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Michael Phelps makes political Super Bowl pick

Associated Press logo Associated Press 2/5/2017 By JOHN CARUCCI, Associated Press
Michael Phelps listens to a reporter's question on the red carpet for the Big Game Big Give event in Houston on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2017. Phelps hosted for the celebrity poker tournament. (AP Photo/John Carucci) © The Associated Press Michael Phelps listens to a reporter's question on the red carpet for the Big Game Big Give event in Houston on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2017. Phelps hosted for the celebrity poker tournament. (AP Photo/John Carucci)

HOUSTON (AP) — Michael Phelps approaches his Super Bowl pick with equal parts athletic achievement and brand loyalty.

David Schwimmer poses for a photo on the red carpet for the Big Game Big Give event in Houston on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2017. Schwimmer acted as the charitable events emcee. (AP Photo/John Carucci) © The Associated Press David Schwimmer poses for a photo on the red carpet for the Big Game Big Give event in Houston on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2017. Schwimmer acted as the charitable events emcee. (AP Photo/John Carucci)

So while he admires Tom Brady, he will not commit to the New England Patriots winning Super Bowl LI.

Michael Phelps and wife Nicole Johnson pose for a photograph on the red carpet for the Big Game Big Give event in Houston on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2017. Phelps hosted for the evenings celebrity poker tournament. (AP Photo/John Carucci) © The Associated Press Michael Phelps and wife Nicole Johnson pose for a photograph on the red carpet for the Big Game Big Give event in Houston on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2017. Phelps hosted for the evenings celebrity poker tournament. (AP Photo/John Carucci)

Phelps commented on the big game, his trademark Phelps face, and hosting the Big Game Big Give poker tournament Saturday night in Houston.

"As an athlete you root to watch athletes do great and remarkable and impressive things that have never been done before. So you look at Tom (Brady) having a chance to win his fifth (Super Bowl), you gotta root for him," Phelps said.

But then he added: "I'm keeping it more political and rooting for both sides. I'm rooting for the Under Armour family. We have an Under Armour guy on each side," Phelps said. "Hopefully it's a good game."

Phelps is the most decorated Olympian in history, with 28 medals. One the most notable moments at last year's Rio Olympics was an angry expression before the 200-meter Butterfly Semi-finals race, known affectionately as the "Phelps face."

But according to Phelps, it's not something you want to see.

"You gotta really piss me off. If you want the Phelps face, you gotta really make me mad. I was in a mood that day."

He called that victory the greatest Olympic race of his life.

As for the event in Houston, Phelps expressed how important it is for him to do charity events.

"A passion of mine is working with kids and being able to help and give back. To be able to get an event like this where you have a bunch of us here for a great cause at a great time of the year, down here for the Super Bowl, you can't beat it."

Phelps hosted the after-party celebrity poker tournament with renowned poker player Jamie Gold. Josh Brolin hosted the evening's earlier event, with David Schwimmer emceeing and a performance by Common.

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Follow John Carlucci at http://www.twitter.com/jacarucci

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