The Olympics Sap-o-Meter hits a record high. Blame mom.

The Olympics Sap-o-Meter hits a record high. Blame mom.

The Olympics Sap-o-Meter hits a record high. Blame mom.

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Scenes from the Olympics.
Aug. 12 2008 10:50 AM

The Olympics Sap-o-Meter

The sap reaches a record high. Blame mom.

The Olympics Sap-o-Meter is now a widget. Add it to your Facebook page or blog. Check out Slate's complete coverage of the Beijing Games.

NBC's coverage of the United States' improbable bronze medal  in men's gymnastics didn't end until early Tuesday morning. Undaunted, the Sap-o-Meter stayed up late churning the treacle, and it's got a new record to show for it: an inspirational 38 Sap Points.

If you watch enough NBC, you know that there's a flag-waving mom behind every extraordinary achievement. Well, supporting last night's record-breaking performance were a remarkable 13 mothers—that is, 13 mentions of the words mom or mother. NBC also continued to dream big, with a robust six mentions for the second consecutive night.


Sappiest Line of the Day: "Back home in Colorado, a dad who was once champion of the Soviet Union sits alone and smiles with pride. His son Sasha has come through."—NBC commentator Al Trautwig, after American gymnast Sasha Artemev's bronze-clinching pommel horse routine. (Emphasis on sap words is ours.)

The Sap-o-Meter Tag Cloud

For a primer on how the Sap-o-Meter works, check out our first entry. Did we miss your favorite moment? Send your Sappiest Line of the Day suggestions to

Sap-o-Meter History
(click on any bar to read that day's entry)

Josh Levin is Slate’s editorial director.

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at the Atlantic, where he oversees business coverage for

Chris Wilson is a Slate contributor.