One of the fun, dumb joys of the Olympics is the opportunity the Games offer for unbridled jingoism. So what if you don't care about cross-country skiing? Kikkan Randall is TEAM USA. Forget the difference between short- and long-track speed skating? Doesn't matter—it's just twice as much TEAM USA.
In that spirit, we'd like to introduce you to the Jingometer, our attempt to answer the biennial question, "Just how jingoistic is NBC's Olympics coverage?" The two charts above show how USA-centric NBC's daytime and primetime coverage has been by day, based on mentions of "U.S."/"USA"/"United States"/"America"/"American" compared with mentions of other participant nations and nationalities. Commercials are included; jingoistic Team USA commercials are part of the NBC broadcast experience.
As the chart on top shows, on Tuesday, the U.S. accounted for 46.5 percent of all participant mentions. That's easily a new high for Olympic coverage so far, driven largely by the marquee figure skating and snowboarding events that aired yesterday, as well as Erin Hamlin's earning the U.S. our first Olympic medal in singles luge. The total number of mentions for the U.S.—as you can see on the chart at the bottom—was 154.
Today the medals will be awarded for pairs figure skating. The U.S. has never won the event, and we haven't even seen the podium since a bronze in 1988. With two teams in the final, will 2014 be our year? Will the U.S. women avenge the men by conquering the halfpipe? Will this be the most jingoistic day yet? Stay tuned.