Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

MLB game logger wins three straight on Jeopardy

Woo-hoo! This is enough to make Charlie Feeney get a chubby!

Here you thought baseball geeks—which, yes, I admit I’m one—only knew stuff about baseball and our mother’s basement.

Dan McShane, a game logger for MLB productions, is cleaning up on Jeopardy. He won Tuesday night, marking his third consecutive victory—running his total winnings to $40,001. He’s going to be going for a fourth straight win Wednesday night (WestlslipPatch).

According to a Jeopardy fan blog (yes, they evidently have those), McShane took down a six-time defending champion on Friday and there have only been 18 six-time champs—apparently they call those “superchamps”—in the history of the long-running show. So McShane is halfway home to geeky immortality.

Repoz Posted: January 11, 2012 at 01:02 PM | 91 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: media

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. haven Posted: January 11, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4034247)
I honestly couldn't figure out what McShane did for a living and I watched all three of his wins. I thought Trebek was calling him a "baseball game blogger", which I thought maybe meant he had a blog about baseball video games. That didn't seem like a real job.
   2. JJ1986 Posted: January 11, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4034253)
The one time I saw him, he made only $6,000 or so, but a win is a win. It seems to me like the final questions have been getting harder recently, which is a real disadvantage to the person in the lead.
   3. Endless Trash Posted: January 11, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4034262)
As I recall, we have a few former Jeopardy contestants on this site...
   4. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 11, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4034277)
As I recall, we have a few former Jeopardy contestants on this site...


I know snapper was a Jeopardy winner. What other Primates fit the bill? (And I'm not questioning you, I'm just curious)



   5. RJ in TO Posted: January 11, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4034286)
I haven't watched the show in years, but $40K seems like an exceptionally low total for three wins.

Still, good for him, as it's $40K more than he would have had otherwise.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4034288)
I know snapper was a Jeopardy winner.

Yes. 2004 season.

McShane took down a six-time defending champion on Friday and there have only been 18 six-time champs—apparently they call those “superchamps”—in the history of the long-running show.

This is misleading. You weren't allowed to win more than five until just a few years ago.

   7. JJ1986 Posted: January 11, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4034290)
If the six time champ was on last week, he also had a tie in the middle of his run.
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4034291)
If the six time champ was on last week, he also had a tie in the middle of his run.

So did I. Actually should have had two consecutive ties, but the woman I tied with the first time (who was a very good player) missed a pretty easy Final Jeopardy. We were tied going into final.
   9. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 11, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4034302)
I would have no problem playing for a tie in Jeopardy. The guy last week had exactly 2x the nearest competitor and he bet the right amount, $0.

I would think that Jeopardy would not want too many ties. Adopting a split the pot rule in case of tie might discourage that behavior. Not me, I'd still play for the tie, unless the final category was "Railroads of the Civil War***".

*** Not that I am any kind of expert, it's that I recently took a little course and read a book recently.
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4034309)
I would have no problem playing for a tie in Jeopardy. The guy last week had exactly 2x the nearest competitor and he bet the right amount, $0.

That's a no-brainer, definitely play for the tie. My tie was a much weirder calculation, and actually could have been a 3-way tie. I don't remember the exact $'s, and my work web blocks access to J! Archive, where you can see game summaries.

My 2nd near-tie, we were tied in first going into final, and both bet it all.
   11. Endless Trash Posted: January 11, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4034310)

I know snapper was a Jeopardy winner. What other Primates fit the bill? (And I'm not questioning you, I'm just curious)


Someone was, I think one of our lawyers. That narrow it down? :)
   12. Rants Mulliniks Posted: January 11, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4034319)
I've wished I could get on for years, but its pretty difficult when you live on the East coast of Canada. I did just sign up for an online test though, Canadians used to have to go to Toronto to try out.
   13. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 11, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4034329)
I just looked at the 2004 season (season 20) in the archives and looked for the tie. So I know snapper's real name now.
   14. Esmailyn Gonzalez Sr. Posted: January 11, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4034333)
Online tests are a week from tonight I believe.
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4034339)
I just looked at the 2004 season (season 20) in the archives and looked for the tie. So I know snapper's real name now.

Only one tie? I'm surprised.
   16. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 11, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4034360)
I just looked at the 2004 season (season 20) in the archives and looked for the tie. So I know snapper's real name now.

Only one tie? I'm surprised.


If I'm reading that right, you had quite the run, snapper!
   17. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4034364)
There is more than one tie, but based on your comments above, Snapper (about the second almost-tie with a lady) I was able to figure out which was yours.

And, yeah, you did have a pretty good run!
   18. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4034371)
That's a no-brainer, definitely play for the tie. My tie was a much weirder calculation, and actually could have been a 3-way tie. I don't remember the exact $'s, and my work web blocks access to J! Archive, where you can see game summaries.

For those interested:

Going into the final round, you had $24600, opponent #1 had $10800, and opponent #2 had $13800. All three of you got the question right. You bet $3000 (giving you $27600), opponent #1 bet $10700 for a total of $21500, and opponent #2 bet all $13800, ending up with $27600 and the tie.
My 2nd near-tie, we were tied in first going into final, and both bet it all.

Yep, and yeah, that was a pretty easy one for her to miss.
   19. Perry Posted: January 11, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4034381)
My daughter was on 3 years or so ago. Did pretty well but didn't win. She keeps insisting I should try out, on the grounds that I know way more trivia than she does, but I have less than zero desire to be on TV for any reason.
   20. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: January 11, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4034392)
I've been in the contestant pool before but went unselected. I'm definitely taking the test next Tuesday.
   21. Rants Mulliniks Posted: January 11, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4034417)
If I get on, you'll know its me because I'll probably be the first contestant who's looked like an Irish lumberjack in the history of the show.
   22. Dock Ellis Posted: January 11, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4034435)
I'm surprised more people don't do better on Jeopardy considering they already give you the answer to everything.
   23. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 11, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4034483)
Based on [18] I didn't get the right game. I only found one tie in season 20. And the amounts going into final Jeopardy were: 17300, 16000, and 12200. It wound up a tie at $32,000.

I also checked the part of season 21 that was in 2004 but still couldn't find it.
   24. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4034494)
Definitely season 20. Link.

EDIT: and I found the one that #23 is referring to as well, but I ruled it out when I couldn't find the near-tie that Snapper described.
   25. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4034499)
I know snapper was a Jeopardy winner. What other Primates fit the bill? (And I'm not questioning you, I'm just curious)
I was on the College Tournament about six million years ago. 1989, I think. Should've waited; I'd do a lot better now.
   26. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4034548)
Going into the final round, you had $24600, opponent #1 had $10800, and opponent #2 had $13800. All three of you got the question right. You bet $3000 (giving you $27600), opponent #1 bet $10700 for a total of $21500, and opponent #2 bet all $13800, ending up with $27600 and the tie.

Yeah, I guess there couldn't have been a three-way tie with correct betting, I misremembered. But, I could have tied two ways. Right or wrong.

#1's bet was really stupid. No way I was betting it all, saving $100 did him zero good, and could have cost him 21 grand if he got it right and both of us had gotten it wrong.
   27. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4034552)
If I'm reading that right, you had quite the run, snapper!

And, yeah, you did have a pretty good run!

Thanks, guys.

And funny enough, I had been reading the Almanac to study, and the question I lost on was on the very next page after where I stopped. If I had studied 3 more minutes the night before, I win at least one more.
   28. puck Posted: January 11, 2012 at 05:45 PM (#4034565)
How is the clicker? It seems that some contestants really struggle with it. Is there something tricky about it?
   29. GGC Posted: January 11, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4034589)
[i[How is the clicker? It seems that some contestants really struggle with it. Is there something tricky about it?


I tried out in the spring and had no problems with the clicker.
   30. Bob Evans Posted: January 11, 2012 at 06:31 PM (#4034601)
If it isn't Art Fleming, it isn't Jeopardy!...it's some debased version of that classic old game show.
   31. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 07:04 PM (#4034621)
How is the clicker? It seems that some contestants really struggle with it. Is there something tricky about it?

Yes. There's a pause, after Trebek stops reading, while a staffer "arms" the buzzers. Timing the pause is tough. If you go too soon, there's a lockout. I'd guess all three players know at least 50% of the answers, so the buzzer is a big deal.

My timing came and went. In the Tournament of Champions there was a guy who built his own buzzer to practice. Ken Jennings did the same thing.
   32. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 07:10 PM (#4034629)
I just love behind-the-scenes stuff like that.

Snapper: what's one thing about the show that you think most folks would be surprised by? Anything?
   33. hokieneer Posted: January 11, 2012 at 07:51 PM (#4034651)
I was on the College Tournament about six million years ago. 1989, I think. Should've waited; I'd do a lot better now.


My grandpa was a religious Jeopardy watcher. I spent a lot of my childhood at his house watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. I always found the HS and college games to be too easy. They seemed scaled down disproportional to the real game of Jeopardy, given that the contestant were suppose to be the brightest 16-22 year old students that could be found.

I wish I would have pursued getting into those younger Jeopardy tournaments when I was a kid.

   34. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 08:22 PM (#4034670)
Snapper: what's one thing about the show that you think most folks would be surprised by? Anything?

1) How fast it moves; an episode is filmed in real time, so barring technical difficulty, it basically takes 30-35 min to film an episode.

2) How smart many of the "losers" are. There are some real duds, but a ton of second and even third place contestants are really good. Many of them never figure out the buzzer, or just run into other great contestants.

In this game, either of my competitors could have been multi-game champions.

http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=3243

I believe the big part of Ken Jennings run was 1) his buzzer training 2) intimidated competitors who could never get comfortable and 3) declining quality of competitors once word of him got out. Given that you only get one chance at Jeopardy in your life, I sure as hell would have said I was sick or busy if called in to face Jennings.
   35. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 08:41 PM (#4034680)
I wish I would have pursued getting into those younger Jeopardy tournaments when I was a kid.

Better to do it now.
   36. JJ1986 Posted: January 11, 2012 at 08:45 PM (#4034683)
Do you get to mess with the buzzers anytime before the show starts?
   37. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 08:54 PM (#4034692)
Do you get to mess with the buzzers anytime before the show starts?

Yes. A little bit during rehearsals. But, it's not enough to get used to it.

If you look at my first game on J!Archive, there was a category on the Negro Leagues. Knew every one immediately (as I'm sure you will too), but didn't get in on any of them
   38. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: January 11, 2012 at 09:45 PM (#4034729)
Did you ever post on the old Jeopardy! message board, snapper?
   39. thetailor (Brian) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 09:46 PM (#4034730)
Oh my god. I am so conflicted right now ... I never knew J! Archive existed. I've been on it for the last 30 minutes ... damn you Chris H!

Also, snapper, I just had a friend on it. Brilliant girl -- had two really impossible daily doubles and it was game over. I couldn't believe when she told me about the buzzer "lock out" thing ... but either way, thank you for sharing your experience, that's really cool.
   40. Howie Menckel Posted: January 11, 2012 at 10:13 PM (#4034746)

I would never try out precisely because of the buzzer thing - no chance I'd ever get the hang of it. That's a somewhat separate skill from knowing the answer to trivia questions.

Of course, I wouldn't just assume I'd qualify for the show anyway, obviously. Many call but few are chosen.

   41. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 10:42 PM (#4034771)
I never knew J! Archive existed. I've been on it for the last 30 minutes ... damn you Chris H!

I know, it's horrible, right? I'm not even a big Jeopardy fan (though I do think it's entertaining), and this site ate up most of my afternoon.
   42. OsunaSakata Posted: January 12, 2012 at 05:11 AM (#4034904)
I was surprised that McShane, as a baseball game logger, was incorrect on this one, unless he's not as intense a baseball fan as we assume. The category was Motorcycle Makers:

Baseball's Ichiro must be aware that this maker's B-King is the "rowdy alter ego" to its Hayabusa.
   43. Rants Mulliniks Posted: January 12, 2012 at 07:22 AM (#4034914)
I'm starting to have second thoughts now, I didn't know about the buzzer lockout either. I always assumed you could just keep hammering it as soon as you knew the answer. Knowing me I'd end up cursing out loud and they'd have to bleep out half the show.
   44. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: January 12, 2012 at 07:53 AM (#4034920)
A really good friend of mine lost in the final round when he was ahead of both his competitors. He missed a question about who polices counterfeit currency which, if you watch your Clint Eastwood movies, should have been a slam dunk.
   45. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: January 12, 2012 at 07:56 AM (#4034921)
Robbie Rogers signs with Leeds. I think I rate him higher than most so I'm not surprised. I still think he has a future with the Nats.
   46. SOLockwood Posted: January 12, 2012 at 09:05 AM (#4034963)
I was on in 1987. Won 4, blew the 5th in Final Jeopardy. Made the Tournament but choked in Final Jeopardy in the Quarter-Finals. Two of the others in the tournament that year were John Podhoretz (of Commentary Magazine, etc.) and Richard Cordray (who's been in the news recently). I was a teammate of both of them (at different times) on the University of Chicago College Bowl team.
   47. SOLockwood Posted: January 12, 2012 at 09:13 AM (#4034970)
During the tryouts we were told that the buzzer gets activated when Alex reads the last syllable of the last word of the answer. So after being told I'd be playing but before I went out to LA for the taping, I would practice while watching the TV and simply use a pen or a chapstick to develop the muscle memory and timing.
   48. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: January 12, 2012 at 10:03 AM (#4035008)
He missed a question about who polices counterfeit currency which, if you watch your Clint Eastwood movies, should have been a slam dunk.


Ummmm ... the Secret Service? (I don't know my Clint Eastwood movies. I think the only one I've ever seen is Play Misty for Me ... unless you count seeing The Good, the Bad & the Ugly at the drive-in when I was 8, which you shouldn't, since I don't really remember anything about it. And Tarantula doesn't count, either. Well, also The Beguiled; interesting flick, but not exactly concerned with counterfeit money.)
   49. Greg Pope Posted: January 12, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4035025)
In the Tournament of Champions there was a guy who built his own buzzer to practice. Ken Jennings did the same thing.

How could you do this? I've seen it mentioned a lot about Jennings. But if there's a staff member who arms the buzzers, how could you possibly practice at home?
   50. Rants Mulliniks Posted: January 12, 2012 at 10:37 AM (#4035035)
I assume this is true for most people playing at home, but I always read the question and have an answer (if I know it) a few seconds before Alex finishes, so basically it comes down to reflexes. I don't see how practicing would help.
   51. Bad Doctor Posted: January 12, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4035077)
I would think phrasing in the form of a question would also be something that takes practice. My wife and I have watched just about every episode (DVRed) for the last 5 or 6 years, and we'll throw out answers against each other all the time, but I would feel like a big dork answering in the form of a question all the time at home. (I mean, an even bigger dork than just being a guy who watches DVRed Jeopardy! with his wife on a regular basis.)
   52. JJ1986 Posted: January 12, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4035084)
I would think phrasing in the form of a question would also be something that takes practice. My wife and I have watched just about every episode (DVRed) for the last 5 or 6 years, and we'll throw out answers against each other all the time, but I would feel like a big dork answering in the form of a question all the time at home.


I am completely the opposite. I can't answer in any way but the form of a question. This is not limited to Jeopardy but any trivia show even when you're not supposed to.
   53. esseff Posted: January 12, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4035105)
My brother was on 3 or 4 years ago, but didn't win. He was in his 50s and said it was a big disadvantage in trying to match buzzer reflexes with younger players (maybe that's why they have separate senior tournaments for even older players). Basically, he did all right answering questions when neither of the other two buzzed in. He also was on the original "Millionaire" with Regis about 10 years ago and made it up into the hot seat by winning Fast Fingers, but went out earlier than he should have (around $8,000) when he over-thought a relatively easy question.

Separately, I was able to answer the final Jeopardy McShane missed on his third win, about someone in Saskatchewan getting rich making this product from rapeseed. McShane and another contest were close, identifying what the product was used in, but all three players failed to identify the correct specific product.
   54. Rants Mulliniks Posted: January 12, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4035117)
Canola oil?
   55. esseff Posted: January 12, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4035129)
Yes, Canola. McShane and one of the others answered "cooking oil," which wasn't accepted.
   56. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: January 12, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4035135)
Yes, Canola. McShane and one of the others answered "cooking oil," which wasn't accepted.

Canola does sound better than Rape Oil, I guess.
   57. Shredder Posted: January 12, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4035167)
I think I would have a problem processing the questions aurally. I do really well watching on TV where I get to read all of the questions, and often have the answer before Alex finishes reading, but I'm not sure I could do nearly as well without being able to read it, to see it in front of me. Especially under pressure. I wonder if people who think they'd be very good on Jeopardy run into the same issue.
   58. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 12, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4035176)
The buzzer seems like the whole game frankly. I think all of the contestants know the vast majority of the answers, I know I do, so it just comes down to who has the buzzer timed up the best, which seems like a silly way to decide something that's supposed to be based on knowledge. Millionaire would be a much more attractive game to me, not that I would ever find the time to try to try out for any of this stuff.
   59. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 12, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4035276)
The buzzer seems like the whole game frankly. I think all of the contestants know the vast majority of the answers, I know I do, so it just comes down to who has the buzzer timed up the best, which seems like a silly way to decide something that's supposed to be based on knowledge.

that's what this article says about the computer that beat the human champ
   60. Kurt Posted: January 12, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4035285)
He also was on the original "Millionaire" with Regis about 10 years ago and made it up into the hot seat by winning Fast Fingers, but went out earlier than he should have (around $8,000) when he over-thought a relatively easy question.

Come on, you have to tell us the question now. We promise not to make fun of him.
   61. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 12, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4035289)
I assume this is true for most people playing at home, but I always read the question and have an answer (if I know it) a few seconds before Alex finishes, so basically it comes down to reflexes. I don't see how practicing would help.

Because there is a fairly consistent lag. You need to be able to time Trebek's voice, and leave just enough time for the guy to hit the switch.

I wouldn't have thought of practicing either, but both Ken Jennings, and the guy who beat me in the Tournament of Champions literally built buzzers at home and practiced. So, I've got to think there's something to it.

I also heard (after the fact unfortunately) that you should use you index finger, not your thumb. Apparently, the nerves in your index finger react faster. Really weird stuff.
   62. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: January 12, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4035290)
The buzzer seems like the whole game frankly. I think all of the contestants know the vast majority of the answers, I know I do, so it just comes down to who has the buzzer timed up the best, which seems like a silly way to decide something that's supposed to be based on knowledge. Millionaire would be a much more attractive game to me, not that I would ever find the time to try to try out for any of this stuff.


This is why almost nobody I met through the serious college quiz bowl scene ever considered trying out for Jeopardy. You can't buzz in before the end of the question? You can't buzz in as soon as you know the answer? You have to wait until everyone else knows the answer? The buzzer races are always the most annoying questions at quiz bowl tournaments. Wow, a game with nothing but buzzer races sounds great.
   63. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 12, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4035291)
I think I would have a problem processing the questions aurally. I do really well watching on TV where I get to read all of the questions, and often have the answer before Alex finishes reading, but I'm not sure I could do nearly as well without being able to read it, to see it in front of me. Especially under pressure. I wonder if people who think they'd be very good on Jeopardy run into the same issue.

You get to read it in the studio too. That big wall of TV's with all the categories/questions is real. It's not added in for the home audience.

   64. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 12, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4035347)
I also heard (after the fact unfortunately) that you should use you index finger, not your thumb. Apparently, the nerves in your index finger react faster. Really weird stuff.

Now that is truly inside-Jeopardy. Very interesting.
   65. Karl from NY Posted: January 12, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4035368)
Jennings' other secret was that he would buzz in even if he didn't actually have the answer just yet, but based on the category or keywords in the question that connected with an area of his knowledge, he felt confident that his brain could assemble it during the five-second answer period. About once an episode, this would fail hilariously and he would splutter awkwardly, but on the whole he came out substantially ahead by doing that.

I am completely the opposite. I can't answer in any way but the form of a question. This is not limited to Jeopardy but any trivia show even when you're not supposed to.

Ben Stein had a game show on cable a few years back where you actively got penalized for doing that. First offense earned you a dunce cap to wear, second was treated as a wrong response.
   66. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 12, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4035382)
Jennings' other secret was that he would buzz in even if he didn't actually have the answer just yet, but based on the category or keywords in the question that connected with an area of his knowledge, he felt confident that his brain could assemble it during the five-second answer period.

I always got the NIMpression that many, many contestants do that
   67. SOLockwood Posted: January 12, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4035442)
There is also a visual clue to when the buzzer is active. There is a light tube surrounding the board that lights up when the staffer has activated the buzzers. It was only useful for me when someone had buzzed in and then given an incorrect response.

   68. Kurt Posted: January 12, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4035452)
My favorite part of the buzzers is the way an occasional contestant will be overly demonstrative about pushing the button too late, as a way to communicate to the audience "I'm smart! I know this one! It's just that I'm getting screwed by the buzzers."
   69. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 12, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4035476)
My favorite part of the buzzers is the way an occasional contestant will be overly demonstrative about pushing the button too late, as a way to communicate to the audience "I'm smart! I know this one! It's just that I'm getting screwed by the buzzers."

In their defense, it is really freaking frustrating when you know a string of answers well before Trebek finishes, and you get beat on buzzer timing repeatedly.
   70. Endless Trash Posted: January 12, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4035582)

Ben Stein had a game show on cable a few years back where you actively got penalized for doing that. First offense earned you a dunce cap to wear, second was treated as a wrong response.


Win Ben Stein's Money, I think it was. I quite liked Ben Stein until he came out as a creationist meathead.
   71. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: January 12, 2012 at 05:45 PM (#4035602)
My favorite part of the buzzers is the way an occasional contestant will be overly demonstrative about pushing the button too late, as a way to communicate to the audience "I'm smart! I know this one! It's just that I'm getting screwed by the buzzers."

Well, they are getting screwed by the buzzers. Might as well get that message across if they're not going to win.
   72. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 12, 2012 at 05:49 PM (#4035608)
Well, they are getting screwed by the buzzers. Might as well get that message across if they're not going to win.

The original design (you could buzz in as soon as you knew it) is much fairer.

They could wait until Trebek finishes reading before going to the contestant.
   73. Kurt Posted: January 12, 2012 at 06:01 PM (#4035625)
Well, they are getting screwed by the buzzers. Might as well get that message across if they're not going to win.

Hey, I'm not criticizing them for doing it, just noting that it's amusing to watch. If I were ever on the show, I'd wait until someone else buzzed in, and then shake the thing all over the damn place.

I agree with snapper in #72.
   74. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 12, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4035639)
The original design (you could buzz in as soon as you knew it) is much fairer.

They could wait until Trebek finishes reading before going to the contestant.


But if you get to hear Alex finish reading the entire question, wouldn't it still turn into a buzzer-beating contest as contestants would have all that time to figure it out after they've buzzed in?

It seems to me the problem, from a competitive standpoint, is that Jeopardy is a TV show first and foremost. The fairest way is to let the contestants buzz in as soon as they think they know it, stop the question and let them give it a shot. But if this happens regularly, and the correct answers are routinely being given before the home viewer has a chance to figure it out, it may well make it less entertaining (and less watchable) as a result.


   75. esseff Posted: January 12, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4035641)
Come on, you have to tell us the question now. We promise not to make fun of him.


Had to do with something (not the title/answer) that got served up at the Whistle Stop Cafe in a Fannie Flagg novel. The question was to identify the book.

I think most know the answer. I knew the answer and was on phone standby as a phone-a-friend. But he knew the answer and just outsmarted himself. Said something like "I know she wrote (Correct Answer), but I'm not sure what else she wrote." And then guessed wrong.
   76. Khrushin it bro Posted: January 12, 2012 at 06:23 PM (#4035645)
My favorite part of the buzzers is the way an occasional contestant will be overly demonstrative about pushing the button too late, as a way to communicate to the audience "I'm smart! I know this one! It's just that I'm getting screwed by the buzzers."


Has anybody said "screw you Trebek!" in an english accent after pressing the buzzer too late and getting way behind?

EDIT: (Or a Scottish one)
   77. esseff Posted: January 12, 2012 at 06:27 PM (#4035654)
The original design (you could buzz in as soon as you knew it) is much fairer.

They could wait until Trebek finishes reading before going to the contestant.


My sense of it is that the questions used to be more difficult back in the '60s when Art Fleming was hosting, and thus, although buzzing in mid-question was allowed, a contestant wouldn't buzz in unless he/she knew the answer.


These days, a bright contestant is going to know almost all the answers and so could buzz in right away, if it were allowed, and then figure out the answer, with the benefits of buzzing in early outweighing the penalty of missing a fraction of questions.
   78. Shredder Posted: January 12, 2012 at 07:24 PM (#4035690)
You get to read it in the studio too. That big wall of TV's with all the categories/questions is real. It's not added in for the home audience.
I never assumed it wasn't. It just looks like it's too far away to actually read from the way the set looks on tv, especially compared to my huge tv that I sit about 10 feet away from.
   79. cardsfanboy Posted: January 12, 2012 at 07:35 PM (#4035697)
I never assumed it wasn't. It just looks like it's too far away to actually read from the way the set looks on tv, especially compared to my huge tv that I sit about 10 feet away from.


I always assumed that the screen at the contestants podium showed the question also, I guess not. I agree they look to far away to be useful.
   80. AndrewJ Posted: January 12, 2012 at 10:18 PM (#4035819)
As I recall, we have a few former Jeopardy contestants on this site...

Never been on Jeopardy! but while in college I represented my school on ESPN's first Super Bowl of Sports Trivia at (the now-defunct) Boardwalk and Baseball amusement park in Orlando. We lost in the first round to the eventual champions but I earned $333.34 for my half-hour of glory, plus free airfare and motel for a week in Florida during January during a massive Northeast US blizzard. Got to meet Chris Berman, too.
   81. Greg Pope Posted: January 12, 2012 at 10:32 PM (#4035826)
Because there is a fairly consistent lag. You need to be able to time Trebek's voice, and leave just enough time for the guy to hit the switch.

I wouldn't have thought of practicing either, but both Ken Jennings, and the guy who beat me in the Tournament of Champions literally built buzzers at home and practiced. So, I've got to think there's something to it.


I get that there must be something to it, but I can't see how doing it at home would work. In order to practice, you have to know when you're right and when you're not. How is the buzzer builder at home supposed to know that?

that's what this article says about the computer that beat the human champ

Yeah, the computer contest wasn't truly about whether the computer would know enough answers. It was that it buzzed in before the humans every time it knew the answer. A better test of the question-answering technology would have been to let all 3 answer each question. Or have the buzzing between the two humans and then check the computer's answer or something.
   82. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 12, 2012 at 10:43 PM (#4035832)
Waaah, waaah, waaah. John Connor will probably be a more naturally gifted marksman than Skynet, but that ain't gonna help his alliance any.
   83. The District Attorney Posted: January 12, 2012 at 10:45 PM (#4035834)
Has anybody said "screw you Trebek!" in an english accent after pressing the buzzer too late and getting way behind?
Dunno about that, but someone has tried to make Trebek say his name backwards and banish himself to the fifth dimension.
   84. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 12, 2012 at 11:24 PM (#4035853)
Got to meet Chris Berman, too.


Couldn't they have just given you a lovely parting gift? That seems like a lousy way of rubbing your failure in your nose.

Never did the Jeopardy thing, but was in the studio audience when Trebek did the National Geographic Bee a couple times. His skills at that sort of duty were obvious, despite his peculiar cultural insensitivity.
   85. esseff Posted: January 13, 2012 at 01:04 AM (#4035877)
btw, this might be pretty easy to guess, but my bro who was on both programs says Trebek was a genuinely nice guy, while Regis was not.
   86. Karl from NY Posted: January 13, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4036267)
It just looks like it's too far away to actually read from the way the set looks on tv


It's only about 15 feet away from the contestants, and if each screen is 14" high, the letters are 2" high. That's quite readable.

TV sets usually look bigger than they actually are. Wheel of Fortune is a major example. The wheel looks gigantic on TV, but it's actually only about six feet wide. Compare sometime when Sajak is standing near the wheel, it's only about as wide as Sajak is tall.

The New Years ball gets the same effect. It looks huge on TV but it's tiny. I went to Times Square for NYE one year, and the 7-foot wide ball was barely even visible among the 40-foot neon lights and screens.
   87. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: January 13, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4036303)
Dunno about that, but someone has tried to make Trebek say his name backwards and banish himself to the fifth dimension.

Take it to the Batman TV Show thread.
   88. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 13, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4036317)
I never assumed it wasn't. It just looks like it's too far away to actually read from the way the set looks on tv, especially compared to my huge tv that I sit about 10 feet away from.

The quesstions are easily readable.
   89. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 13, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4036319)
Yeah, the computer contest wasn't truly about whether the computer would know enough answers. It was that it buzzed in before the humans every time it knew the answer. A better test of the question-answering technology would have been to let all 3 answer each question. Or have the buzzing between the two humans and then check the computer's answer or something.

That's not true. I also played against Watson while they were testing it.

The computer takes time to query its databases. It can be beat by a human, even if it figures out the answer.
   90. JJ1986 Posted: January 13, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4036327)
This guy lost yesterday after four (?) wins. The guy who beat him had something to do with the Phillie Phanatic.
   91. Khrushin it bro Posted: January 13, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4036357)
Got to meet Chris Berman, too.


Were you wearing any leather?

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Harry Balsagne
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogCarson Cistulli From Fangraphs Joins the Blue Jays
(2 - 12:15pm, Nov 17)
Last: Davo and his Moose Tacos

NewsblogOT - November* 2018 College Football thread
(204 - 12:15pm, Nov 17)
Last: Lance Reddick! Lance him!

NewsblogSale of Baseball Prospectus
(329 - 12:09pm, Nov 17)
Last: Ray (CTL)

NewsblogOT - NBA Thread (2018-19 season kickoff edition)
(2478 - 11:55am, Nov 17)
Last: there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135

NewsblogMichael Wilbon Weighs In On Jacob deGrom With Worst Baseball Take Of Year | MLB | NESN.com
(10 - 11:48am, Nov 17)
Last: eric

NewsblogThe View is Always Better When You're the Lead Dog
(3 - 11:13am, Nov 17)
Last: Mefisto

NewsblogBen Zobrist, start designing your customized cleats. MLB grants players more shoe freedom.
(1 - 10:57am, Nov 17)
Last: Man o' Schwar

NewsblogIndians' Trevor Bauer pleads his own Cy Young case using a spreadsheet on Twitter
(25 - 10:51am, Nov 17)
Last: Leroy Kincaid

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (November 2018)
(435 - 10:00am, Nov 17)
Last: PreservedFish

Sox TherapyLet’s Get Off-Seasoning!
(6 - 12:26am, Nov 17)
Last: The Run Fairy

NewsblogMarlins get rid of orange, cite South Florida cultures with new look
(28 - 8:57pm, Nov 16)
Last: You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR)

NewsblogHow Kevin Brown Became Baseball's First $100 Million Man
(9 - 8:46pm, Nov 16)
Last: TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky"

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-16-2018
(10 - 8:30pm, Nov 16)
Last: crict

NewsblogFox Sports inks multi-year rights agreement with Major League Baseball
(30 - 8:00pm, Nov 16)
Last: QLE

NewsblogJoe Mauer Retires After 15 Seasons
(84 - 6:44pm, Nov 16)
Last: Never Give an Inge (Dave)

Page rendered in 0.5682 seconds
46 querie(s) executed