Therapeutic Thursday Rundown

Tough times for our country. Yesterday was a lot to digest and I wasn’t interested in writing nor did I think it was appropriate to do so. Tonight I am writing because it is offering me some therapeutic relief and because I believe some people might want to read something that is on the lighter side. Here is my first Thursday Rundown of 2021…

Wrong – It just happened yesterday, but there are already enough articulate and passionate condemnations to keep someone busy for multiple lifetimes. Because I can’t really add anything else of unique value, let me say this about the storming of the U.S. Capitol Building: It was wrong. It was also very troubling and sickening. But at its very core it was just plain wrong. What else can I say?

My Favorite Christmas Gift – Chalk it up to my wife for once again finding me the perfect Christmas present. She gifted me a lap desk! For anyone who likes to write with pen and paper (like me) while relaxing on the couch, a lap desk is a must. These days they are more popular than ever with so many people working from home. Yes, they are perfect to rest your lap top on! Don’t worry Sid, this gift is going to get a lot of use.

I love this lap desk that Sid got me for Christmas.

The Best Birthday Gift – If you are ever in a bind for a birthday gift, consider sticking some scratch offs in a card. I wrote that last sentence one year ago when I described my go-to envelope stuffer. You see, scratch offs are perfect for men and women, they don’t need to be wrapped, and they are readily attainable at any local gas station or grocery store. Need more evidence for why they are so great? Read my blog post from Jan. 7, 2020.

Scratch offs make great birthday gifts

Bets on the Next Host – It looks like the guy I was pulling for to replace Alex Trebek won’t get the opportunity—at least not permanently. Ken Jennings was a favorite to take over hosting duties on Jeopardy but a couple of social media controversies might have squashed his ambitions. Although he will still guest host, the gig will likely go to a bigger name with a news background. Katie Couric is reportedly a legitimate candidate for the coveted position. This L.A. Times article does a good job of speculating about other candidates and explaining why Jennings won’t get the job.

Ken Jennings is a very, very smart man but most likely won’t be landing the Jeopardy hosting gig (photo courtesy of USA Today).

Holiday Wrap Up – We were blessed to safely spend the holidays with Sid’s family. Although we hosted her parents in October, Sidney had not seen her sisters and their spouses/kids for seven months; for me, nine months. Most of our time was spent catching up and playing board games. We made some great memories and ate some really good food. I am extremely thankful for my Myrtle Beach family.

The cousins had plenty of time to hang out at the end of December and start of January.


Please pray for peace. Thanks for reading what has been a therapeutic exercise for me. Don’t Blink.

The Man in My Living Room: Alex Trebek

If you have read Don’t Blink for even the shortest amount of time, you know that my wife and I are diehard Jeopardy fans. For most of our years as a couple, the show was a consistent part of our nightly routine. We literally kept score.

But my fandom for Jeopardy stretches back pre-Sidney. I watched it with my college roommate nightly in our dorm room. Growing up, my family would tune in multiple times per week. Our favorite computer game for our clunky desktop was Jeopardy. We had flash cards.

What made Jeopardy so endearing was its consistency. You had the structure, you had the theme music, and you had Johnny Gilbert. But of course the undisputed anchor piece—the glue that made the show a smashing success—was Alex Trebek.

RIP Alex Trebek

Waking up to the news yesterday morning that he had passed was not surprising but it was sad. A force who had been a part of my life for three decades, albeit from my television screen, was gone. Say what you will about having a connection with someone you had never actually met, Alex was in all of the numerous living rooms I have called home over my years on this planet. He really was like a houseguest.

I admired Alex Trebek because he was fair. The man hosted a hit game show with skill, accuracy, and diplomacy. There was never any doubt that a contestant would get a fair shake or that a round would go off without a hitch. He never showed bias and he took his personal integrity seriously. Because of this, Jeopardy was a game that could be enjoyed and trusted by everyone. He was the ultimate impartial referee.

Another redeeming trait of Alex’s that I respected was his dry sense of humor. Whether it was during his interviews with contestants or his quips between clues, Trebek never ceased to amaze me with his wittiness. He had a true knack for not missing a beat. It always came across as genuine, sly, and hilarious.

But I think maybe his best quality was his tenderness. Because of pop culture portrayals, Alex Trebek might be classified by some as an ultra serious, deadpan brainiac with a robotic personality. But for those of us who watched him regularly, we knew there was much more to him than an SNL parody or a cameo on “Jury Duty.” Alex was appreciative, compassionate, and authentic—all qualities that were evident as he interacted with contestants and viewers at home.

Jeopardy will never be the same. Hopefully Ken Jennings will be the new host and he will add his touch to the show, but there is simply no replacing the person who dealt out clues for the past 37 years.

I’ll take, I miss you for $1,000, Alex. Don’t Blink.

Turquoise Thursday Rundown

Happy belated birthday to my brother. Glen turned 31 years old yesterday and I hope he enjoys his “Baskin-Robbins” year. In honor of his constant suggestion that I keep all my blog posts as brief as possible, I will try to breeze through this Thursday Rundown…

Sunset – There is nothing better than a Spokane sunset…well, actually there is…but I digress. I chased the sun on the interstate this past Saturday on my way home. Although I never caught up to it, I did snap this photo.

This was a pretty cool sight.

Golf Adventure – I played for the first time at a Liberty Lake golf course over the weekend. My dad, brother, his fiancée, and myself hit the links at MeadowWood Golf Course, a site located 18 miles east of Spokane. I found it to be a rather difficult course with a ridiculously long 16th hole par 5 but it made for a fun afternoon. My dad bested Glen by one stroke to win. Don’t ask about my score.

Posing for a photo during our round of golf at MeadowWood Golf Course.

TikTok Creativity – People like me who spend too much time on TikTok can rejoice. Facing a ban in the United States, a last-minute deal was made to save the insanely popular app. Speaking of TikTok, I love the creativity coming out of our account at Washington State University (@WSUPullman). One of our social media interns, Chloe, is creating content that even has our biggest trolls recognizing its creativity. Her recent hit was a play on the #GhostPhotoShoot trend. Check it out.

The ghost in this photo shoot is a stuffed Butch.

Jeopardy – The 37th season of Jeopardy looks different. The set has been updated, the contestants are physically distanced, and Ken Jennings has a role. Sadly, Sid and I aren’t the obsessed viewers we once were. Our cross country move, the coronavirus, and lack of cable have all contributed to the decline of our nightly habit of watching Jeopardy. On this date two years ago, I wrote about how Sid and I documented our competitive rivalry by actively keeping a running tally of who performed better during each show. We “kept score” for close to 200 different games. Will we ever return to our intense Jeopardy rivalry? You never know.

A page of our spiral notebook that displays some of our early games.

Punctuation Day – We celebrate National Punctuation Day today so everyone who uses the marks (f!@#$%^) to cover up their bad words can rejoice. Nah, I am actually thinking more about the people who use punctuation for its intended purpose—like me! Whether it be my day job or with this blog, punctuation is extremely important. But let me give a special shoutout to all the copy editors who are punctuation masters and save the butts of so many.

Happy Punctuation Day!


Usually I remark about how quickly the week goes by but, to be honest, this week seems to be dragging a bit. As you can imagine, I am ready for the weekend. Please pray for an end to the coronavirus. Don’t Blink.

The End of James Holzhauer’s Run

You wouldn’t see a tear rolling down my cheek last night.

After 32 victories, Jeopardy champion and early summer pop culture icon James Holzhauer was defeated by a Chicago librarian. I took satisfaction knowing that not only did James fall far short of Ken Jennings’ record winning streak (74 games) but that he narrowly missed breaking Jennings’ record for total winnings ($2.52 million). Sorry James, you will just have to deal with your measly $2.46 million.

Former Jeopardy champ James Holzhauer is not my favorite contestant.

I admit it, dominant Jeopardy champions don’t usually win favor with me. Although I did pull for Jennings, I openly rooted against champs such as Austin Rogers, Buzzy Cohen, and Arthur Chu. Perhaps it is mostly jealousy, but some of these players do bring with them an air of arrogance that I don’t particularly care for. James seemed to embrace a nonchalant, “I don’t care/I’m bored” attitude that rubbed me the wrong way. But my ire could very well be misplaced, because there was no doubt that Alex Trebek loved him.

Nonetheless, I am glad he is gone. I respected his skills with the buzzer and his robotic-like knowledge of geography (and every other subject) but I was less impressed with his specific bets and needless commentary he slipped in between clues.

But maybe I should be celebrating something other than James’ downfall. As a diehard Jeopardy fan, I could show my true colors better by rejoicing in the way last night’s game was played as opposed to basking in who lost. Did you know that every single clue offered in the Jeopardy round was answered correctly? Then, in the Double Jeopardy round, only ONE clue was answered incorrectly. In Final Jeopardy, all three contestants got it right. You won’t watch a Jeopardy game much more beautiful than that.

Last night’s game was about as good as it gets. These three contestants put on a show.

It goes without saying that a game played to that level of perfection was needed to beat James. It also was absolutely crucial that his opponents controlled the board and gobbled up the Daily Doubles, especially the ones in Double Jeopardy. After weeks of slapping the couch in frustration and watching boring runaway game after boring runaway game, the stars finally aligned and the champ was dethroned.

Congratulations (and thank you) to Emma Boettcher. She was poised and focused up on that stage, seemingly unfazed by matching up against a 32-day champion. I hope she wins a couple more games because she deserves it…but by next week I wouldn’t mind a new champion. Now, once and for all, can we go back to playing the Jeopardy board from the top down? Don’t Blink.

Resourceful Thursday Rundown

Sometimes these openings to my Thursday Rundowns seem so awkward. Like, why waste time with small talk? You just want the five topics, right? Well, your wish is my command. Let’s get started with the randomness…

Jeopardy All-Stars – For a Jeopardy nerd like me, the next two weeks should be fun. Alex Trebek has invited the 18 best players in the history of the game to compete in three-person teams. It is called Jeopardy All-Stars and a $1 million dollar prize will be awarded to the winning team. The tournament debuted last night but it was more talk than game play. Interviews, flashbacks, and commercials were in greater abundance than trivia as only one round was played. Hopefully the pace will pick up a bit over the next several days. Oh yeah, Sidney now leads our running Jeopardy competition by a 57-54-11 margin.

A look inside our living room as we watched Jeopardy All-Stars last night.

A Wedding Resource – My sister-in-law recently set a date for her wedding. Circumstances are different for her special day than they were for Sidney and I, but I still sent her the blog post I published that chronicled all the wedding updates I wrote the year leading up to our nuptials. I sent the post yesterday morning and I thoroughly re-read it that night. It brought back so many good memories. It also reminded me how much Sidney, my mother-in-law, and our church did to get us ready for that day. If you or someone you know is getting married (especially a guy) and you want a more realistic/humble timeline than what you might find in a wedding magazine, you might want to check my post out.

On a weekly basis, I documented the progress we made with planning our wedding. (photo courtesy of Nicholas Gore Weddings Photography).

A Delight from @ItsFoodPorn – It has been several months since I shared a tweet from my favorite food account so let’s change that tonight. How perfect do these ice cream cookie sandwiches look? The M&M cookies are beautiful and look like they just came out of the oven. The ice cream fits naturally between the two cookies in a way that you wouldn’t have to worry about making a mess. Of course, I am partial to this type of dessert. My mom used to make cookie ice cream sandwiches for me to take to school on my birthday, always a major hit.

These look delightful.

Wife’s Genealogy – For her birthday, my mom got Sidney a premium 23andMe test. This week, my wife got her results back! She has mostly British and Irish blood but there was one very interesting discovery that we didn’t expect…she is 1% Sub-Saharan African! Thought to enter her genetic makeup 5-8 generations ago, it was a humorous surprise. The test also revealed that her muscle composition is common in elite power athletes (no joke, this is something that 23andMe tests for). Also, because she took the premium test, she was given health information, including conditions she might be predisposed to. Because we have both now taken genealogy tests (I took an Ancestry test in October), we have an idea on Sloan’s genetic makeup.

Sid’s 23andMe results came back this week.

End With Laugh – I came across this Dennis the Menace comic seven years ago and it showed up in my Timehop today. Why not share it, right? I always enjoy reading Dennis the Menace and Family Circus because they both feature funny situations of kids either embarrassing or innocently complicating the lives of their parents. Perhaps I won’t be laughing as much when Sloan gets a few years older and starts doing it to me.

Sorry about the punchline being cropped. It says “Oh sure. We’ll be happy to send you a thousand dollars.”


What’s more awkward than my Thursday Rundown introductions? The endings! Time to put this post out of its misery and sign off. Have a great weekend! Don’t Blink.

Keeping Score

Throughout the years, I have devoted numerous Don’t Blink blog posts to Jeopardy. I can’t begin to estimate how many episodes of the game show I have watched in my life. The program is addictive to me. It is a fast-paced 30 minute escape with a basic premise, creative clues, and one hell of a host. What’s not to like?

Well, nothing, according to my wife. Just like me, Sidney loves watching Jeopardy on a nightly basis. I have joked on occasion that we resemble an elderly couple more than a millennial one – the highlight of our evening comes at 7:30 p.m. when Johnny Gilbert proclaims “THIS IS JEOPARDY.”

Sidney loves Jeopardy…and it is starting to grow on Sloan.

Since our dating days, we have made it a point to watch Jeopardy together. We plan dinner and Sloan’s bedtime routine around it. Once it is on, we don’t accept calls from family or concern ourselves with outside distractions. We sit side-by-side, turn the volume up, make sure each other is comfortable, and….


You got that right. We don’t casually watch Jeopardy. Rather, we go head-to-head to be the smartest of the household, putting full effort into blurting out the answer before the other, many times answering before Alex is even halfway done with reading the clue. Yes, disagreements abound. I answered it before you. Judges wouldn’t accept that. You distracted me.

However, the biggest point of contention that would come up on a nightly basis was who performed the best. At the end of the show we would look at each other and argue over “who won” based on who answered the most clues correctly. With no documentation and our own biases, many times both of us would claim victory.

It took us long enough but during the summer we finally put an end to the ambiguity: we started to keep score!

We have finally reached the point where we tally the questions we correctly answer. Sid and I use a red spiral notebook to document our performances. Depending on who is the designated scorekeeper for that episode (we switch off every other night), that person will mark each clue that is correctly answered under the “Sidney” or “Brent” column. After all this time, finally, some clarity.

Sloan holding the infamous red spiral notebook.

Understandably, we have instituted our own rules. There is no penalty for an incorrect answer. All clues are worth one point each (answering a $2,000 clue will get you the same single point as answering a $200 clue). Daily Doubles mean nothing extra except for the fact that one point is on the line. After Double Jeopardy, the score is final, unless there is a tie. At that point, Final Jeopardy will serve as the tiebreaker (if no one answers it correctly, the game ends as a tie).

Thanks to our competitive juices, each night is an intellectual battle in the Reser household. The goal is to win that evening’s Jeopardy episode. However, the nightly episodes are only battles. The war is the all-time series we have set up. At the conclusion of each show, the winner gets a tally mark in his/her overall column. The running total of games won is what the two of us have our hearts set on.

A page of our spiral notebook that displays some of our recent games.

At the moment, I hold an advantage. The current score is 9-6-1. Thus, out of the 16 episodes we have watched since instituting our scoring system, I have come out on top in nine of those shows. Sid, on the other hand, has answered more clues correctly in six episodes. We dueled it out to a draw early on in the series.

If you ever drop by our house during Jeopardy time, we would love to have you play. We will add your name to the spiral notebook and let you compete with us. Just be warned, it gets intense! Don’t Blink.

Past Jeopardy Blog Posts:
My Opinion on Jeopardy Champion Austin Rogers
My Misguided Jeopardy Judging
The Five Things I Hate About Jeopardy
My Disdain for the Current Jeopardy Champion

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.