T.G.I.T. Thursday Rundown

Buenos Noches mis amigos! It is time for my weekly Don’t Blink tradition…the Thursday Rundown. Here we go with my latest five topics…

Same Shirt, Same Pose – A couple months back in a previous Thursday Rundown, I wrote about wearing the exact same shirt on the same date. I had worn the same black polo on July 6, 2017, that I had worn on July 6, 2016. However, that fashion faux pas was put to complete shame this past Sunday. I wore a multi-colored polo that, thanks to Timehop, I had worn exactly five years prior. Yes, I have clothes in my closet that date back five years that I still wear.

Taste of the Town – On Tuesday night, Sidney and I left Sloan in the loving care of my in-laws and the two of us went out on a date night that has become a tradition for us. For the fourth consecutive year, we attended Taste of the Town, an event where you can sample appetizers, entrees, and desserts from restaurants in the area. This year’s Taste of the Town was the best one yet! We enjoyed delicious food, saw lots of people we knew, and chatted with both of our priests. Ah yes, I forgot to mention, the event is put on by St. Andrew. The major fundraiser for the grade school, I am always so proud to be part of the St. Andrew Catholic community when we go to Taste of the Town just because it is such a well-done event that practically all of Myrtle Beach attends. This year was once again no exception.

Sidney and I at the 2017 Taste of the Town.

The Dethroning of a Jeopardy Champion – Last week, I boldly declared that I would continue to incorporate Jeopardy phenom Austin Rogers into my Thursday Rundowns until he was knocked off. Apparently my declaration was his kiss of death. Just an hour after I published last week’s Rundown, Austin lost to a contestant named Scarlett. I was jumping around the living room with joy as he came up short in Final Jeopardy. Although he grew on me a little bit, I fiercly cheered against him throughout his entire run. Austin, you are incredibly smart and a great Jeopardy player but I am glad I no longer have to see you at 7:30 p.m. each night.

T.G.I.F…what? – Another testament to my advancing age is that apparently college students have no idea what T.G.I.F. is/was. Our Homecoming theme this year plays off of the epic 2-hour block of programming that I looked forward to each Friday during my childhood. However, Monica, my student intern, and her friend, Ethan, had absolutely no idea what T.G.I.F. was other than an acronym for the end of the work week. Other students have admitted to not knowing about ABC’s late 1990s/early 2000s ratings bonanza as well. If T.G.I.F. has indeed completely swept by this generation, perhaps I should just get a walker and retire.

Although Ethan and Monica modeled the TGIF-inspired CCU Homecoming t-shirts, they had no idea what T.G.I.F. was.

Growing, Growing, Growing – Sloan turned 7 months on Tuesday! How did she celebrate? Well, before we dropped her off with Sidney’s parents, she got four shots (poor girl) at the pediatrician’s office. However, she took them like a champ, and was back to grabbing things and clapping her hands in no time. The comment we received the most this week has been she is getting so big! It is true, she is now almost 17 pounds and she seems to be growing right in front of us. She turns 31 weeks tomorrow.

Here is this week’s photo collage of Sloan.

——————–

I hope everyone has a great autumn weekend. Sloan has a photo shoot on Saturday so hopefully I will be sharing some professional photos of our little girl soon. As always, thanks for your support and readership. Don’t Blink.

My Opinion on Jeopardy Champion Austin Rogers

Now that Austin Rogers is a 10-day Jeopardy champion, I feel I can chime in with my thoughts on the way he plays the game and conducts himself. Let me start off by saying that I have watched every episode that Austin has appeared in thus far. I have joked about it before, but Sidney and I watch Jeopardy pretty religiously. In fact, with a 6-month-old and a high fatigue level at the end of the day, watching the show is usually the highlight of our night. But I get off track. All I am really trying to say is that I have become well-acquainted with Austin.

With that said, I hope he loses. You see, I fear that if he continues to win I might actually start to like him.

I am not a big fan of current Jeopardy champion Austin Rogers.

I have cheered against Austin since he was a challenger. Call me a party pooper, but I prefer old school Jeopardy players. Specifically, I root for players who don’t try to make the show all about them. I pull for the players who don’t feel the need to act goofy, crack jokes, offer commentary, and make gestures at the camera. I support the players who don’t try to stand out with what they choose to wear and how they style (or don’t style) their hair. Austin is the quintessential “look at me” Jeopardy contestant. He is the poster boy for the millennial fans of the show.

However, I will say this: Although he tries to act as eccentric as possible, he does have an underlying respect for the game. He treats Alex Trebek and his opponents with decency, a trait that was missing from the last Jeopardy champion I despised.

Besides his wild Daily Double wagering, Austin employs a Jeopardy strategy that is pretty much by the book. He doesn’t jump around the board and isn’t reckless during Final Jeopardy. He capitalizes off his opponents’ mistakes and can comeback from thousands of dollars down in a flash. Too many times I have found myself pounding the pillow after an opponent has opened up a sizeable lead only to see Austin go on a roll and turn the game into a runaway.

I would appreciate his game strategy and talent so much more if it wasn’t for his shenanigans. It is just too much. Or, should I say, for the time being it is too much?…

As I hinted at above, Austin might be growing on me a bit. Perhaps his act is starting to make me smile once or twice per episode. Maybe I am starting to look forward to his mime act during player introductions. There is a chance that lately I haven’t cringed as much during his mid-round interview with Alex.

No! This can’t be happening. Austin, please LOSE. I think tonight is the perfect time to do so. Don’t Blink.

The Five Things I Hate About Jeopardy

About a year ago, I wrote about both my love for Jeopardy as well as my disdain for the current Jeopardy champion at the time. I bring this up solely to illustrate my love for the show. Lately I have found myself watching the program a lot more. Having a job where I don’t work such long hours and dating a girl who also loves the show has contributed to me spending a lot more of my evenings with Alex Trebek.

As I have watched the show more, certain little things have started to get under my skin. Attribute my crankiness to my escalating age but there are some practices and tendencies that frustrate me about Jeopardy. In today’s blog post I want to offer up my top five annoyances with my favorite game show (in no particular order).

Speaking Over Trebek: A few times each show right in the middle of a round, there will be that awkward moment when a contestant will answer a clue and then immediately choose another clue without waiting for Alex to finish talking. Many times Alex will be elaborating on an answer or sometimes he will just be telling the contestant to make a selection but he or she will be too excited to wait. What will result is Alex and the contestant talking at the exact same time. It makes me feel uncomfortable and it ruins the flow of the game.

Contestant Interviews: Speaking of awkward moments, nothing is more embarrassing and cringe-worthy than the interviews/introductions with Alex and the contestants in the middle of the first round. You have to understand, many of the Jeopardy contestants are weird people to begin with. Having them talk to a person who is socially-different as well, like Alex, spells disaster. I hold my breath through all three interviews. Many of them are beyond bad. My suggestion would be to bring out a super model or a high profile sideline reporter to do the quick interviews. It would shake things up a bit, decrease the awkwardness, and give us all something nice to look at.

Leaving One Clue on the Board: I literally yell at the television screen when either the first or second round ends and there is one remaining clue on the board. I mean come on!! Is there really that much of a time crunch to not finish out the board? Make that blue screen look complete and just read the damn clue. The contestants, the people at home, and the people in the audience will all have no idea if the timer expires and there is a single remaining clue. Please producers, refrain from sounding that awful noise signaling the end of the round and let Trebek present the very last question.

Video Clue Categories – The video clue categories in Jeopardy are a complete joke. No one enjoys them. Maybe 20 years ago they were instituted to show that Jeopardy was with the times and savvy with technology but they are completely counterproductive now. All what they do is slow the game down and eat up precious time in the round. I don’t care about the correspondents traveling to exotic places, demonstrating techniques on screen, or trying their best to make the audience laugh…it is the biggest pain ever. I plead with the Jeopardy producers to axe the video categories and leave the clue asking to Alex Trebek.

Jumping All Over the Board – In the post I mentioned above, I complained about the strategy contestants utilize of jumping all over the board, surfing to different categories and random dollar amounts. In the post-Arthur Chu era, this method has become more and more prevalent. I understand that the players who employ this strategy want to find the daily doubles and they want to fight against their opponents getting into a rhythm, but for my own selfish sake I dislike it. My small brain wants the categories to be revealed starting with the $200 clue in one category and continuing in that category through the $1,000 clue. I don’t want the $600 clue in “British Poets Rhyme Time” then the $1,000 clue in “Shakespeare Characters” followed by the $1,000 clue in “Supreme Court Law.” I know this won’t change, but it would help me be more competitive when I am playing against my family and girlfriend.

———-

Jeopardy is a wonderful game show. I have watched it for most of my life. I think my appreciation of the show is evidenced by my willingness to write a whole blog post on the little things that annoy me about it. Out of the five things I mentioned, if there is one change I would love to see implemented it would be the elimination of video clue categories. Maybe they could salvage the jobs of the correspondents who record those clues and have them give the contestant interviews during the show. Don’t Blink.

My Disdain for the Current Jeopardy Champion

Growing up in my family whenever we all happened to be in the house when it came on we all liked to watch “Jeopardy” together. Actually, I should rephrase that. We all liked to compete against each other. When it came to us kids more than once fights broke out about who answered the clue first, who had answered the most clues correctly, and what penalty should be levied for blurting out wrong answers. We went as far as to participate in Final Jeopardy by writing our answers on computer paper and to reveal them as the actual contestants did. Shoot, our parents even bought us a Jeopardy computer game one Christmas. After a couple months it was pretty much useless because we had played it so much that we had all memorized every single answer in the game.

When I went home for Christmas this past December my brother, dad, and I got to reignite our game show rivalry by watching a couple episodes of Jeopardy. With my brother and I now more caught up to my dad’s knowledge it became a contest of out of the three of us who could read the clue at warp speed and spit out the answer before Alex Trebeck could even get out the first couple words. It got intense.

I bring all of this up to illustrate that I am a Jeopardy fan. I mean come on, if you take the time to read Ken Jenning’s book it pretty much goes without saying, right? Well anyway I want to use my Jeopardy loyalty status to serve as my right to weigh in on the newest Jeopardy champion. His name is Arthur Chu and to put it nicely, he is kind of a tool.

Chu is currently a four day champion with over $100k in winnings. After a special “Battle of the Decades” tournament that started this week he will return on February 24 in an attempt to win his fifth straight game and qualify for the champions tournament. As he has dominated the competition over the course of four nights he has gained haters mostly because of his unorthodox play and arrogance.

Chu’s strategy centers on him jumping all over the board selecting random categories and dollar amounts. This gives him a better chance to find the crucial daily doubles while also preventing his opponents from getting into any sort of a rhythm. Chu’s arrogance hinges on him showing apathy on the set and cockiness off it. In the interviews he has given over the past few days he seems about as likeable as Jim Harbaugh.

I don’t like the guy’s style of play for the exact same reason his opponents, Alex Trebek, the producers, and Jeopardy purists don’t like it: unpredictability. His opponents have no idea what clue is coming next, Alex has to search frantically for the note card he must pull, the producers know more editing will need to be done, and Jeopardy purists have a heart attack when the $200 clue in “American Potpourri” is not followed by the $400 clue in “American Potpourri”. Personally it messes with my Jeopardy Mojo when I am playing along as well. I feel smarter when I can answer three or four consecutive clues from a category that I know rather than get iced while Chu takes a tour around the board. I also just hate the sight of a Jeopardy board that has blank clues in the most random spots rather than orderly blanked out columns.

But make no mistake about It, the guy has a sound strategy and it has won him $102,000. I don’t blame him one bit for utilizing a smart and legitimate game plan to win a lot of money. Well done.

But what I can’t tolerate is the less than respectful way he conducts himself on stage. I don’t have as much of an issue with his comments he makes to the media outside of the studio as I do with what he does on set. You can win a lot of money and stand leaps and bounds above the competition while doing so with class. Ken Jennings did it for 74 nights. Arthur Chu couldn’t even do it through the first segment of the first show he appeared on. He acts disinterested and aloof. He has little concern for his opponents. But what I can’t stand the most is his disrespect for the God of game shows, Mr. Alex Trebek. While Chu calls Alex a “national treasure” you would never know it by watching him during the episodes. Besides speaking over Trebek when giving answers he also had a very bush league moment during a daily double clue that he didn’t know. When Trebek asked Chu how much he wanted to wager on a daily double based on a sports category the four time champ responded with $5. Jeopardy purist or not, that is a very disrespectful bet and should anger even the casual Jeopardy viewer. Then, to make matters worse, Chu responded “I don’t know” before Alex could even finish reading the clue. Pure classlessness.

While I don’t like Arthur Chu’s playing style I respect it. However, no one on this planet has the right to disrespect Alex Trebek. On February 24 I hope Chu loses. In fact I hope he suffers a humiliating defeat. For all I care he can end Double Jeopardy with an incorrect answer that will leave him with a negative amount thus disqualifying him from even participating in Final Jeopardy. No one crosses Trebek. Don’t Blink.