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Super Duper Jeopardy! - January 19
Travis Eberle

The obvious big story right now is the Jeopardy Super-Duper Tournament, where 150 big winners from the past 20 years have a chance to play the game again. The two winners play in the grand championship against Ken Jennings; where they will divide $2,750,000. It's very obvious that Jeopardy is trying to cash in on Ken-Mania, but I think they're making a couple of big mistakes.

First is the tournament format. Fifteen weeks is an awful long time for a tournament to play out, especially when Jeopardy tournaments are usually done in two weeks. If the Marquee Match-up is against Ken, holding him back for nearly four months is a bad move. Better to have it be just a month or so. Then there's the issue of the contestant pool.

Tournament champions, along with many of the previous five-day winners will return to play in this Uber-Championship. The great thing about the Masters Tournament was that the fifteen players were all well known: Bob Harris went down in flames, Eddie was the first blind champion, Bob, Brad, Chuck and Robin all won their own ToC, and other people were there for various reasons. They were all memorable. Even the rabid fans aren't likely to remember two-thirds of the field; what about the regular Joes who are watching? They're going to watch the games, thinking "who ARE these people?"

Then there's this whole business about giving Ken a bye until the finals. This smacks as much of a stunt as anything else. If someone offered me a bye until the final round of a tournament, with a guaranteed prize of $250,000, I would dance a jig on the spot. I know he's the biggest winner of all time. I know he's the main draw for the event. He still shouldn't get to sit back and watch all of that. He should be in the trenches with everyone else.

Lastly, there's the timing. For a week or so after Ken lost, I found myself going into withdrawals of sorts. Jeopardy just wasn't the same. Then, after that, I got over it. It was time to move on with the show. He's still fresh in my mind, but now it's time for other players to get the spotlight. They needed to wait awhile for this mega event, to give viewers the chance to get a rest from 15 weeks of Ken. It's way too soon.

All that said, I'm still excited about seeing all these former champions and how they'll play the game. Especially the champions from old, it will be curious to find out if they can pick up the signaling button and work it like it was yesterday. I want to see the great champions of the game again. It's my Nerdvana, as it were. So, even though I think Sony messed up big time, I'm still going to be there every day, matching my game with the champs.

In closing, if Eddie Timanus and Leszek Pawlowicz weren't invited, it just won't be the same without them.

If you have any questions or comments regarding this piece, send them to traviseberle@hotmail.com.

 

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