In his pursuit of eight gold medals at the Summer Olympics, swimmer Michael Phelps is making quite a splash. But it's his new mustache getting a lot of the early attention.
There might be as many writers as there are athletes at the Games, and those writers are looking for angles. Phelps and his Fu Manchu make for a funny line or two.
Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti described it as "definitely closer to porn-star-droopy than Al Hrabosky."
At least Phelps doesn't have to swim in the smog. The most popular topic is the air quality in Beijing.
Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post surveyed the atmosphere: "You can reach out and touch the smog. On Wednesday afternoon, the sun over Beijing was little more than a faint red rumor, and as my flight touched down at the airport, a planeload of the very international guests that China hopes to impress looked out the windows and gasped at air that could only be described as the color of a dirty ashtray.
"Visitors have been assured inhaling is far safer than sucking on the tailpipe of a bus. But I packed a supply of air-filtering masks in my suitcase, just in case."
• IN CASE YOU MISSED IT -- In a story underreported by the media, the Green Bay Packers traded quarterback Brett Favre to the New York Jets.
The New York Post hailed "Broadway Brett" as the savior. The Post's Steve Serby wrote: "He gives the Jets their biggest star since Joe Namath, gives the Jets their best chance to overcome Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, makes them a legitimate Super Bowl contender."
William C. Rhoden of The New York Times said the Favre acquisition means "no more excuses" for Jets coach Eric Mangini, who at 37 is a year younger than his new QB.
Rhoden: "Mangini's Jets must win now. And that means making the playoffs."
• COLLEGE CASH GAME -- When college basketball coaches are being paid like NBA coaches, maybe it's time for the NCAA to stop whining about the games being on the betting board in Las Vegas.
Kansas coach Bill Self has signed a new 10-year contract that will pay him $3 million a year. Do the easy math and that's $30 million, meaning Self is paid better than most NBA coaches.
Last summer, Alabama signed football coach Nick Saban to an eight-year contract worth a guaranteed $32 million.
It's not amateur athletics anymore, that's for sure.
• NO PARTIES AT BYU -- According to the Princeton Review, which polled 120,000 students, the University of Florida is the No. 1 party school in the nation.
The most "Stone-Cold Sober School" was Brigham Young for the 11th year in a row.
• THE NEXT TIGER? --Phil Mickelson was made the favorite, by default, to win this week's PGA Championship. Tiger Woods is out after knee surgery, but another golfing prodigy might be on the way.
Allan Saylor, an 11-year-old who was playing for just the third time, recently fired a hole-in-one on a 150-yard, par-3 in Bismarck, N.D.
COMPILED BY MATT YOUMANS REVIEW-JOURNAL