We all know that, come Olympics time, NBC goes way overboard with the heartwarming tales of diseases conquered, hardship overcome, and human spirits uplifted. Yet there's never been a tool to determine, scientifically, just how saccharine NBC's coverage really is. Until now. Welcome to Slate's Olympics Sap-o-Meter!
Here's how it works. 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 t