Before last night, thanks to the bankruptcy of Dutch bank DSB Bank, the U.S. men's speedskating team's 2010 Winter Olympics were thrown into question. Without DSB as a sponsor, how would Olympic athletes -- many of whom struggle financially until after the gold medals are won -- make the trip? How would the speedskaters compete? And without the skaters, how would the U.S. fulfill its patriotic and sort of silly biannual need to be the most-medaled Olympics country in the world?
Into this crevasse of uncertainty stepped a true American hero. His name? Stephen Colbert, who signed U.S. speedskating sponsorship papers live on his broadcast Monday night:
As you'll see in the video, Colbert invited speed skating legend Dan Jansen and U.S. speed skating director Bob Crowley onto the set, where he discussed the ramifications of the DSB sponsorship before offering to officially sponsor the speedskating team. With that, Crowley produced the papers, Colbert signed, and voila: Colbert Nation -- a fake place invented by a satirical right-wing television comedy show host -- will now have a sponsorship spot at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Who said the American dream was dead?
Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. He is the editor of Yahoo! Sports's college basketball blog The Dagger and a contributor to Inside The Hall. Follow him at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com, or on Twitter.