The new year approaches, and with it brings promise. There is the opportunity of a new day, a time for reflection and change.
For people that love to hate on Michael Andrew, 2018 is a really important year. While hating on Michael Andrew has gained in popularity ever since around 2012, there's something special about next year.
You see, this next year Michael Andrew will turn 19, and therefore no longer be a "junior" or "age group" swimmer. That offers some really exciting new avenues for anonymous internet persons to criticize, complain or otherwise minimize the accomplishments of a very fast swimmer.
There is an art to this. Much like Blaming Teri McKeever for Everything, the key to hating on Michael Andrew is to first find your particular soapbox issue, and then find a way, no matter how distant, to connect that issue to Michael Andrew. In that way, Andrew becomes the perfect vessel for whatever you want to complain about in swimming at the moment.
So without further ado, your guide to hating on Michael Andrew:
1. He Doesn't Even Swim Long Races.
Key Talking Points: Tom Jager made his first national cut in the mile! Matt Biondi swam a lot of yards! Michael Phelps focused on longer races before going to shorter ones! ERIK VENDT SWAM 1000x1000 WITH A PARACHUTE ATTACHED TO HIS BACK
Make sure you ignore: That Andrew decided to swim the 400 IM this year again, making a US Open cut in the event. Oh yeah and he's pretty good at short races.
2. Race pace training is ruining America
Key Talking Points: A wise old swimming man once told me "Work works, do 100x100". When I asked him why he said "GRIT GROWTH MINDSET and because I said so, also work works". I had to take him on this because of his excellent use of buzz words and lack of scientific evidence. Michael Andrew is not following the wisdom of wise old swimming men.
Make sure you ignore: Science
3. Sometimes, MIchael Andrew Swims Not Fast
Key Talking Points: Look at Golden Boy Michael Andrew, he did not swim fast in a swimming race. I always knew he was not a real golden boy like Michael Phelps who never swam bad. His whole life is a failure because of how he swam bad.
Make sure you ignore: All the times he swims really, really fast.
4. If Michael Andrew is so good, why doesn't he win all the time?
Key Talking Points: Oh man, did you guys see the World Cup where Michael Andrew lost the 100 IM? What a loser. How could he not even win? How dare he call himself a pro when he cannot even win a stupid World Cup 100 IM.
Make sure you ignore: Andrew set a world junior record in the race, swam the same time at 18 that Michael Phelps did at age 26, and lost out to the World Record performance in the event by an elite SCM sprinter in the prime of his career who was implicated in doping prior to the Rio Olympics.
5. Zane Grothe swam lots of meteryards and got faster
Key Talking Points: Wait, why are we talking about Zane Grothe? Oh, because he made a casual reference to increasing his "volume" and then broke some American SCY distance records. Hmmm, maybe I should be listening more to wise old swimming men. "Volume" is good and race pace training is destroying the fabric of American values. Michael Andrew likes race pace.
Make sure you ignore: Any information from Indiana University coaches about how Zane Grothe trains. Any information about how Zane Grothe trained prior to coming to Indiana University. Above all else, please ignore Mike Westphal. He is not doing anything special, coaching wise.
Let's get back on topic
6. He's Not Swimming in the NCAA and Therefore Will Be A Failure in Life
Key Talking Points: This would be the year that Andrew would have begun college swimming had he not declared himself professional at age 14. Had Andrew not declared pro, he undoubtedly would have been the most prized recruit in his class and gotten a full scholarship wherever.
Except Stanford. It's REALLY HARD TO GET into Stanford.
Hey, Cal is a really good school too!
Stop being elitist, the Honors Program at Aub..
Make sure you ignore: That he can still go to college. That Michael Phelps took a long time to finish college. That Missy Franklin threw away some of what would probably be here most lucrative professional swimming years and now her career is probably over. Now I'm sad.
If you have read this far, and skipped the tags and categories for this post, please give them another look before losing your mind.