Monday, September 15, 2008

Get Back in the Pool

So many top athletes have natural charisma that I suppose we expect ALL top athletes to have it. Sadly, that's not the case.

Tiger Woods, Mary Lou Retton, Arthur Ashe, Joe Namath, Joe Garagiola, Jesse Ventura, Cathy Rigby, Greg Louganis, among so many others, have (or had) enough natural charisma to translate beyond their sport. One of the most charismatic figures of the late 20th century came from the sports world, Muhammad Ali.

Sadly, this weekend's season premiere of Saturday Night Live proved that supreme excellence in sports does not automatically mean one should be hosting television programs. I doubt there has ever been a more awkward, uncomfortable, wooden performance on any variety show, anytime, anywhere.

And that includes Richard Nixon on Laugh In.

Michael Phelps's appearance was so two dimensional, it makes us hope all his future appearances remain on Wheaties boxes and Vanity Fair photo shoots. At least they're two dimensional, too.

And if this guy is able to parlay his success in the water into an acting career, I'm drowning myself.

I say this only because there is an unsubstantiated rumor out there, that Phelps is already planning his theatrical debut, in a production to be sponsored solely by Speedo. He plans to put his own unique spin on the title role of Jesus Christ, Superstar: