Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Phelps Loses"

Let me vent about something. Yesterday Michael Phelps "lost" in the 200 free to Paul Biedermann from Germany. It seemed like EVERY news site I looked at used some variation of the same headline. Allow me to illustrate using the top five circulation papers:

USA Today:
Phelps tries to move on after stunning lost
Phelps beaten, record broken by Biedermann in 200-free

Wall Street Journal:
Michael Phelps's Loss: Blame the Suits?

New York Times:
Phelps Rebounds Amid Suit Controversy
Biedermann Stunns Phelps Amid Debate Over Swimsuits

LA Times:
Michael Phelps: Turning Back the Page

Washington Post:
After stunning loss, Phelps Rebounds with Record (whose idea was this headline? Sounds like he is part of some tabloid Hollywood couple, just rebounding after a break-up.)
The Result Suits No One: Phelps Loses 200 Free (I think the result may suit the person who won. I'm just saying.)

You may or may not know, but I'm a swimmer-- I swam my way through college at Purdue and competed at my fair share of "big boy" meets, which is why it drives me crazy to see all the negative headlines. Firstly, Phelps did not LOSE, he came in second. Second people, not last! I'm not necessarily a huge Phelps fan, but let's give him some credit, he is one of the world's top athletes at the moment. But, that being said...

He is only human. Yes he is an INCREDIBLE swimmer, but everyone is entitled to a bad swim now and then. And it wasn't even a bad swim, just not his best. Do you seriously expect him to get a world record every time he gets in the water?

Next, please let's not blame it on the suits. Now I'm not really a fan of all the hi-tech-ness (I know that isn't a word) that is going into suit making recently because I like to think the swimmer makes the suit and not the other way around. But why can't we accept that maybe Phelps may not have had the best race, while Biedermann had a great one? That is all it takes, you know just one race! And sometimes there are no excuses.

Finally, keep in mind that this isn't your average meet either. It's the World Championships! All I'm saying is even the best athletes in the world can't ALWAYS win-- it's the nature of the game. I'm sure there were plenty of other American athletes with outstanding accomplishments that same day, yet somehow "Phelps loses" is what made all the headlines. Can we maybe try to focus on some positives? There are hundreds of amazing other stories and athletes out there-- all who put the same, if not more, time in the pool. Let's not capitalize on one not-so-stellar swim.

What do you think?

Okay, I'm done ranting,

1 comment:

  1. I have never heard anyone at ESPN say, "Pujols strikes out: Blame it on the bat." I definitely agree. Swimmer makes the suit, not vice versa. The boy got second, give him some credit media!!