The Discovery Channel hits new low in Phelps vs. Shark

newmugDo not attempt to adjust your television sets. Your flat-screen is not on the fritz, and you have not dozed off in the middle of “Sharknado IV”. There really is going to be a race between 23-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps and a great white shark – if you really want to call it a race.

Part of me feels guilty for helping to hype such a ludicrous gimmick, but the shark side of my brain says this shiny object is too juicy not to bite. The Discovery Channel’s quest to top the previous year’s ratings for “Shark Week” has sank to new depths. The interspecies showdown between man and shark promises to make TV history for all the wrong reasons.

The idea of pitting a human beings against animals isn’t new. Remember “Man Vs. Wild”, an entire show was dedicated to people vs. critters in contests of speed, skill and competitive eating. Another show featured a guy (can’t remember his name so let’s just go with “Idiot”) attempting to be eaten alive and digested by an anaconda. No pun intended, but it didn’t go down.

What’s next? Bob Vila vs. a beaver in a dam-building race? A baby vs. a koala bear in a cuteness contest? D.B Cooper vs. Bigfoot in a game of hide and seek? Mike Tyson vs. a silverback gorilla in a boxing match? (In fairness, Iron Mike once threatened to punch one in the “snot box” at the Bronx Zoo, and I would actually pay to see that fight).

“Phelps vs. Shark: The Battle for Ocean Supremacy” appears to be a done deal for July 23. Details about the rules of Aquaman vs. Maneater are still sketchy but the two will be separated by a protective lane divider to avoid any chomping, uh, cheating. Of course, the ratings would be considerably higher if they shared a lane. First one out of the water wins.

For extra motivation, fill Phelps’ Speedo with a generous portion of chum and he would likely find another gear from his gold-medal days, and that’s the rub of this mismatch made in saltwater. While Phelps was swimming circles around his human competitors, his top speed was maybe 6 mph. Great whites have been clocked at speeds of 30 to 35 mph, maybe faster when they hot on the heels of a hot-shot Olympian. The only way Phelps could win this race is if it was held on dry land.

Still, it will be hard not to watch this spectacle, and rest assured I will be rooting for the shark (to “beat”, not “eat” Phelps). Not because I dislike Phelps; he is a real American hero. But the audacity of humans to think one of us stands a chance against an animal that has been perfected through millions of years of evolution to swim, eat and make baby sharks is either the height of arrogance or the depths of showmanship. The ratings might be record highs, but the idea is an all-time low.

Comments

comments

Native son Drew Brophy returns for art retrospective

Native son Drew Brophy returns for art retrospectiveThe Myrtle Beach Art museum drew over a thousand folks [more]

Drew turns softball skills into memorable summer

Drew turns softball skills into memorable summerOlivia Drew was crying, and her mother, Brittany Drew, was [more]

Pelicans limited to one hit as offensive woes continue

Pelicans limited to one hit as offensive woes continueAlex Lange fired six excellent innings Thursday, but the Myrtle [more]

All-County Track & Field: Second shots strike silver

All-County Track & Field: Second shots strike silverThe frontrunners in this year's My Horry News All-County Girls [more]

Mutiny gives Strand fans small taste of World Cup

Mutiny gives Strand fans small taste of World CupAmerican soccer fans don't have a rooting interest in this [more]

Pelicans open second half with eye on playoff streak

Pelicans open second half with eye on playoff streakThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans begin the second half of the [more]

Pelicans help propel South to victory in All-Star Game

Pelicans help propel South to victory in All-Star GameA pair of Myrtle Beach Pelicans played key roles in [more]

NMB's Ballard, MB's Coble reconnect at North-South

NMB's Ballard, MB's Coble reconnect at North-SouthA pair of former teammates and rivals joined forces for [more]

Pelicans fail to finish .500 after losing first-half finale

Pelicans fail to finish .500 after losing first-half finaleThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans dropped their final game of the [more]

CCU's Biermann, Lancaster make All-American squad

CCU's Biermann, Lancaster make All-American squadCoastal Carolina shortstop Seth Lancaster and designated hitter Zach Biermann [more]

Ibarrondo comes to rescue to rally first-place Mutiny

Ibarrondo comes to rescue to rally first-place Mutiny The Myrtle Beach Mutiny needed a wake-up call late Saturday [more]

Pelicans split twinbill with Mudcats, play finale today

Pelicans split twinbill with Mudcats, play finale todayAfter the Myrtle Beach Pelicans fell 2-1 to the Carolina [more]

Pelicans lose fifth straight, play doubleheader today

Pelicans lose fifth straight, play doubleheader todayVictor Diaz's seven strong innings for the Carolina Mudcats were [more]

All-County Boys Tennis: Johnson, MB duo top list

All-County Boys Tennis: Johnson, MB duo top listThe future looks bright for the sport of high school [more]

Hess carves his way to Team USA surfing nod

Hess carves his way to Team USA surfing nodCarter Hess carved his way to a spot on the [more]

Pelicans' bullpen spoils Thompson's perfect start

Pelicans' bullpen spoils Thompson's perfect startAfter Keegan Thompson was removed following seven perfect innings for [more]

Piggot feasts, scores four goals to lead Mutiny win

Piggot feasts, scores four goals to lead Mutiny winThe Myrtle Beach Mutiny rolled to a 6-0 victory over [more]

CCU trio makes all-region; Lancaster an All-American

CCU trio makes all-region; Lancaster an All-AmericanCoastal Carolina shortstop Seth Lancaster was named to the Perfect [more]

Braves' icons Avery, Jones to appear at Pelicans game

Braves' icons Avery, Jones to appear at Pelicans gameThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans will welcome former MLB All-Stars and [more]

Coastal guard Labinowicz announces plan to transfer

Coastal guard Labinowicz announces plan to transferCoastal Carolina University men's basketball player Artur Labinowicz plans to [more]

Report: Myrtle Beach Bowl 'near lock' for 2020 kickoff

Report: Myrtle Beach Bowl 'near lock' for 2020 kickoffIn yet another development in the Grand Strand's booming sports [more]

Adaptive surfers depart for US Surfing Championship

Adaptive surfers depart for US Surfing ChampionshipLocal surfers, volunteers, and family members gathered at the Charleston [more]

All-County Boys Golf: MB's Jarman trades bat for club

All-County Boys Golf: MB's Jarman trades bat for clubIf things had worked out differently, Myrtle Beach High senior [more]

Gamecocks' season ends one win shy of Omaha

Gamecocks' season ends one win shy of OmahaThe University of South Carolina baseball team saw its season [more]

Pelicans' Ademan, Pereda, Peyton make all-star team

Pelicans' Ademan, Pereda, Peyton make all-star teamMyrtle Beach catcher Jhonny Pereda, right-hander Tyler Peyton and infielder [more]

Native son Drew Brophy returns for art retrospective

Native son Drew Brophy returns for art retrospectiveThe Myrtle Beach Art museum drew over a thousand folks [more]

Drew turns softball skills into memorable summer

Drew turns softball skills into memorable summerOlivia Drew was crying, and her mother, Brittany Drew, was [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2018 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach