Michael Phelps is a Baltimore native, which means that he's more than the world's most dominant swimmer -- he's also a huge Ravens fan. We were all reminded of this during a press conference in Rio in which the 23-time Olympic gold-medal winner (which includes his five gold medals during the 2016 games) spotted a reporter wearing Steelers gear.
"Is that a Steelers ..." Phelps asked the reporter as his voice trailed off in mock disgust (via CSNmidatlantic.com). "Oh man, gah-lee," he said while turning away. ... "There we go, there's some Ravens (gear) ... man, Steelers ... Football season is back."
Olympic official: "We'll go with the Ravens guy for a question."
"I always think we're going to beat Pittsburgh," Phelps continued. "That's the obvious answer. But I think one of the cool things about that, we always play each other really hard, and as much as I'm not a Steelers fan, the games are really exciting."
Phelps and former Ravens great Ray Lewis are close friends, and Phelps mentioned the linebacker when he discussed his retirement from swimming.
"I was talking to Ray Lewis earlier today. I know he's watching. And we just had a great talk," a teary-eyed Phelps told NBC Sports' Michelle Tafoya recently. "It's not the end of a career, it's the beginning of a new journey. And I'm just looking forward to that."
You did it your way, inspired many by falling but never staying down. I love you man, congrats USA!!! 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/LP2OyZs1zK— Ray Lewis (@raylewis) August 14, 2016
As for Ravens-Steelers, the first meeting takes place in Baltimore in Week 9 and the rematch is in Pittsburgh on Christmas night in Week 16.