Michael Phelps vs. Nicolas Batum


Michael Phelps isn’t the most likable athlete. But he’s one of the best. Ever.

It’s hard to completely understand how great Michael Phelps is. This Olympics he wasn’t supposed to be very good. It was supposed to be the Ryan Lochte show with Michael Phelps as the elder sensei teaching Lochte about waxing on and off (body hair, mostly).  But this time, the master was still the master. And he somehow managed to make Lochte look like Carl Sagan next to him.

Phelps picked up four golds and two silvers giving him more medals that that person who used to hold the record for most medals in the Olympics. It’s especially impressive considering the amount of damage he did to his body in the last four years.

But now Phelps will get to do all the reality show circuits and endorse a bunch more stuff for the rest of his life. After spending a huge percentage of it under water, he’s got to be looking forward to being able to not work out insane hours/look at his medals a lot/eventually pawn them off them he’s broke.

But no matter what happens to Phelps, he’s going to be talked about in the same way we talk about Carl Lewis and Brian Boitano. He’s a legend now. And for that he needs to be recognized with the gold medal of online athletic awards. Michael Phelps, you are the Man Crush of the Week.


I’ve already talked about how I love the Olympics. It brings out the best of athletics around the world competing in the purest form of athletics where people don’t try to lose and don’t use performance enhancing drugs and don’t promote gang violence.

But the Olympics dobring together countries competing against one another who may not always get along. Like France and Spain, whose long tangled history, like the Franco-Spanish War of 1635-1659. This was no doubt on the minds of all the basketball players during the Spain/France quarterfinals game on Wednesday.

And it reached a very different conclusion than the war, with Spain pulling away with a 66-59 victory and finally got revenge for the Treaty of the Pyrenees (I Googled ‘France Spain war’). But like everything France does, it was not without some grand display of chivalry.

Needing to foul, France’s Ronny Turiaf fouled Rudy Fernandez, knocking him out of bounds and withered around on the floor for a while. So when France needed to foul again, Batum decided to um, Batum by winding up and punching Juan Carlos Navarro in the balls.

Not. Cool. Bro.

Now I’m not an Olympic basketball player, but I think I would rather lose 100 games than take a punch in the junk.  This is painful just to watch and probably infinitely worse to experience.

But as douchey as a nut shot is, at least he didn’t pretend like he was going for the ball or anything, instead making it very clear he was going for the balls. He said he wanted to give him a good reason to flop. And this has made me respect a guy as much as possible for the worst kind of sucker punch ever.

Unless he asked him the capital of Thailand first, then it was fair game.

Just imagine if Batum was around during World War II. Hitler would have even fewer balls then.


Follow Scott Bolohan on Twitter: @scottbolohan

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