On Wednesday, Discovery Channel released its first promo for the most anticipated man-against-beast competition since Takeru Kobayashi lost a hot-dog-eating contest to a Kodiak bear. And, man, is there a lot going on.
The big takeaways:
- Michael Phelps’ much-hyped race against a great white shark for Discovery’s annual Shark Week will be called “Phelps vs Shark: The Battle for Ocean Supremacy.” (Michael Phelps has never raced in the ocean.)
- Phelps can wear a full-body swimsuit and, apparently, flippers. Because sharks are a lot faster than the world’s greatest-ever swimmer.
- Phelps will occasionally burst out of the water like a wannabe synchronized swimmer. Maybe he is coming back for the 2020 Games, after all.
- This shark, or at least the one we see in the promo, is hungry.
- There will be pensive looks out at the horizon, where the sharks are.
- The acronym battle here needs some work. Everyone on the internet knows what the “GOAT” is. The people who claim to know what “GWS” stands for say it’s not “great white shark.” Let’s not make GWS a thing.
- There might be a live studio audience. I did not get an invitation.
- One gambling website gives Phelps a 21 percent chance of beating the shark. “Probably for the first time ever, Phelps is an underdog,” a spokesman said. “This was perfect opportunity for betting. So we did.”
This is all so ludicrous. Watch it July 23.