Let’s turn our attention to sports for a moment, shall we? (Stay with us.) We’re all big fans of Michael Phelps, the superhuman swimming machine who continues to tug at our heartstrings with his six-pack abs (yes, we counted) and compellingly adorable lisp. Therefore, it’s no surprise to see the eight gold-medal winner grace the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year issue. But the behind-the-scenes video of the cover shoot with our beloved manfish has us doubled over cringing. First, he is clothed. Odd. Considering his previous three SI covers were shirtless, we expected perpetual partially nude Michael Phelps photos for years on end (and it’s worth mentioning he was shirtless on the cover of GQ this month, which we’ve included after the jump). But even more important, Armani created a custom-made suit for the swimmer to wear, and it was … wet. Soaking, dripping, and dunked in chlorine-infused H20 all over. Gasp! How could our American hero act out such a cliché idea? Damage a custom-made Armani suit with chemicals, which will not only dull the color but weaken its cotton fibers as well? The Giorgio Armani store on Madison Avenue sells suits for up to $3,000, which means Phelps’s now-damaged black-tie getup wasn’t cheap. A much better idea would be for Speedo to make a tuxedo-style onesie for dear Michael to wear to all his fancy events and cover shoots. Then he’d really be onto something. Until then, check out what a “wet suit” really means, and click ahead.
Compare these covers — notice the difference?