The Popcorn Stand: Don’t like Phelps playing with sharks

I don’t know about this: “Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White.” Yes, Michael Phelps, the greatest athlete to ever live (in my opinion), raced not just a shark, but sharks.

Phelps tests his speed against different shark species, including the great white shark. So I guess Phelps participates in preliminary races leading up to his main event. Anyway, this much-anticipated hour-long show kicks off Shark Week on Discovery on July 23.

This old fuddy, duddy has been disappointed over the years in what has been happening on channels such as Discovery, History and National Geographic. Apparently they believe they’ve got to give into this reality show nonsense, which isn’t reality at all, to keep up with the Joneses. Forget about fake news. Let’s put an end to fake television.

Of course watching Phelps race a white shark will be intriguing. The first question everybody has that will be answered when they watch the show is just how did they set it up so Phelps could actually race a white shark? My understanding is Phelps doesn’t actually race the white shark, they just set up as close a simulation as possible comparing Phelps’ time to that of a shark in a similar conditions.

It’s disappointing Discovery has given into this kind of gimmick. Sure, they’re getting the publicity they want as Phelps vs. a shark is already the most-talked about hour of Shark Week 2017.

And granted, Phelps isn’t sacrificing his dignity as Jesse Owens did when he raced a horse. Owens had to do that to put food on his table.

But what Phelps is doing and what Owens had to do are still sad commentaries on our society. Maybe not a whole lot has changed after all.

— Charles Whisnand


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