THE BLOG
07/09/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Porn For Patriots

I love everything about the Olympics. The theater, the pomp and circumstance, the tragic back-story video packages -- all of it hits me in a fuzzy red, white, and blue place that bubbles brightly to the surface when world records are at stake. It is basically porn for patriots.

I know the word "patriot" has developed a polarizing political connotation as of late. And when it is used to justify clipped civil rights or violent xenophobia, I agree that the "fever" must be calmed. But the kind of patriotism the Olympics brings out in us can be a healthy, tears-welling at the television, cheering for Michaels and Katies you've never met, up at 2am to catch short men's long distance 800m water polo trials in Wabash sort of "we fucking rock" commercial break in the general mundanity of the average American lifestyle.

As a nation, we spend the sports seasons divided by city -- painted in the colors of whatever franchise happens to be based closest to the hospital you were born in. But every two to four years, we get to unify for a few weeks and boisterously celebrate the athletes representing the country we just happened to be born in. Oh yeah, that's all it takes to claim Olympic glory -- birthright. Never set foot in a diving pool? Doesn't matter, that USC kid just pulled off a flawless rip entry in the name of you. Get winded picking up the mail? Who cares?! Carrie from Wheaton, IL triple salchowed your ass to a 9.8! That kind of vicarious rush is both strangely intoxicating (well played, advertising firms!) and universally appealing. Everyone thinks they look good in gold.

So go ahead and cry at the Kerri Strug/Morgan Freeman commercial. You remember that shit! She was like, all hurt and stuff. Record the track and field trials and see if you can finish a beer before the Texas A&M kid reaches the last hurdle. Invite your friends over for a game of "steroids or lesbian." Bask in the gooey 'lympic goodness unashamed because this is the kind of porn you can leave on the TiVo. And if anyone gives you shit about your sudden fervor for sporting events you can neither spell nor pronounce, tell them to kiss your star-spangled ass. It's the Olympics.


Read more HuffPost coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games