It has been years since I\’ve paid any attention to the Olympics. In fact, since the 1996 games in Atlanta, I\’ve pretty much been openly antagonistic towards the Olympics, and tried to avoid them at all cost.

But this year, I\’ve decided to buy in. Maybe it\’s because I just read David Maraniss\’ excellent book on the 1960 Rome Olympics. Perhaps I need a diversion from the Brett Favre hostage negotiations. Maybe it\’s because I have a secret desire to gaze at Michael Phelps\’ abs. Who knows.

Speaking of Phelps, I was discussing his medal chase with a female friend of mine, and she expressed her undying love for him. I mentioned the fact that he happens to be somewhat ugly, and she indelicately shot back with the following: \”If he can swim, you know what else he can do.\” Is this a common perception by women of swimmers? If this is actually the case, expect a lot more guys to show up at the bank wearing Speedos. (And much more confusion about whether this is some kind of \”stick up.\”)

Also, I think America owes me a debt of gratitude – I am currently holding all of Phelps\’ fat for him. When he gets back to the states, he gets it all back. Right now, it currently resides in my abdomen, on loan.

It was actually just a few minutes ago that the US mounted their miraculous comeback against the braggadocious French in the men\’s freestyle relay. When we won, I let out a yelp of excitement for winning the gold – something I couldn\’t have imagined just three days ago. (In defense of the French, it is hard swimming while wearing a beret and smoking.)

I do, however, have a complaint about the swimming. When they show the female swimmers, it\’s too hard to tell whether they\’re hot or not when they wear the swim caps and goggles. In the absence of any American in the specific heat, is there really any better criteria on which to choose for whom to root? I propose making them wear swim caps that has hair on them that matches what their real hair looks like.

Actually, one of the best parts of the Olympics is watching them with my daughter, and showing her all the sports that women can compete in. She seemed pretty enthralled with women\’s volleyball, which is perfect, since she\’s probably going to be pretty tall (so far, she\’s in the 90th percentile in height for a four-year old.) However, my wife took it a little too far when she suggested women\’s beach volleyball as an option. Not in my lifetime, as long as they continue to wear the nearly invisible bikinis as uniforms. In fact, I did plenty of research on the topic, watching a good 3 hours of women\’s beach volleyball. (And I noticed George W. Bush spent a lot of time knocking the volleyball around himself. His approval rating just skyrocketed to 4%.)

Speaking of presidents, I read that John McCain spent $6 million and Barack Obama $5 million on TV ads during the Olympics. Can\’t they just call it a truce, leave us alone, and let us watch the games in peace?

I love the Home Depot commercials that brag about how many Olympians work at their stores. That\’s just wonderful – maybe when they start giving out medals for \”helping me find a bolt that fits this screw,\” then maybe I\’d be able to get some service around this damn place.

So far, aside from the fatal stabbing, I think China has acquitted itself well. How many medals their teams will will is still an open question. I do guarantee this, however – if they ever held a Pet Olympics, China would have hands-down the fastest dogs.

As a final note, I absolutely detest the predicament steroids has put us viewers in. Take Dara Torres, for instance – she\’s 41 years old, just had a kid, and now she\’s breaking swimming world records. Trust me – I\’ve seen a child emerge from a woman first hand. If another human being ever emerged from my loins, it would take me a decade to be able to balance my checkbook, much less become an Olympic swimmer. So Dara Torres is either the most amazing story we\’ll see during any recent Olympics, or she\’s the most detestable human being alive. And there\’s really no middle ground. And it\’s just sad.

(Incidentally, during an NBC story on Torres, she mentioned that her new baby inspired her to get back in the pool. In fact, she had to get back to making a living, seeing as how John Edwards was late with his support checks.)