Michael “Tarzan” Phelps!

Greatness is something you can’t just put a qualitative value on.  Sometimes it takes quantitative values like those of Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Joe Dimaggio or Hank Aaron.  Yet, there are times when those things don’t matter much…..for example the cases of Roger Clemens or Barry Bonds.  When you compare players or competitors in any sport….there are issues of culture, values, ethics and understanding what representing those things means to other people…not just to the competitor, their teammates or only “their” families.

Finding the Gold Medals in Beijing and competing for individual records are noble endeavors for any person in any sport.   Seeing the greatest example of individual accomplishment in any of the various sports….makes one beam with pride…even if…those involved may not be part of our own National Team!   

Yet, when someone comes along to rival our preconceived notions of brilliance, ability and dedication in any sport…it grabs our attention and the new reality seems almost “other worldly”.  How could someone challenge the Gold Medal total of record holder Mark Spitz?  How could someone challenge the swimming ability of Duke Kahanamoku?  How could someone  replace Johnny Weismuller “Tarzan” as our epitome of swimming wonder with their image? 

People talk about the “Phenom Principle”…..Barbara Striesand was a “Phenom”,  Shirley Temple was a “Phenom”, Bob Dylan was a “Phenom” and of course Elvis and the Beatles!  Can it not be argued that Mickey Mantle or Fess Parker “Davy Crockett” were “Phenoms” as well?  These people offer up images that you will find a tough time replacing in the rolls they have played in our lives.  Ronald Reagan is perhaps the last great American “Phenom”.  These images conjure up our thoughts, adoring and caring feelings and the grateful admiration of having offered us …..something to look up to.  

We must say…we are pulling for Michael “Tarzan” Phelps.  It doesn’t matter that he may literally destroy every Olympic Swimming Record ever written.  It doesn’t even matter that we have in our minds “the thought” that he can never lose.  What does matter of course…..that whatever happens to Michael “Tarzan” Phelps….he will be allowed to experience the wonder of teaching others to achieve and grow…..and in the process to perhaps “entertain us” with another great part of his personality and character. 

We can visualize “Tarzan” Phelps wrestling those alligators, protecting “fair maidens” and battling evil at every corner.  It’s just a dream of course….just like the dream that Michael Phelps had these many years ago…..when he wanted to be the best at what there was to be accomplished.  Good Luck Mike…our prayers are with you.  But then again, how can you lose when you have two Presidents and Henry Kissinger watching your every move?

About Ron & Anna Winship

Independent News Producers/Writers and Directors for Parker-Longbow Productions. Independent Programming which includes a broad variety of Political, Entertainment and Professional Personalities. Cutting Edge - a talk show...is the flagship of over 30 URL websites developed or under development. The Winships have been blogging for the Orange Juice since back when nickels had buffalos on them, and men wore onions attached to their belts, because it was the fashion back then.