So Michael Phelps has chosen the Vegas nightclub worker and oft-naked Caroline Pal (the one on the right) to take home to mother after two months of dating. (The link will take you to proof of the oft-naked part if nothing else.) We don't have to imagine Mom's surprise face; we saw it eight times or so in China. TMZ has the "facts" on this event and we invite you to follow the hyperlinked trail for more on this crucial bit of news. If you'll follow us after the jump, though, we have a question for you, gentle Deadspin reader.

Why do we care about Michael Phelps? The Olympics are over. Outside of a possible Alicia Sacramone reality show sighting or a May-Treanor sashay redux, these Olympians should be out of our lives by now. Not that we're suggesting they should give up their desperate grasps for attention; more power to each of them. But why Phelps?

Sure, he won a metric buttload of gold medals, but even Mark Spitz only got one episode of "Emergency!" before he was shown the celebrity door. He's not exactly a matinee idol. In fact, we're pretty sure he was struck one time too many by the matinee Klieg lights. He's not eloquent. He's not exceptionally intelligent. He's not even exceptionally rich once you realize he has maybe one more payday.

We get that we throw another celebrity hero up the pop charts every once in awhile and we obsess over lesser lights and blah blah paparazzi blah blah dangerous worship blah blah read Ulysses. We're not talking about why we obsess over celebrities. We want to know why Michael Phelps is still a celebrity. We're baffled.

So we turn to you: what makes him so damned appealing to our celebrity instincts? Is it merely that there are a phalanx of image managers that can pat themselves on the back about making such an average fellow so spectacular? Does he have some charisma we're missing? Is it that we will post a picture of a woman in her bra with each post about him?


We're listening, DUAN. We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor.

Michael Phelps Took Girlfriend Caroline "Caz" Pal Home to Meet His Mom for Thanksgiving [FanIQ]
Who Michael Phelps Took Home to Mama [TMZ]