Welcome To The Post-Phelps MalaiseLate Saturday night Michael Phelps finally accomplished the impossible-turned-inevitable: 8 gold medals, setting hearts aflutter and cementing his legacy as an Olympic icon destined for corporate millions, milk mustaches, and being an overexposed special guest on NBC shows for the rest of his life. (What are the chances Phelps doesn't show up on the premiere of Saturday Night Live this year?) Now that it's all over, NBC will scramble to find another American worthy of having Bob Costas as their personalized pocket protector. My suggestion: bury him in the sand up to his neck near the net during the beach volleyball semis so he can deliver on-the-scene Costasian color commentary during Misty May Treanor and Kerri Walsh's run for gold. That's a guaranteed ratings bonanza. What really tripped NBC up on winning out on Phelps' historic run was having the 4 x 100 relay (or, you know, The Lezak Race) come first, arguably the most memorable one of the swimming events. Bad timing. And USA Today's Michael Hiestand is right: Dan Hicks completely blew an opportunity to be an Olympic sound bite for the rest of his life. When you've got the microphone during "one of the greatest feats in sports history" the least you could do is channel a little Al Michaels shit for us. Even Mark Spitz feigned excitement. But now, NBC, like everyone else is in the tough position of deciding what on earth is left of these Games that will make us not switch our attention to pre-season football? After Phelps, NBC Seeking A Second Act [USA Today] Restraint By NBC as Phelps Wins 8th Gold [NY Times]