The Olympics Sap-o-Meter.

The Olympics Sap-o-Meter.

The Olympics Sap-o-Meter.

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Scenes from the Olympics.
Aug. 13 2008 10:55 AM

The Olympics Sap-o-Meter

Just like Michael Phelps: another day, another record.

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

On Wednesday morning in Beijing's Water Cube, it seemed that no Olympic swimmer could touch the pool without setting a world record. So it is with the Sap-o-Meter. For the third consecutive night, NBC's coverage has set a new standard for sentimentality. The record, if only for today: a whopping 42 Sap Points.

Tuesday was a tale of two arenas for American squads. In the Cube, Michael Phelps, freshly crowned the "greatest Olympian of all time," added two more golds to his war chest. NBC padded the achievement with a nostalgic chat with Mama Phelps, a series of profiles flush with violin crescendos, and record-high utterances of proud and overcome. In women's gymnastics, however, the commentary was syrupy but not always sweet. The grueling showdown between the American and Chinese teams featured falls, slips, and rough landings, eliciting top scores for battled (six mentions) and challenges (four).


Sappiest Line of the Day: "You done good, Mom."—NBC's Cris Collinsworth to Michael Phelps' mother, Debbie. (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.