle overtaking its sport, to which the friend said something along the lines of: “Right, I want to watch these two fight for a lot of the same reasons I want to see Michael Phelps race a shark.”
“Haha. Right. Good analogy…Wait, Michael Phelps is really racing a shark?”
It turned out to be true. (At first I actually thought he said “fight” a shark. Now that’d be something.)
So, yes. Quite possibly history’s fastest swimming human will race a great white shark during Discovery Channel’s ‘Shark Week,’ and the rest of the world will continue to hate us…But that’s okay because between Phelps-Jaws and Mayweather-McGregor, this will be the most spectacle-filled sports summer since Benny ‘The Jet’ Rodriguez outran The Beast.
ESPN’s SportsNation crew recently gauged Phelps’ chances in the duel, (which we still don’t know anything about aside from it’s happening) and decided that, like Mcgregor, Phelps is the clear underdog:
Going by the tale of the tape, it’s hard to argue Phelps is outmatched here, but we can’t know for sure until race stipulations are laid out. Both sides are likely negotiating venues, as we imagine the shark’s advantage would be greater in the ocean.
But what if they bring this inland and make it the ‘Duel in the Pool’? Much of Phelps’ speed has always begun with his quick jumps off the platform, which Jaws wouldn’t have. Whether their speedos will be made of the same fabric will likely be mulled over as well.
UPDATE: Phelps has apparently been scouting his competition: