Musings of Maestro R: Jeopardy Looms

(By Richard A. Rampello)

For those that are unaware, "Jeopardy!" held its annual contestant test of 2015, April 14 through April 16. And the sidebar answer is "yes," for the question of “That’s still on”? Alex Trebek is now over 70 (74), occasionally brings back the moustache and still has that the killer French accent that helped him hawk Rosetta Stone.

It is has modernized its board, while its budget puts the help in some fun areas (recently Easter Island), and they still dip into the sporting world, tending to stay on the surface, although they dip deep into the literary world. Well, for those that dost not pore enough of the said material.

So one dived deeper into this realm of trivia madness, albeit not with trivial intentions, given my student loans (myriad graduate students find their way onto the show) and desire to acquire necessary items and remit bill payments.

However, this is a site of sporting proportions. And yes, Shakespeare would cringe, I am sure. Or maybe Chaucer would, as History confounds itself often. History also repeats, so after a five-year absence "Celebrity Jeopardy!" is being reborn, much like the Aramaic writing on my right arm that reads, from the right, the same. One celebrity taped for the May bits was of Aaron Rodgers; Mr. Twelve, you know, the one still irked at Mr. Eight, Ryan Braun.

Naturally, the mind progresses to how he may fare. Well, based on his penultimate results, he is due to win one game, and his field general prowess suggests he is always a threat. He should do well, as he is so superb, often superior, likely because he surveys and processes in chunks, and does so lickety-split. Embarrassed as I should be, I am more impressed that I used such a cartoonish compound word. After all, he told us to R-E-L-A-X. Well, not me, because I am not a Packers fan, but if he is not prophetic and sage-like, he guesses really well with an undeniable flare of confidence, which can be a key to the show. You must trust yourself first, and allow others to believe what you are selling.

On my test, there was one sports question, that being the name of Cardale Jones, as part of the answer in his leading role as quarterback for the 2015 Playoff winner, the question being Ohio State. Are they are what or a who, though? It did not matter, given that in the 15 seconds allotted per question, phrasing as such was not required. Quite frankly, you could not type the answer if they did.

What I take from this is quite simply that quarterbacks are insanely recognizable across all platforms. And it makes sense, we remember the presidents, not the guys that take over if something goes wrong. Furthermore, the second is command is often the most popular guy in town, unless you are in politics, or play for the team in D.C. currently, although Washingtonians, Marylanders and Virginians, et al, need a little patience with that. When you rush, often you slow the process via errors created and the need to revise. My mother-in-law always states “haste makes waste.”

Also learned was the complaint of not having enough time, which is not as egregious as thought on a timed show that is normally performed orally, but, and there is always at least one, the hurtful part was in finding the answers. Participants post on the Facebook page in response to the questions from the test taken that night, which are always made available, and my how smug people can be; especially if you did not flourish in the same capacity, prompting a question of who is Aaron Rodgers? This in response to the posited reply of this QB of GB makes you comforted as you try to R-E-L-A-X. But it is so much better than this former Patriot seemed to return to revolutionary times, fitting in on the grassy knoll that sparked the “shot heard ‘round the world.”

The question is, of course, who is Aaron Hernandez? The dichotomy of Aaron's, I guess, which a third has a dog as its mascot and/or logo, which creates a six degrees of separation with Michael Vick. Listen, I am not intending to make light of Aaron Hernandez’s plight, as he is spending the rest of his life in prison, sans the possibility of parole. Seemingly worse yet are that his legal woes are not done, as he is facing additional charges for no longer ulterior cases.

To surmise, sports and trivia have long been a lovely bond, well known, although "Jeopardy!" often dumbs down the sporting world. Or maybe it is just my love of athletics, particularly professional, that makes the answers proposed for a question seem on the surface? Hemingway delved into rhino hunting, albeit as much as a metaphor as the actual sport, another typical use of sports.

Sports can be entertainment, but they differ; the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network supports just that theory. I just don’t think "Jeopardy!" will request I write answers for their questions anytime soon.

Richard A. Rampello is the author of the column Musings of Maestro R.

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