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Steward: On Michael Phelps and the Rio Olympics

August 12, 2016 GMT

If it’s anything like our house, you can just hear Michael Phelps’ wife in 20 years: “Honey, will you please do something with all these stupid gold medals clogging up this drawer?”

--Like elections, it’s a shame we only become captivated by swimming every four years. Even if Phelps seems to win everything in a landslide, it’s such compelling theater. It plays so well on TV, too, and without debates.

--If Phelps’ 22 gold medals won through Thursday were actually solid gold, they’d be worth right around $500,000. But since Olympic golds are actually 94 percent sterling silver coated with six grams of real gold, the official value for all 22 is around $13,000. Seems chintzy, for all Phelps has done for the five-ring circus.

--NBC, they’re the ones raking in the real gold, thanks to Aquaman and those glorious gymnasts. This is almost too easy for Bob Costas.

--The well-traveled tweet that rang so perfectly true for Phelps-taunting South African swimmer Chad le Clos: le Clos but no cigar. Actually, Chad wasn’t all that le Clos.

--Sadly, after a long morning session of cupping, we’ve discovered it doesn’t work at all to stimulate sportwriting. But all the purple blotches have made for great conversation around the office.

--The only cupping we require is a good, strong cup of joe. Well, sometimes two or three to get all the keystrokes down.

--Katie Ladecky, by the way, didn’t have to resort to the Dalmatian look to blow her competition away. Just another reason to love her.

--Cal boasts 41 athletes in Rio and not one of them has ever played for Sonny Dykes, unless we missed a shot putter/lineman type.

--Eighteen of those present or former Golden Bears are swimmers, with backstroke stud Ryan Murphy leading the blue-and-gold parade. We’re definitely going to have to start checking out more swim meets in Berkeley, eh?

--Stanford, by the way, counts 39 past, present or future athletes in Rio. Ladecky is a very big incoming add, though. Imagine her joining forces with Simone Manuel.

--We’ve watched most of the Marvel superhero movies, but we’ve never seen anything as mind-blowing as Simone Biles on the floor ex. To think, she does all that stuff without CGI. How about you, Spider-Man?

--At this point, we’re taking Karolyi over Kryzyzewski as the standout Coach K of these Olympics. Or maybe we just like the gymnastics starting five more.

--Clearly, the international 3-point line is way too close for Klay Thompson. And that strangely colored ball probably doesn’t help, either (2 for 13 from the arc, 3 for 20 overall through the first three games).

--If the Warriors had gotten the Australian National Team version of Andrew Bogut in the NBA Finals, they’d be hanging another banner at Oracle in October.

--The best part of Brandon Crawford’s seven-hit game: The seventh drove in the Giants’ winning run. And in case you haven’t noticed, the Giants need to start doing more winning.

--Crawford had more hits in that one game than the Giants as a team have had in nine other games since the All-Star break. Their record in those nine: 1-8. The one win was Thursday’s 1-0 affair at Miami, when Crawford homered for the only run.

--We’re surprised so many Giants fans are down on Gaylord Perry getting an AT&T Park statue. Hey, he played more seasons for them than Orlando Cepeda, who got bronzed. Maybe Gaylord’s statue should simply be cast in some other substance.

--Most of the detractors say it should be Barry over Perry. Maybe. For now, however, we prefer to take a stand for Christy Mathewson, Bill Terry, Mel Ott, John McGraw and Carl Hubbell. Not their fault they starred in New York.

--The more statues the merrier, we say. We draw the line at ex-Giant Hall of Famers Duke Snider, Steve Carlton, Gary Carter, Warren Spahn and Randy Johnson.

--We simply can’t get used to Josh Reddick in blue. And man, the Coliseum feels that much more empty without him. You can almost hear a careless whisper.

--Alex Rodriguez finished? Wonderful, we hardly noticed.

--Finally, for all you rugby fans, let’s drink a frosty to Fiji. Just win, baby! That party just might top Eddie DeBartolo’s. Contact Carl Steward at csteward@bayareanewsgroup.com . More darting on Twitter @stewardsfolly.