So, my good friend LJ takes issue with my recent musings on Ken Jennings . . . .
I have 3 things to say in my defense:
1.) It's not a matter of "playing trivia" at cocktail parties. Some people just have facts for every occasion. I am one of those people. No, not in a bad, dorky, or annoying way. Perhaps slightly dorky, fine. But clearly everyone loves trivia or we wouldn't have Jeopardy to begin with, would we?
2.) The clicker is key. If you pass the qualifying exams to get on the show you know the answers most of the time. If you know the answer, then the key is to get called on first. If you click the clicker before Alex finishes reading the question, the system, as I've been told, "locks" you out just long enough for another contestent to scoop your $$. Ken Jennings has a higher-than-most batting average, of course. But if you watch him play, it's more than knowing the answers. It's the clicker and it's knowing how to play the $$ ranges and bet the daily doubles. This guy is studious. (also, LJ, the clicker reference has a fair amount of Claremont lore associated with it - so you need to just go with me on this one).
3.) You want water, well grab your umbrella kids, because here's the monsoon.
Look, I love cheering for a winner - I'm an American. But I was watching him Friday with my parents over dinner and I said, hey, didn't these people used to hit a cap on the number of consecutive wins? YES. It used to be a 5 day max. Who knows how many Ken Jenningses have never had the chance to be big winners at the Trebeck Casino? So, while I still salute his acheivement, giving him too much credit is like cheering for drug addled/benefitting from crappy pitching expansion teams Barry Bonds. Sure the numbers are high - but it just isn't the same game anymore.
Good luck, Ken. We're all still cheering for you . . . .
Update: No, LJ, I'm not mad. Just clarifying the record . . . . And trivia is very important to me. It's one of my few skills.