The Discovery Channel promised us the greatest race of all time, pitting the greatest human swimmer of all time, Michael Phelps, against a great white shark, the greatest predator of the seas. Could the GOAT become the ocean master? Would Phelps burst the fishy bubble of aquatic arrogance and make the oceans great again? No.
We were so ready to watch Phelps become Aquaman. “MAKE THE OCEANS SAFE AGAIN, MICHAEL!”
Alas, the oceans remain fraught with peril, because Discovery didn’t give us what they promised. Phelps never encountered a Great White Shark. He did, however, swim faster than a reef shark, a dumb little guy with no clue as to what was going on. But Phelps quickly fell to a Bahamian hammerhead, a fish that literally cannot see straight.
Discovery was never going to give us this race and Michael Phelps is not going to risk his life for a PR stunt. They were just going to run some tests, show a few shots of sharks looking mean, and then tell us what we all knew: people are not as good at swimming as sharks. Discovery, you fooled us again.
It was the TV equivalent of a meeting that should have just been an email. The worst part of this whole debacle is that a lot of my friends are sharks. They’re never going to let me hear the end of this.