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Chris Chase

Michael Phelps channels his inner-Joe Namath

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Like Samson and Jake Plummer before him, Michael Phelps is looking to derive mystical powers from facial hair. Either that or he heard that women in China dig mustaches.

The probable superstar of the upcoming Olympics, Phelps arrived in Beijing sporting a solid horseshoe mustache (don't call it a fu manchu, the mustache lobby gets very upset about misidentified fu manchus) that makes him look like a cross between Hulk Hogan and a Virginia State Trooper. The 'stache will undoubtedly be gone by the time Phelps hits the pool on Saturday morning, but is a solid grooming choice in the lead-up to the Games.

Perhaps the mustache-rocking is an homage to Mark Spitz, the man whose record seven gold medals Phelps is gunning for these Olympics. Spitz won those medals with a bewhiskered upper-lip that oozed machismo. The famous poster of Spitz, in his swimming briefs, wearing his seven golds was a wall-staple of both boys and girls. Merely looking at Spitz's old mustache makes you more manly. Or, in my case, closer to becoming semi-manly.

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