Swimming upstream

Matsu_mp3playerWe’re not sure how to interpret this little bit of post-Olympic endorsement news: that multiple gold medal winner Michael Phelps has signed a global deal to promote an MP3 player from Hong Kong that no one ever heard of (pictured at left).

Is this a sign of the diminished interest in Olympic swimmers like Phelps after the Games are over? Or is Phelps—known for listening to DMX’s “Party Up” before races—just so ahead of the curve that he’s onto the next big thing before it even qualifies as a thing? The spin on the subject, according to this story in USA Today, is that Phelps, who is expected to compete again in the 2008 Games in Beijing, wants to promote the sport of swimming on a worldwide basis and this, he says, "will help establish a platform for me to do that."

Oh, almost forgot. The company that makes the MP3 players is called Matsunichi. Mat-su-ni-chi. Again, class, Mat-su-ni-chi. Its home page says it’s soon going to come out with a player called the Bebop.

—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor