Skip to main content

Jeopardy Finish Proves We're Already Soft


Have we become that soft? Seriously, how soft have we become as a nation? Have we become this (!) soft? 

The recent backlash over "mispelled-badly-gate" and how Alex Trebek apparently handled the situation insensitively is beyond absurd. Yes, BEYOND absurd! I don't know Trebek personally, so to say he's insensitive or for lack of a better word, a jerk, is beyond my reasoning or understanding in this scenario. 

I can understand how many would think so, but come on, how else would a person with all of the answers look on a very tough show like Jeopardy? Just like in school no one liked the smart kid or Monopoly no one liked the bank dealer, the guy in the room with all of the answers promptly letting you know as you get them wrong or stumble over yourself is going to be perceived like that. No matter how great of a person he is.

Nevertheless, Trebek has been in the role for years, and at this point, he is what he is. And I know DP devotees are probably pointing to my position as being a big fan of Jeopardy, as it is indeed a personal favorite game show (hello future Pondering 10 topic!), but my fandom has no bearing on my feelings in this situation.

The kid misspelled the answer, and Trebek gave him the truth, period.


But of course, in a world where personal accountability and responsibility is falling by the wayside at every turn, the kid is now claiming "he was cheated". And yes, of course, there is a contingent that agrees. 

We've become such an entitled society. 

Never mind the mere fact that the game was already in hand. Let's ignore the vital fact that he did indeed misspell the final answer, a clear violation of the rules. In this world of everyone wins; of handing out trophies to everyone for participating; of blurring the lines between dealing with adversity in life and societal issues...and of course the newest taboo reason, bullying; this situation fits right in. 

When do we stop looking to make every situation into an anti-establishment, us-against-the-synidicate situation? When do we begin taking responsibility for ourselves and the situation? When is it just our fault?

Heck, we live in a generation that is afraid to put a "dislike" button on Facebook! A dislike button would surely solve a personal peeve of mine - the selfie. But I digress.

Let me tell you a story (don't worry, it's short and relative). I once was in a spelling bee in 3rd grade. The moderator gave me the word "Parakeet". Of course, the woman was from Staten Island with a thick accent and until this day I swear she said, "Parraaateeet". Even when I asked for her to repeat it, it was the same oddly sounding word. So not knowing what the heck the real word was, I spelled the compromising, totally made up word of "P-A-R-R-O-T-K-E-E-T". Yes, in my third grade logic, this completely made sense, especially in front of the whole school. So, maybe I should have asked for it's place of origin like those smarty pants kids do on ESPN. Whatever. 

Either way, I felt screwed over. You know what I got? A nice embarrassing walk off stage to watch the rest of the school's spelling bee front row. A big lesson in being prepared, competing, asking questions, and of course, dealing with an unfair circumstance all in one experience. As tough as this may sound to teach a child, life isn't fair, and it's a vital lesson for every child to learn that at some point. An opportunity to deal with adversity, WITH accountability and responsibility. Not entitlement.

Learning to lose is just as important as preparing to win. And unfortunately, we're becoming a nation so concerned and afraid to hurt feelings because of the "S" word that we are leaving our youth unequipped to handle situations of affliction. A void that some can argue attributes to you know...the "S" word.

After that situation, I learned a valuable lesson about being poised in certain situations, and yes, being prepared to spell the word "Parakeet". I never - EVER - misspelled it again. 

Whatever happens from here regarding "Misspelled-Badly-Gate", I bet this kid won't misspell "Emancipation"for the rest of his life as well. 

Alex Trebek might be a jerk in the eyes of some, but no one can deny that he just changed that kid's life for the better.

Recently Read Posts

Sante Fe Thoughts, and More Tired Thoughts on School Shootings

It was too similar to Columbine for me. I still remember as a 13 year old staying home from school sick, then suddenly finding my being sobering up on all illnesses watching in horror that unfolded in Colorado. 
Yesterday, I was home from work, and thus did the same thing. Glued to the couch. Flipping between channels. Refreshing my Twitter feed. Trying to find out details in horror. Once again shocked, angered, frustrated, and saddened. 
We now live in an America where 22 school shootings have occurred in 2018 - a calendar year still young in it's existence. Seriously, let that sink in. And if it take a moment to wrap your head around it, that's because its absurd, and it's also so engrained in our culture, in our everyday realm of societal possibility. School shootings? Wow - unbelievable.

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 5/20/18

3 Up
1. JJ Watt - Watt is just a stand-up guy. No other way to say it. An athlete that embraces the city he plays in, in times of good, and when he is needed. Paying for the funerals of all of the victims in the latest school shooting is just another example of the kind of dude Watt really is. So much props. 
2. Sante Fe Admins - So many times in these shootings, the efforts and bravery of the many who help to keep students safe, calm, and diffuse the situation often goes without praise and notice. Once again, much love and praise to those who did so once again. And yes, to those who lost their lives doing so as well. 
3. Las Vegas Golden Knights - In their inaugural season, the Golden Knights are in the Stanley Cup Finals, and quite frankly, could possibly win the whole damn thing. It's so impressive, and speaks to the parity of the NHL. But really, if you're a fan of a team currently in a drought (say, like my New York Knicks?), this run is absolutely remarkable. 
3 Down
1. S…

The Pondering 10 - Issues/Annoyances with College Basketball Product

Following the month of March and all of the madness that comes with it during the NCAA Tournament, the product that is college basketball has been an issue. It is no secret to most, and to the very denial of die hard college basketball fans, the overall quality has taken a step back. Recently, College basketball ambassador and analyst, Jay Bilas, gave his honest opinion on the state of college basketball, and believes it has been poor the last three seasons. As a fan of the overall sport, I do watch college basketball, but am more invested and interested in the NBA. After receiving much backlash on twitter and here at the DP, I've decided to turn my reasoning for not being interested in the college product into the latest Pondering 10 list.

The Pondering 10 - Favorite MLB Uniforms

Unlike most sports, baseball uniforms carry a lot of tradition and history. It's rare that you see baseball teams deviate away from the history of a club, and if they do, it's usually an ownership change. For the most part, in baseball, the uniforms are sacred. Because of that, Major League Baseball has many teams with uniforms that are very, very significant, and also, very stylish. As we did for the NFL (Pondering 10 - Favorite NFL Uniforms), the following Pondering 10 will take a look at my favorite MLB uniforms.