While the pontificators watch the fluctuating medal scoreboard between the U.S. and China -- we’re up 82-77 -- I’ve been keeping an eye on a decidedly more local tally.
Maryland vs. Virginia.
I should admit that the Maryland vs. Virginia scoreboard exists, to my knowledge, only on a scrap of paper where I’ve been tallying the results. And I’ve heard no rumblings of trash talk between the two governors.
So I’d like to start the trash talk now by saying to Tom Jackman, my colleague who lives in Virginia and writes the State of Nova blog, something that even he can understand: You’re a loser. (But a nice guy.)
On my sheet of paper, I’ve got Maryland with seven medals.
What does Virginia have?
Also, three medals.
Tom and other Virginians might argue, “Well, you’ve got Michael Phelps.” To which I would reply, “Yes, we have Michael Phelps.”
He’s got six of our medals. We are an awesome state.
Tom might say, “But that’s not fair.” To which I would reply, “It’s time for my nap.”
Sure, Virginia has Gabby Douglas, the gymnastics star and winner of two gold medals. Yippee. I’m happy for her -- genuinely. But we have, for my typing, the best local story of the games: Katie Ledecky, the 15-year-old Bethesda girl who swam away with the 800-meter freestyle, upsetting one of the sport’s best swimmers. She’s 15!
Ledecky plus Phelps equals seven medals, five of them gold.
For Virginia, Douglas plus swimmer Matt McLean equals three medals, three of them gold. (I’ll admit that’s a somewhat strong ratio.)
For those wanting a small-print type explanation of my counting, I’m using what the athletes list as their hometown. You can see all of the U.S. medal winners here. For those who say the Olympics aren’t over yet, here’s my answer: I know. Also, this is just a running scoreboard. Also, it could get worse for Tom.
Maryland has two players on the men’s basketball team: Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony. We also have Angel McCoughtry on the women’s basketball team. Tom has…not much. (Samyr Laine is a favorite to win the triple jump, but he’s jumping for Haiti, not Alexandria.)
Not surprisingly, Tom is whining.
I asked for a response and he sent me this: “That’s it? Two people on each side? One of whom has 6 of the 7? There’s gotta be more, don’t there? Plus the games aren’t over. But if you’re writing, have at it.”
I wrote it, yes. And Tom, if you read this far and didn’t like it, I have news for you: This was my editor’s idea.