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Posted: Wednesday July 2, 2008 12:52PM; Updated: Thursday July 3, 2008 9:57AM
Stewart Mandel Stewart Mandel >

Unveiling the Mailbag Crush, my surprise teams for '08 and more

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Kaitlin Olson
Kaitlin Olson hopes her Ducks can succeed without Dennis Dixon and Jonathan Stewart.
Stewart Mandel's Mailbag
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We all know there are few subjects in a reader's life more important than college football ... but there's at least one within this particular audience that merits bumping football off the front page of the Mailbag one week a year.

Don't let us down with the Mailbag Crush, Stewart. Gas is $20 a gallon, milk is $18 a gallon and Mike Myers made a crappy movie. This country needs some good news, and you're the man to give it to us with a great Crush selection. This better be a Michael Jordan pick and not a Fredric Weis or Darko Milicic.
-- Dwight, Atlanta

If this were in fact the NBA draft, I'd be the GM licking his chops right now knowing I just pulled off a huge late-round steal. Loyal Mailbag readers, say hello to your 2008 Celebrity Crush, Kaitlin Olson.

For those of you who don't recognize her (and I assume there are many), Kaitlin plays "Sweet Dee" on the raucously funny, utterly inappropriate FX comedy It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, a show that's been aptly described as "Seinfeld on crack." (Here's a short clip that's fairly typical of the show's humor.)

While obviously striking, Kaitlin brings a slightly different element to the table than her Crush predecessors, Jenna and Jordana. While those beloved beauties are known for their sweet and wholesome on-screen characters, Kaitlin plays an unabashedly raunchy, drunken degenerate. She's also an Oregon grad who knows a thing or two about college football.

In other words, she's perfect for this audience.

I caught up with Kaitlin over the phone Tuesday to deliver the news.

Stewart: Kaitlin, in a tradition, the origins of which I'm still unsure of, and following in the footsteps of luminaries Jenna Fischer and Jordana Spiro, I'm pleased to bestow upon you the title of 2008 Mailbag Celebrity Crush.

Kaitlin: Thanks! I'm very honored. I love Sports Illustrated. And any time a bunch of men are sitting around a computer screen looking at my picture, I feel like I've made it.

Stewart: Based on its "off-color" content, I've got to assume your show, much like the Mailbag, tends to draw a predominately male audience. Your character alone has been featured in such memorable episodes as "Dennis and Dee Go on Welfare" and "Sweet Dee's Dating a Retarded Person."

Kaitlin: Yeah, we've got a lot of dudes watching our show. It's pretty inappropriate. We're shooting an episode right now where our characters decide to perform an Extreme Home Makeover on one of our neighbors, unbeknownst to them. It turns out they don't speak English.

Stewart: So you went to Oregon. I made my first trip to your alma mater last fall and quickly discovered that fall weekends there revolve entirely around the Ducks. Did that apply to you theater majors as well?

Kaitlin: Yeah, as a theater major you go from being a dork in high school to a drunk dork in college. So we drank and went to the football games. I actually went to the Oregon-UCLA game last year. It was right after Dennis Dixon blew out his knee, so I watched them go through three different quarterbacks [and lose 16-0]. It was horrifying. And I was there with a bunch of UCLA people.

Stewart: Last year, I challenged the readers to come up with a college football equivalent for each of the main characters on Always Sunny. The person with the best answer compared your character to Ohio State. Thoughts?

Kaitlin: I saw that [when it ran]. I loved the answer. I only got through the "young and attractive" part, though, and immediately agreed with the rest of his analysis.

Stewart: Now, I understand you're engaged to Rob McElhenney, your co-star and the creator of the show.

Kaitlin: Yeah, I was finding that my storylines weren't big enough, so I decided to seduce the executive producer. (Laughs.)

Stewart: I don't know how similar Rob is in real life to his on-screen character, but on the show, Mac is constantly trying to beat people up to prove how "hard" he is. Do I have anything to worry about with this whole Crush thing?

Kaitlin: I'll have to check with him and get back to you. In the meantime, yes, he'll probably try to break into your apartment in the middle of the night.

Stewart: Well Kaitlin, it's been a pleasure. Is it all right to check in with you again when the new season [which premieres Sept. 18] gets closer?

Kaitlin: Absolutely. Next time we'll have to do it in person.

Stewart: If we do, just so you know, you'll have a tough act to follow. Jordana took me to a Dodgers game.

Kaitlin: Oh man! That adorable, funny little [expletive deleted]. ... [Holy cow -- our first Crush cat fight!] I'll invite you to the premiere party if you're in L.A. Of course, by then I'll be so famous from the Mailbag that I'll have to pretend not to know you.

A quick note about the selection process: Kaitlin was one of about 200-plus Crush candidates nominated by the readers over the past couple of months. The connection to one of my favorite shows obviously helped her cause tremendously, and the Oregon angle put her over the top. (And then things got even better when I contacted FX and found out that the show's publicist, Dominic Pagone, is himself an avid Mailbag reader.)

Kudos to Adam Beaugh of Jacksonville, Fla., for the original nomination, and Ian from Dallas for correctly guessing Kaitlin's identity based off a vague clue last week.

Well ... I should probably talk some football.

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