WTF? Lance Berkman Doesn't Think Michael Phelps Is a Real Athlete?

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Six events, six world records, six gold medals. Michael Phelps continues to amaze. Especially in that he’s not just winning his events, he’s dominating his events. I think that’s impressive; I’m sure most of you think it’s impressive.

But Lance Berkman, he doesn’t think so much of it. “Anybody can jump in a pool and swim a lap,” he told Jose de Jesus Ortiz and Richard Justice. And apparently, he echoes the views of the Houston Astros clubhouse who don’t really consider Phelps to be an athlete – though showing the stupidity of the Houston Astros clubhouse, some do believe that Tiger Woods was an athlete – so, hit a golf ball and ride in a cart, athlete, swim hundreds of meters a day in world record time, not an athlete.

I’d like to see some of those great athletes in the Astros clubhouse jump in the pool and swim a lap – like those fat bastards Berkman and Carlos Lee. Kaz Matsui can’t do it because he injured his back standing at second base the other night. I doubt Miguel Tejada could pass the Olympic doping tests. Brad Ausmus is known as a surfer dude, so he might be able to do it.

I don’t think Michael Phelps is the greatest athlete ever – I would argue for Jim Brown or Carl Lewis – but damn, the guy is good at what he does, and for the Astros to not consider him as an athlete shows just how closed-minded and cut-off from reality a baseball clubhouse can be. And frankly, I can’t be the only one who wishes that Lance Berkman would care as much about baseball as Michael Phelps does about swimming. And anybody who considers Michael Jordan, Deion Sanders, and Charlie Ward to be among the five greatest athletes ever – like Lance Berkman does – appears to be a bit ignorant, and I’d expect more from a person who supposedly graduated from Rice University.

And if they don’t think that Michael Phelps is an athlete, I would hate to know what they think about the gymnasts – there’s no way that I believe Berkman or Lee could do a back flip on a four-inch wide balance beam. I also doubt they could handle a floor exercise like gold medal winner Nastia Liukin or silver medal winner Shawn Johnson.

Michael Phelps goes for number seven tonight and number eight on Saturday. Let’s just ignore the ignorance coming from the Astros clubhouse and enjoy Phelps. And I hope you enjoyed watching the live finals in swimming and gymnastics this week, because NBC wasn’t able to find enough money to bribe the track-and-field officials to move their gold medal events to 8:00 a.m. in the morning Beijing time, so unless you’re watching NBC’s internet feed, you won’t be seeing anything live, as I doubt NBC will televise a gold medal track event at 8:13 a.m. central time. So, if you don’t want to know any results next week until they’re aired on NBC, then you better stay off the internet, ignore ESPN and CNN, and it’s probably best to not listen to the radio either. – John Royal

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