Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ohio State destroyed by SEC speed in Jeopardy College Championship.

I Lost on Jeopardy
You brought shame and disgrace to your family name for generations to come!
You don't get to come back tomorrow. You don't even get a lousy copy of our
home game... You're a complete loser!
6 May 2009
Los Angeles, CA

Jennifer Cho, clad in a Scarlet and Grey hoodie, stared down at her empty blue screen as the iconic tympani echoed its final 'dum-dum.'

"Honestly," Jennifer huffed after her loss, "who knows the name of President Polk's Postmaster General?"

Apparently SEC students do. Both Cho's competitors, representing Florida and LSU, respectively, showed correct Final Jeopardy! questions of "Who is Cave Johnson*?" dashing Buckeye championship hopes yet again.

Cho's Final Jeopardy failure was symptomatic of problems plaguing the freshman throughout her game. An incorrect question of "Who is Frido Kahla?" (the artist's name being Frida Kahlo) put Cho in the red early. By the time Alex Trebek paused for the first commercial, Cho was $1200 in the hole. It was a setback from which the English major never fully recovered.

"It's a lot of pressure, trying to win a championship for The Ohio State University," Cho said after the loss. "I got flustered is all."

Brit Harlan, ESPN's College Jeopardy analyst, has a differing opinion as to why Cho lost the match. He wrote on his blog that "SEC speed was just too much for Cho...You watch the tape of [Florida student James] McDaniel and [LSU student Alexandira] Stubbs -- they hit that signal button with explosive speed. Cho was forced into catch-up mode from the very start."

Allen Staley, covering the College Championship for Fox Sports, pointed to historic differences in Quiz Show stratagem between the two conferences. "That Big 10-style game was Cho's downfall," he said via conference call. "She had control of the board at a few key points, and instead of hunting down Daily Doubles to score quick, she went top down, column by column. That classic 'five questions and a cloud of dust' style is antiquated against quick scoring SEC students. I'm amazed she even made it to Final Jeopardy!"

But make it Cho did. Even though her erroneous answer of "Who is [blank blue screen]?" dropped her back to nil, Ohio State faithful tried to put a good face on the effort

Stanley Gardner, head shaved and face painted scarlet and grey for the taping, forced a smile.

"Just to play for the prize is a big accomplishment," he sighed, deflation betraying his mood. But the sulk passed, and soon Stanley's painted face lit up. "Heard we recruited a dynamite Biochem Major, though. Next year we're gonna kill in mean Jeopardy!"

As to whether incoming wunderkind will bring home championships or empty hands - only time (and change) will (surely) show.

*Arguably the most badass name for a presidential cabinet member ever [aside from president Madison's VP George Clinton, who, according to historical sources, "tore the roof off the mother."]

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