My days of swimming in the ocean ended shortly after I saw the
movie, "Jaws". That movie drove the fear of Great White sharks
into me that I've yet to get over. I've done open water swims in
the god-awful, toxic Hudson River and lived to tell about it, but
I'll never do a race where sharks sometimes get hungry, especially
now that I look like a seal or small whale.
As much as I fear sharks though, I'm fascinated and mesmerized
by them. They've been circling the seas for more than 400 million
years, appearing long before birds, dinosaurs, and even Phil Jackson.
Last night, as most of the country was tuned into that lame "Bacherlotte"
finale, I was fully engulfed in the beginning of shark week. This is
spectacular stuff, way better than "Rivarly Week", "Game of the Week"
or the weak minds that get sucked into anything "Housewives",
"Jersey Shore" or "America's Got Talent."
These Great White sharks that were featured had some serious talent.
The video of the 4,500 lb predator getting airborne with a seal was
jaw-dropping. In sports, that'd be like Albert Haynesworth, a 355-pound
behemoth dunking a basketball, or staying off the police blotter for
two consecutive months.
And forget about Randy Moss once being called "the freak" for his ridiculous
once-in-a-generation talent. These sharks have electro-somethings in their
jaws that detect the heartbeat of their prey from 500 yards away. When
they attack, their eyes roll back in their head to protect them from getting
whacked by the flippers of seals and the beaks of Dolpins. They have
50 upper teeth and can take 30 pounds of flesh in one bite. That's four
times as much Joey "Jaws" Cheatwood consumes every July 4th on
Coney Island at Nathan's.
Watching the first episode on Monday night, I had to laugh when
the narrator said, "the job of the shark scientists and researchers
can involve great risks." Really? Ya, think? Perhaps, the scientists
submerged in Seal Bay with nothing but long daggers gave that away.
These guys are nutso!
In one segment, these scientists would drop a "bite meter" in the water
with seven Great White sharks swimming close to the boat. They got
a few to bite the device and the scientist said, "Oh, that was only 93,
the bite of a regular human". (Any human not named Mike Tyson who
took a big chunk out of Evander Holyfield's ear during one fight)
Of all the Great White attacks on humans, only 26% of them are fatal,
which can kind of be deceiving, right? That's only slightly better than
Shaq's career free-throw percentage. However, one death out of every
four bites is not going to make me feel good enough to go swimming
way off-shore again.