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Friday, January 17, 2014

Jeopardy! Hall Of Fame Answer Goes Horribly Wrong

354 wins did not overcome the controversy as this ex-Red Sox pitcher didn’t make the Hall of Fame cut in 2013. Who is Mark McGwire? (Trebek snorts mockingly.)

The other contestants responded with “Who is Pete Rose?” and “Who is Curt Schilling?” Hey, at least one of those guys was an ex-Red Sox pitcher. Or a pitcher at all! [WABC]

I lost on Jeopardy, baby…

plim Posted: January 17, 2014 at 04:53 PM | 140 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, steroids

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   101. McCoy Posted: January 19, 2014 at 11:01 AM (#4641820)
Some of them might. I question the assumption that every single poor person does it for Correct and Approved Reasons, and that they aren't every bit as capable of simply aping trends as middle class suburbanites. I also think copying trends is part of being human, just like showing off, and doesn't really make someone a ####### #######.

I agree with. As I stated before I think the #1 reason it is is done is because it is a meaningless fashion trend.
   102. Answer Guy Posted: January 19, 2014 at 11:03 AM (#4641822)
I think you mean applicant, because its obvious they are intentionally creating a diverse contestant group. I saw 2 people from my audition group of 20 on the show. The audition group itself was 80% what I think you mean when you say "stereotypical".


I was also throwing occupation/profession and geographic location in there, which aren't (directly) correlated with appearance but yeah.

I've noticed some contestants earlier this season who were fairly obviously (to me at least) gay men, so I guess I've got that..but I'm not particularly demonstrative in that department.

   103. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 19, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4641857)
Monarchs: Mary, Queen of Scots
   104. OsunaSakata Posted: January 19, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4641908)
The woman who was the champion came back Friday night and got the last names for two sports sibling clues: coaching brothers Jim and John and hockey greats Maurice and Henri.
   105. T.J. Posted: January 19, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4641959)
Career: FaRVe
Shoot me now. McGuire, Ripkin...
   106. Bull Pain Posted: January 19, 2014 at 06:44 PM (#4642072)
The woman who was the champion came back Friday night and got the last names for two sports sibling clues: coaching brothers Jim and John and hockey greats Maurice and Henri.


Her knowing the Richard brothers yet guessing McGwire instead of Clemens was not something I was expecting. She must have some Canadian blood.
   107. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 19, 2014 at 08:07 PM (#4642151)
BTW, if anyone wants to see a recap of any Jeopardy games, this is a great site.

http://j-archive.com/

I'm season #20, games #4475, #4486-89 if you're interested.
   108. McCoy Posted: January 19, 2014 at 09:01 PM (#4642204)
No.
   109. EddieA Posted: January 19, 2014 at 10:32 PM (#4642340)
Snapper is a superstar! Great job.

As others have commented, the "horribly wrong" headline is a bit hyperbolic. Until 2 years ago, Rose and McGwire were the 2 most famous Hall of Fame snubs, particularly to casual fans. Jeopardy! couldn't have made a full category of HOF snubs as I think Rose, McGwire, Maris, and Shoeless Joe comprised the entire list of famous omissions.

Interestingly, I was reading a 2008 Ken Jennings trivia book that had a mistake regarding the HOF. The question was "Who's the only eligible back-to-back MVP not enshrined in the baseball Hall of Fame?". The answer given was Roger Maris, which means the other person couldn't even get listed in a trivia book.

   110. McCoy Posted: January 19, 2014 at 10:39 PM (#4642354)
Gil Hodges and Ron Santo could have been a question as well.
   111. EddieA Posted: January 19, 2014 at 11:15 PM (#4642422)
Santo and Hodges are probably too esoteric for Jeopardy.
From that j-archive link, the search function can't find any mention of Ron Santo (or Dale Murphy) clues or answers. There was one where Gil Hodges was the question/answer (7/14/90, category "The Dodgers") and another where he was used as part of the clue for Jackie Robinson. Didn't know there was a bridge named for him in Brooklyn. Also didn't know there were any Jeopardy games with 4 players.
   112. God Posted: January 20, 2014 at 03:23 AM (#4642471)
As others have commented, the "horribly wrong" headline is a bit hyperbolic.


I tend to agree with this. I mean, it's easy to LOL at their answers, but then again, two of them did guess famous Hall of Fame snubs, and the other one guessed an actual Red Sox pitcher.
   113. bjhanke Posted: January 20, 2014 at 06:02 AM (#4642479)
I feel stupid, but now I'm obsessing - What is "Learned League?" I've never heard the term before.

Also, when I read the question, it took me forever to get to Clemens instead of players who never played for the BoSox. However, even though I don't follow hockey at all, I would have gotten the Richards. Henri is just too famous, if you do any sports at all. - Brock Hanke
   114. OsunaSakata Posted: January 20, 2014 at 06:29 AM (#4642481)
I feel stupid, but now I'm obsessing - What is "Learned League?" I've never heard the term before.


http://www.learnedleague.com/
   115. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: January 20, 2014 at 07:31 AM (#4642485)
As long as you haven't appeared on the show, you're free to keep reapplying.


St. Louis is as close as they've come to my area. Last time I looked -- admittedly a few years -- they haven't come back. I'm not financially able to make a longer trip than that.

They're screening for how they think you'll look on TV in addition to how well you know the material, right?


I don't mean to sound like an ass, but I don't think I have to worry about how I look -- at least then I didn't, six years younger and far less anxious and edgy a person. How I sound, however, was probably the deal-breaker if it came to that. My accent is god-awful, and I can't pull off an affected, better, neutral accent very well even under relaxed conditions, much less while committing most of my brain to answering jeopardy questions so I didn't even try.
   116. bjhanke Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:10 AM (#4642540)
Osuna - Thanks! - Brock Hanke
   117. Answer Guy Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4642621)
Her knowing the Richard brothers yet guessing McGwire instead of Clemens was not something I was expecting. She must have some Canadian blood.


She's from Ann Arbor, and there's a Harbaugh connection to Michigan. That could explain the hockey knowledge as well. But the that she knows something about sports makes it even weirder she'd guess something that far off on a baseball question.

Sadly, I was too cheap and cash-strapped to opt for Commissioner's Circle status, or else you could all be Answer Guy's Learned League referrals, so I have but two per season.
   118. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:54 PM (#4642626)

None of the three answers was horribly wrong, and Schilling was actually a good guess. Disappointing that *none* of the three got it right, but not that surprising to me.
   119. EddieA Posted: January 20, 2014 at 02:00 PM (#4642678)
An admittedly incomplete and approximate ranking of baseball players by mentions in clues and correct answers and incorrect responses from the j-archive:

Ruth - 101
Jackie Robinson - 53
Dimaggio - 49
Aaron - 47
Cobb - 35
McGwire - 33
Rose - 33
Mantle - 31
Mays - 28
Maris - 25
Ryan - 25
Ripken - 23
Reggie Jackson - 23
Ted Williams - 23
Jeter - 21
Griffey - 18
ARod - 17
Barry Bonds - 16
Randy Johnson - 16
Sosa - 16
Piazza - 16
Musial - 13
Bench - 13
Rickey - 12
Schilling - 12
Gwynn - 11
Valenzuela - 9
Canseco - 7
Garvey - 6
YAZ - 6
Schmidt - 6
Puckett - 4
Maddux - 4
Walter Johnson - 3
McCovey - 3
Ozzie - 3
Pujols - 3
Chipper - 3
Cabrera - 2
Glavine - 2
Frank Thomas - 2
Biggio - 2
Bagwell - 1
Bobby Bonds - 1
Trout - 1


   120. Mike A Posted: January 20, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4642680)
A friend of mine (smart guy, Harvard grad) from my old trivia team passed the test, got on the show...and promptly ran into Ken Jennings.

He said the tough part was even if you knew the answer, Jennings had the buzzer down to a science and it was very difficult to get in before him. Still, he put up a good fight and with a little luck on the DD would have had a puncher's chance. I told him there's no shame in losing to the Babe Ruth of Jeopardy.
   121. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 20, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4642710)
He said the tough part was even if you knew the answer, Jennings had the buzzer down to a science and it was very difficult to get in before him.

He literally built a buzzer at home to practice with.

The buzzer timing is the most unfair thing to me about Jeopardy. If you can get in sync with the guy arming the buzzers, you have a huge advantage. All 3 contestants probably know 50% of the answers.

They should return to the old way where you could ring in as soon as you know the answer, just hold the result until the question is read.
   122. EddieA Posted: January 20, 2014 at 04:17 PM (#4642754)
The computer winning the buzzer every time is what made the Watson event a mockery. Numerous contestants would always win if they were guaranteed the response every time they knew the answer. For fair competition, Watson's response timing would have had to be made random in the good to excellent range instead of electronically perfect.
   123. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 20, 2014 at 05:09 PM (#4642788)
I told him there's no shame in losing to the Babe Ruth of Jeopardy.


Jeopardy should invite back those people that got run over by Jennings. There could easily be a couple of 5-time champs in there (148 contestants), if they didn't play against him.


   124. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 20, 2014 at 05:12 PM (#4642792)
They should return to the old way where you could ring in as soon as you know the answer, just hold the result until the question is read.


The problem with that method is that it gives the player more time to think of the answer after they've buzzed in.
It would come down to people just buzzing in the moment they see the question revealed, and then taking that time (plus the normal time) to come up with the answer.
   125. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 20, 2014 at 05:17 PM (#4642802)
The computer winning the buzzer every time is what made the Watson event a mockery. Numerous contestants would always win if they were guaranteed the response every time they knew the answer. For fair competition, Watson's response timing would have had to be made random in the good to excellent range instead of electronically perfect.

I played against Watson (during the development phase). It's not instantaneous. Some questions it actually has to think about.

I don't view it as a mockery at all. But for the most complicated questions, Watson is simply better than any human. It's a tremendous achievement by IBM.
   126. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 20, 2014 at 05:20 PM (#4642804)
The problem with that method is that it gives the player more time to think of the answer after they've buzzed in.
It would come down to people just buzzing in the moment they see the question revealed, and then taking that time (plus the normal time) to come up with the answer.


You'd have to be really, really good to pull that off.

Alternatively, they should build a random lag into the buzzer arming so that it is impossible to time. That way, any contestant that knew the question would have an equal chance of getting to answer it.
   127. EddieA Posted: January 20, 2014 at 05:35 PM (#4642810)
I don't think Watson is a mockery, but I thought the games were. I thought Watson won the buzzer on every one of the clues that all 3 contestants knew during the reading, which was probably most of them, and therefore concluded that its buzzer was perfectly timed with buzzer arming.
This Christmas, I got the 25th anniversary Jeopardy home game from 1990 (it cost $2 at a yard sale). The clues are on a small board and are probably just a little more than 2 square inches in size. We had to institute the no ringing in until the clue was read rule because not all contestants could see the clues equally well, and in my case not at all.
   128. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 20, 2014 at 08:37 PM (#4642877)
I don't think Watson is a mockery, but I thought the games were. I thought Watson won the buzzer on every one of the clues that all 3 contestants knew during the reading, which was probably most of them, and therefore concluded that its buzzer was perfectly timed with buzzer arming.

You just described perfectly how Jennings won all those shows.
   129. PreservedFish Posted: January 21, 2014 at 12:19 AM (#4642956)
Yeah, but Jennings is a human!

Watson is amazing - it's like building a robot that can play basketball with Jordan and LeBron. Really impressive. But adding the buzzing superiority is like also making that basketball robot 12 feet tell. Just makes the contest silly.

Also, I didn't watch Jennings all that much but I do remember he had some other advantages, like that he was smartly aggressive on the daily doubles.
   130. EddieA Posted: January 21, 2014 at 02:56 AM (#4642986)
Major omission in 119

Lou Gehrig - 51, counting the whole category tonight. A +5 can really move a guy up the rankings!

I've learned a lot in this thread - don't believe intentionally trying to score less than 91% on a test or acting overtly effeminate in audition would help get one of us on the show. It seems like an acting audition, you're trying out for any role but you're only appropriate for so many and the applicant pool for those roles is large. My daughter suggested I become a Brazilian martial arts expert to stand out. Another thing that probably won't happen.

Since snapper describes Jenning's buzzer success as a kind of athletic feat I'd certainly figure out how to practice that if I ever got the call, in addition to looking at the j-archive.

Learned league sounds good and kinda felt rejected reading about invitation required as some posters anticipated.
   131. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: January 21, 2014 at 03:10 AM (#4642987)
Also, I didn't watch Jennings all that much but I do remember he had some other advantages, like that he was smartly aggressive on the daily doubles.


He did a lot of bouncing around the board, actively hunting for the daily doubles. I'm not sure how much that actually helped, since his really major advantages were "Being super-smart" and "Having a lot more experience with the buzzer than his opponents." But there's probably something to be said for keeping his opponents from getting into a groove by just going straight down the categories like everyone else.
   132. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 21, 2014 at 09:18 AM (#4643019)
He did a lot of bouncing around the board, actively hunting for the daily doubles. I'm not sure how much that actually helped, since his really major advantages were "Being super-smart" and "Having a lot more experience with the buzzer than his opponents." But there's probably something to be said for keeping his opponents from getting into a groove by just going straight down the categories like everyone else.

From my observation, I don't think Jennings was any smarter than a large number of other multiple champions. He didn't particularly dominate the hard questions, but he absolutely owned the easier ones, b/c of his buzzer skill.

Since snapper describes Jenning's buzzer success as a kind of athletic feat I'd certainly figure out how to practice that if I ever got the call, in addition to looking at the j-archive.

No athletic feat, just a ton of practice. He supposedly practiced for like two years with a homemade buzzer while watching the show on TV.
   133. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: January 21, 2014 at 09:26 AM (#4643020)
How does the buzzer activation on the show work? Is it a guy sitting there who arms the buzzer exactly .5 seconds after Alex is done reading the question? Some automated voice activated microphone that senses when the question is done? Timed based on how many syllables are in the question and started when the question first shows up?
   134. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 21, 2014 at 09:34 AM (#4643024)
How does the buzzer activation on the show work? Is it a guy sitting there who arms the buzzer exactly .5 seconds after Alex is done reading the question? Some automated voice activated microphone that senses when the question is done? Timed based on how many syllables are in the question and started when the question first shows up?

There's a guy who literally waits for Alex to finish speaking, and then pushes the "arming" switch. So, there's a lag based on his reaction time.

If you buzz before he arms it, you get locked out for like a second, and can't buzz back in.
   135. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: January 21, 2014 at 09:38 AM (#4643028)
So how the heck does a home-built buzzer help someone train?
   136. Greg K Posted: January 21, 2014 at 09:49 AM (#4643035)
I love trivia, but am terrible at thinking quickly (which is one of the reasons I can never play real-time games, only turn based). I'd much rather watch a group of people play Trivial Pursuit on TV than Jeopardy. Though I suppose that would put me in a minority.

Of course, QI is the true Platonic ideal of TV Quiz Show.
   137. Rants Mulliniks Posted: January 21, 2014 at 09:55 AM (#4643042)
I've taken the online test twice, and got around 40-45 out of 50 each time. Never heard boo.
   138. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 21, 2014 at 10:00 AM (#4643047)
So how the heck does a home-built buzzer help someone train?

I assume you build a rhythm and create muscle memory. I didn't do it myself. I actually consider it a bit unsporting.

But Jennings did, and Russ Schumaker (who beat me in the TOC) did it, so I'm thinking it works.
   139. vivaelpujols Posted: January 21, 2014 at 10:30 AM (#4643077)
I tend to agree with this. I mean, it's easy to LOL at their answers, but then again, two of them did guess famous Hall of Fame snubs, and the other one guessed an actual Red Sox pitcher.


Schilling is a fine guess for someone who doesn't know much about baseball, but answering Mac for a question about a pitcher is flat out dumb. To use Walt's example, I don't know anything about fashion but I do know that Vera Wang designs wedding dresses and not jeans.
   140. Rants Mulliniks Posted: January 21, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4643084)
I don't know anything about fashion but I do know that Vera Wang designs wedding dresses and not jeans.


That's the thing, if you're smart enough to be on Jeopardy there are some things you just can't help but know.
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