CRICKETS AND KETTLE DRUMS
The MVGsports.com column WHERE THE GLASS IS ALWAYS HALF-EMPTY
The following piece correlates with Season 1, Episode 27 of Sports Jeopardy which can be seen at http://www.crackle.com/c/sportsjeopardy.
Ever wonder what goes through the head of a 3rd place Sports Jeopardy contestant? Allow me to show and tell…
I drew the first ping-pong ball backstage. It had the #1 on it…championship position…the one I envisioned myself being in.
Awkward shoulder shrug, check. Air-drawn Plus (+) 1 sign, check. Right eye wink, check. There’s a little something for everyone.
Before I continue with the highlights, please be advised that I am buzzing in like a bumble bee on every single one of these questions. Just because I am not as animated as Robert or Rick, doesn’t mean that I’m not pressing that buzzer feverishly like I’m trying to avoid getting KOed in Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out…just watch my right elbow-area twitch. Those guys certainly played their video games before they showed up.
I always consider myself to be a “numbers guy” so I found it appropriate to call “Big Numbers” when I saw the category pop up. Being a huge Michigan football and New England Patriots fan, it was fitting that my first correct answer was Tom Brady. All three of us were rapid fire until the interview segment. I was at 2750, tied for first at the break, feeling pretty good. More makeup, a chat with DP, and let’s get back at it.
NHL Teams’ Last League MVP for 1000…
“Ted Kennedy, 1955”
gonna take a stab at this one...Ted Lindsay played
for the Red Wings…I’ve got a 1 in 6 shot…*buzz* *buzz* *buzz*…”Who are the
Detroit Red Wings?”…
Damn, Sergei Fedorov won it in 1994…duh. I remember why I don’t like the “home” teams lol. I’ve since done some research on Ted Kennedy of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it turns out that despite winning the Hart Memorial Trophy (NHL MVP) in 1955, he wasn’t selected to either the first or second all-NHL teams that year. Ahhh, award selections of yesteryear.
Alright, keep playing, get back in this thing.
Books for 1000…
Bill James book…I think I’ve got this…*buzz* *buzz* *buzz*…”What is the Baseball Prospectus?”…
Dammit, it was the Baseball Abstract. I knew of the book and had seen it associated with Bill James’ name many times before, but the word “Abstract” was never on the tip of my tongue here. No good.
Alright, I’ve still got Double Jeopardy left, let’s go win this thing.
50 Home Run Club for 2000…
After a slight delay, the Daily Double screen pops up…damn, I didn’t want to see this, this early…I know the 50 Home Run Club pretty well…2000 all day…
Once I read/heard the name Jimmie Foxx, I was immediately trying to think of Johnny Mize (for some odd reason I thought they were playing on the 6-letter first name, 4-letter last name), but it just wasn’t coming to me. *Head down* I kept thinking in my head that it was Jimmie something, again I thought they were going for a wordplay and then *boop* *boop* *boop*…”Who is David Ortiz?” Ahhh, that’s it…the 10-letter name total…that’s where my brain went lol.
So now I’m a grand in the hole. I thought to myself “I’m probably not gonna win this, but dig, dig, dig and get what you can.” Double Jeopardy ends with Trevor Riley at 5500, but just to rewind for a second. On Robert’s Daily Double try, where he correctly answered “Navy”, I’m literally thinking to myself “please don’t get it, please don’t get it, please don’t get it, please…” but you know what happens lol.
Then the Final Jeopardy category pops up…”Auto Racing”…”I’m in the right game” I thought. I wasn’t even going to wait for the crew to put up the partition before I could bet all 5500 of my points.
And the answer...The two father-son rookie of the year winners at the Indy 500…hmmm, it’s got to be Unser (Al Sr. and Al Jr.) and Andretti (Mario and Michael)…I write down “Unser” because the word “win” spooked me as I know Mario was the only Andretti to win the Indy 500 (1969).
Wrong sir, wrong!
It’s quite a dejecting feeling knowing that you’ve finished with the goose-egg that you started with. As I said in the post-game interview, Final Jeopardy ended up being moot for me, however 11000 would have looked a lot better than 0 did/does. Alas, such is life. You win some, you lose a lot more, and in the interim you make the most of your experiences/moments and learn whatever it is you’re to learn in the process. Congratulations to Robert for his big win, and to Rick for a hard fought second place. I am very grateful to have had this opportunity and hope I get to do the Sports Jeopardy thing again somewhere down the road. I haven’t really sports trivia’ed since I got home, however it doesn’t mean that I won’t go back to it at some point. Perhaps the great Leon Carosi quoted it best when he said “Winning isn’t everything, but losing STINKS!”
As I departed the stage, I signed for my winnings, got a cab called for me, and got a hug from the woman that I was eyeballing for much of the day (that’s not the reason I lost lol). As I stood outside the gates of Sony, all I could do was look to my right and smile. The cab that came to take me back to the hotel was numbered with my birthday…802. A fitting end to a great adventure.
P.S. My plush, hand-sized Sports Jeopardy basketball rolled under the dresser in room 402 at the Doubletree Hotel in Culver City, CA if you’re looking for a souvenir J.
Well that's a wrap for column 11, episode 12 of CNKD. If you have any comments, questions, suggestions, or other feedback, feel free to send them along via email to email@example.com. There's 12 down and 999,988 to go. Peace.
3-28-15 FROM THE “OH BTW” FILE…
-In the “On the Line is Tony” category, during the 500 point question about the San Antonio Spurs player who iced the game, etc, etc, I was thinking to myself, “Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan, Danny Green…” “Who is Tony Parker?”…oh…idiot…Tony has to be in the answer. So the very next question, game 7 Cincinnati Red who hit the clinching home run in 1975, I’m thinking to myself “George Foster, Pete Rose, Joe Morgan…” “Who is Tony Perez?”…yeah…that happened lol.
-They cut my bit about not tying my shoes as an ode to Denard Robinson during the “get to know the players” segment. I don’t blame them, it wasn’t all that exciting, there was a tinge of dead air when Dan Patrick peeked around the podium to really see if my shoes were tied or not, and they wanted to run with the chicken wing thing since it was mentioned in my introduction, which makes complete sense. I still don’t tie my shoes btw, ask my co-workers. I was wearing gray socks that day with blue and white sharks on them #insideinformation lol.
-Lastly, I just want to commend Dan Patrick for being a consummate professional in every sense of the term. What I was most impressed by, was that during each break, he had to do re-reads/edits for certain clues that may have been unclear or what have you, and he did these in stride…no complaints, no bite back, no whining, just all business. I found it very refreshing. The guy’s probably making 6 or 7 figures for this gig, but he’s not above the game/show. I would also like to thank Maggie, Corina, and Aimee on the contestant team, Kelly and Jimmy on the clue crew, Lisa who did my makeup, Mitch the sound/mic guy, John the stage manager, and everyone else that really made this a first-class, unforgettable experience. They all made this process as fun and enjoyable as possible, and I would more than look forward to doing this again, if I had/get/earn the opportunity.