As I watched the Red Sox edge out the Athletics last night, I noticed, again, the curious necklaces some MLB players wear: The Phiten Titanium Necklaces. Some time ago, I ran across an article about them on Scienceline, which may or may not be a scientifically accurate commentary on the product. BTW, in typical Web 2.0 fashion, the comments quickly degenerate into name-calling, verbal abuse, and irrelevant rantings, but you can get the gist of what supporters’ and detractors’ of Phiten’s effectiveness claims have to say about the product.
According to Phiten’s Web site (http://www.phitenusa.com/t-about.aspx):
Through dedicated research, we have developed a number of unique wellness technologies and products. Accordingly, we’ve won the trust of many consumers and increasing numbers of athletes use our products. We are building on this trust to offer new products, adapting and applying our technologies to a wider range of uses to support your health and well-being.
Curiously (riiiiight), there is no mention in the actual product developer’s web site as to what this research actually was, or the results thereof – like the comments in the Scienceline article. Which gets me to thinking – do the people who use them believe they actually work? I doubt it. Because if they believed it really worked, they’d believe it was cheating because it made use of some sort of artificial means to enhance their abilities. If substances like steroids and HGH are banned partly because of the unfair advantage they give to their users, then a magic necklace should be banned also… the reason why they’re not banned is because they aren’t believed to work.
So, why do so many MLB players wear them? They cynical part of me attributes it to the marketing deal that Phiten struck with MLB in 2007. I mean, if a company paid me to wear something in order to enhance its exposure, as long as I didn’t have some sort of objection or aversion to it, heck, I’d probably wear it.