Michael Phelps lives in a world where inches decide outcomes. And typically, the now-retired 23-time Olympic gold medalist has been on the right side of close calls in the pool.
That might have made it even tougher as a Michigan fan last November.
Phelps, a longtime supporter of the Wolverines, feels the same way pretty much all Michigan fans feel: J.T. Barrett was short and Michigan should have beat Ohio State last year.
“We got screwed,” Phelps said with a laugh to ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg.
Phelps and PGA golfer Jason Day were hosting the Give.Golf.Gala in St. Charles, Ill. There were a few celebrities on hand to play a round, including both Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh.
Phelps — who spent time training and taking classes at Michigan a decade ago — got to meet both coaches, and he said he told Meyer “as hard as it is to say this, I respect your coaching, but I can’t root for you.” He also showed Meyer his “M” tattoo, located on his left hip.
Though the rivalry hasn’t gone Phelps’ way lately, he’s just happy it’s back in the spotlight.
“Having that rivalry back in sports is so fun,” Phelps said. “You see two great coaches coming at each other to have an amazing game, you always see great hits and how the game is supposed to be played. Except last year. Hopefully moving forward we can get some better calls.”
The full video of Phelps’ comments can be found here.