The final medal count for the 2008 Olympics shows the United States as the overall winner with 110 medals, to 100 for China.
However, as noted in an earlier SportsLifer blog, weighing the medals to give more points for gold than silver or bronze changes the equation.
For instance, awarding three points for a gold, two for silver and one for bronze makes China the winner. China had 51 gold medals to 36 for the USA, and using this matrix was the leader by a slim three points, 223 to 220, in the overall medal race.
My friend Matty and I have known one another since the ’60s. We’ve gone to some great sports events together, including the Super Bowl, World Series and the Olympics.
For the most part , we cheer for the same New York teams. We’ve seen a few wins, but more often than not, we’ve seen the ugly side of New York sports.
We came to call it simply The Jinx. When Matt and I go to games together, bad things happen to our teams.
Take for instance December 27, 1997. We went to the Garden for a matinee game, which the Knicks lost, 97-94, to the Toronto Raptors on a buzzer-beater by Doug Christie.
Meanwhile, at the same time, on the TV in the suite at MSG, the Giants are frittering away a 19-3 halftime lead and losing to the Minnesota Vikings, 23-22, in a playoff game at Giants Stadium.
That day clearly demonstrated the power of The Jinx.
The Jinx Top 10
- Super Bowl XXV, Tampa, Ravens crush Giants, 34-7, 2001
- Red Sox shut out Yankees 1-0, 6-0 at Shea Stadium, 1975
- Red Sox beat Yankees 2-1, 1-0, Fourth of July, 1973
- Knicks lose to Raptors on buzzer-beater at MSG while…
- Giants blow 19-3 lead, lose playoff game to Vikings, 1997
- Giants lose to Cowboys, 30-29, on missed extra point, 1985
- Mets lose playoff game to Houston, 3-1, Shea Stadium, 1986
- A’s blow out Yankees early, 13-5, Yankee Stadium, 1987
- Red Sox beat Yankees, 8-3, on 50th birthday party, 2001
- Iona Prep loses, 60-6, to St. Francis, 1966
I had the distinct privilege of meeting Jim McKay. It was more than 25 years ago, in the early 1980s, when I was a 20-something sports writer, working the desk and writing a TV-Radio sports column for the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.
McKay was in South Florida, perhaps to cover a golf tournament or the Florida Derby. I met him in a hotel lobby on the Galt Ocean Mile, and he was a wonderful interview. He talked of ABC’s Wide World of Sports, and the Summer and Winter Olympics, the British Open at St. Andrew’s or Carnoustie, the Masters, the great horse races and so many other big events McKay covered.
What a story teller. We were scheduled for a half hour, but Jim McKay gave me more than an hour of his time on that Saturday morning. I had more than enough material for a column and beyond. I’ll never forget it
The defining moment of McKay’s career, of course, came during the 1972 Munich Olympics when a Palestinian terrorist organization called the Black September group kidnapped 11 Israeli athletes. After a commando rescue attempt ended terribly, McKay reported simply but so eloquently with three words: “They’re all gone.”
ABC estimated McKay traveled 4 1/2 million miles on assignment for ”Wide World,” covering 40 countries. Ironically he died hours before Big Brown failed in his attempt to complete the Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes in McKay’s favorite sport of all, horse racing. McKay called the last Triple Crown in 1978 when Affirmed edged Alydar at the wire in the Belmont.