Thursday, June 02, 2005
I have sad news to report, which people have known about for at least a week. Ken Jennings, beloved game show contestant, was given a hard-core smackdown by Brad Rutter in the Jeopardy ultimate tournament of champions.
It was really sad to see. Here was Kenbot, the master of trivia, the real life Cliff Clavin, looking like a deer in the headlights. It was eerie, seeing Ken with the Drew Bledsoe Face (a phrase coined by ESPN's Sports Guy to describe somebody who looked like they were just hit by a truck; so named because Bledsoe was the master of the face) in his natural domain. He should have mopped the floor with those guys, but I wonder if there wasn't a little deck-stacking there. When I used to compete against Jennings in Jeopardy, I was pretty good, but the questions they used were so obscure and so arcane that it's a wonder they got any points. If I was up there, I would have looked like Sean Connery from SNL's Celebrity Jeopardy. It was really too bad, because in his prime it was amazing to see him chew through opponents like the Wehrmacht crossing the Maginot Line. Instead, he looked very human, and while he got second place, he wasn't the same Ken who rolled over opponents by $50,000 an episode during the summer.