My knowledge of competitive swimming is pretty limited: I know that Mark Spitz won a shitload of gold medals in 1972, that for a while you couldn’t talk about the East German women’s team without using the term “saliva test,” and that swimmers go through more razor blades than the average person.
But I know a whooooooole lot more about swimming today than I did a day ago — a lot more than I want to know, frankly. For starters, I know that Australia’s Leisel Jones has a bit of back flab. I also know that America’s Amanda Beard definitely isn’t living up to her name. And I learned three things about superduperstar Michael Phelps: 1) He’s got a Christ complex; 2) he’s got the Olympic rings tattooed onto his right hip; and 3) well, see for yourself.
I know all of this, and more, thanks to Speedo, which unveiled its new LZR Racer swimsuit all over the world yesterday. According to this article (which was accompanied by a photo that appears to have been heavily Photoshopped in at least one crucial aspect), the suit has 10% less passive drag than Speedo’s previous Olympic model. And let’s face it, it’s pretty obvious which body part is providing the drag.
More than 50 countries are expected to wear the suit at the Olympics later this year, but the suit will make its competitive debut this weekend at the Missouri Grand Prix. Which just goes to show another thing I just learned: Who knew there were swimming pools in Missouri?
It’s bad enough that they’re rolling out a swimsuit that leaves so little to the imagination, but the name “LZR Racer” surely sets a new standard for loathsome branding. So I was amused to see that the USA Today article kept referring to the suit as “Lzr,” with only one capital letter, which no doubt annoyed the crap out of everyone at the Speedo offices. Or at least I hope it did.
(Thanks to Jeremy Brahm and bench coach Bryan Redemske for their contributions to today’s entry.)
Uni Watch News Ticker: Yesterday I ran this photo, which led some readers to track down this page, which in turn led to some chatter in the comments section about $32 being a lot to pay for a T-shirt (which just goes to show that Jews really do hate to pay retail). And that in turn has led PopJudaica.com founder Sara Schwimmer to offer a $5 discount on the Jeter shirt to Uni Watch readers — just use discount code “J4J” when checking out, now through March 1st. ”¦ There’ll be one less captain’s “C” on the baseball diamond this year, now that Mike Sweeney has officially left the Royals. ”¦ Everyone knows how much I like stripes, but the Mayfield, Ohio, high school girls’ swim team is a bit much, even for me (thanks, Vince). ”¦ Matt Mitchell reports that the Royals are gonna hit the ground running with their powder blues. ”¦ Andrew Schall notes that Pitt’s Ronald Ramon, who was born in the Dominican Republic, has the Dominican flag on his socks, while his teammates just have the Adidas logo. ”¦ “Check out this pic from an interview with Devin Hester,” writes Brendon Yarian. He’s wearing Philly gear!” ”¦ I’m not sure what I like more about the 1937 movie Idol of the Crowd — that it features classic hockey uniforms, or that its plot summary on IMDB.com begins with “Johnny Hanson wants to make enough money to enlarge his chicken farm.” Full synopsis here (awesome find by Matt Mitchell). ”¦ “With the recent unsettled form of the England national soccer team, quite a few supporters from different clubs are touting their goalies as ‘England’s No. 1,’ ” writes John O’Neill. “But West Ham United’s goalie, Robert Green, was recently spotted wearing gloves with ‘England’s No. 6’ emblazoned on them.” ”¦ Gotta love this (nice find by Zac Neubauer). ”¦ Very good article and accompanying video here about the Sacramento Kings’ equipment manager (with thanks to Clark Farrand). ”¦ Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Excellent article about the United States seal available here. ”¦ Someone really ought to bid on this. … Really interesting jersey worn by the Myrtle team, who were 1904 amateur champions in Detroit (with thanks to photo guru Dave Eskenazi). ”¦ If you think the Lakers’ throwback short shorts were too revealing, check out the Seahawks’ 1981 training camp! That shot is taken from this awesome video clip (great find by Ricardo Almonte). ”¦ What is it about athletes wearing No. 32, even if it’s not their regular uni number? First it was Kirby Puckett, then Cal Ripken, and now Todd Krevanchi has turned up an old shot of Chris Webber wearing 32. “Is 32 a universally accepted jersey number for generic media shots?” he asks. Good question — anyone..?