Reader Daniel G. e-mailed me today detailing a new system he invented, which I'm calling Saber-Medal-trics, at least until he comes up with a better name. Saber-Medal-trics uses Sports Illustrated's overall medal predictions, calculates how each country is performing in events held to date, and projects an adjusted overall result. It's practically science! Here's Daniel's Saber-Medal-trics report after Monday's action:
The U.S. was expected to win 42 gold medals and 99 overall. So far, they have one fewer gold medal than expected, and three more overall medals than expected. China was expected to win 42 gold medals and 97 overall, and they have three more gold medals than expected, and eight fewer medals overall. Today's projections:
U.S. - 102 overall, 41 golds
China - 91 overall, 45 golds
Jalen is back! After a couple weeks in London with Team USA, Jalen Rose returned to the Grantland Studio to give the people what they want.
With his trusty baseball bat slung over his shoulder, Jalen discussed his experience in London, what he thinks of the U.S. men's basketball team, the real differences between the NBA and international play, a conversation he had with coach Mike Krzyzewski, and more. Then he offered his opinion on some of the media's treatment of Gabby Douglas (“not cool”), Usain Bolt’s casual approach (“If I was going to run the 100 meters, I would not be winking at the camera”), and people claiming that there can only be one “Fab Five” (“Here’s the thing: I DON’T CARE!”). Oh yeah, then we talked about Rick Ross and I learned that Jalen has been in more music videos than all of the Flavor of Love contestants combined.
If you made it through the weekend without becoming an Olympic burnout zombie, congratulations. You've done well, and your reward is a very interesting development in the battle for national pride. A full week has passed, and the showdown with China has become a full-fledged dogfight. That's right, my friends; it's time to talk about the medal count. There's always been debate about whether priority should be given to gold medals or overall medals — I lean toward overall, personally — but at the start of Second Monday, China has us edged out in both.
Incredible! Theoretically, the U.S. should benefit from having a better track-and-field team, along with more potential golds in team sports like basketball, volleyball, beach volleyball, and women's soccer, but the swimming bounty is over, and we should know by now that China gets golds in all the events you don't expect. And look, I know I've indulged in some anti-China rhetoric here, but I hope people take it in the context of the Games. Hell, I'm grateful for the rivalry — look at that medal count! How can you not care? Within that Olympic context, my patriotism is backwoods-militia level. In real life, I have more nuanced views, but the Olympics are a fever dream that transcends real life. To keep it from becoming a nightmare, you and I must become the sentinels of THE AMERICAN WAY.
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Thursday.
Michael Phelps out-dueled Ryan Lochte in the 200-meter individual medley to win his 16th Olympic gold and 20th medal overall. A heartbroken Lochte told reporters that he was really sad to finish second, since the other swimmers told him the gold medal is the only one with chocolate inside, and he still can't get the foil off of his 400 IM gold.