The truth is that after Friday we mostly forgot to watch the Olympics (also known as Michael Phelps goes to Beijing, or alternately, President Bush gives new meaning to the term lame duck). Anyway, for those of you also missing the colorful (delayed) action the folks at Slate who have obviously been suffering since the demise of the Hillary Death watch are on the case. They’ve put together a “Olympics Sap-o-Meter: A scientific way to measure the sappiness of NBC’s Olympics coverage.”
After slogging through Olympic broadcasts of yore, we drew up a list of 33 syrupy words that NBC has chronically overused: adversity, battled, cancer, challenges, courage, cry, death, dedication, determination, dream, emotion, glory, golden, hardship, heart, hero, inspiration, inspire, journey, magic, memory, miracle, mom, mother, Olympic-sized, overcome, passion, proud, sacrifice, spirit, tears, tragedy, triumph. While these 33 words are by no means an unabridged collection of schmaltzy nouns, adjectives, and verbs, they’re a good sampling of NBC’s bathos. Think of them as the Dow Jones of sap.Each time one of these words gets used the sap-o-meter gets bumped up a point. Want to contribute? They’re also taking suggestions for “Sappiest Line of the Day.” So have at it. The meter clocked-in at 29 last night.