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Confessions of a fair-weather Olympics fan

July 31, 2012|By Georgia Garvey | RedEye

What do you call a fair-weather fan if the weather's fair only once every four years?

Whatever it is, that's me. As it turns out, I'm obsessed with the Olympics. There are people whose names meant nothing to me three weeks ago whom I now root for with the same devotion I bestow on the Cubs and Bulls.

If you'd asked me a week ago who Jordyn Wieber was, my best guess would have been " 'American Idol' contestant." But I shed a tear when she didn't qualify for the all-around final as part of the U.S. gymnastics team. I found myself nodding along with former U.S. coach Bela Karolyi's rant (well, what I could understand of the native of Romania, anyway) about Jordyn being kept out.

Is it weird that I've spent hours watching men's water polo, a sport in which I have no clue what the rules are? There's something about a basket and a ball and a lot of splashing, but other than that, I'm relying on the commentator to tell me what the holy hell is happening.

Don't even mention gymnast John Orozco's name around me, by the way, if you don't want to see me ugly-cry.

But that Ryan Lochte guy? You can keep him, from what I saw during the 400-meter relay in swimming. He's clearly a great athlete, but when he was asked how he blew the gold for the U.S., he responded that it wasn't his preferred type of race. Well, la-dee-da, Mr. Special. I think Lochte's becoming my LeBron James of the 2012 Olympics.

Speaking of LeBron, I didn't think there could ever be a scenario under which I would root for that doofus. I was convinced that my grandmother could play for the Miami Heat and I would still wish them ill. But apparently all it took was a Team USA jersey for me to fall in line.

When you think about it, though, a little bit of patriotism never hurt anyone. So for now, I've decided to just accept my newfound passion.

It could be worse, after all. I could be watching badminton.

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