Jeopardy! is most certainly sports, but the truth is that not all Jeopardy! contestants are sports fans. This has been proven over and over again with some flubbed sports answers about topics anywhere from football to NBA legends.
It’s easy to poke fun at dorks for not knowing general pop culture knowledge. All of us have some strange cultural blind spots, some more lucrative than others. It’s probably why most of us don’t get to go on Jeopardy! in the first place.
But not knowing a sports question on Jeopardy! is much different than willingly exposing your lack of handle on syndicated television, as the College Jeopardy! finalists did during Thursday’s airing of part of their two-day final.
First of all, I get it. They are trying, and we should not make fun of them. In fact, it’s actually nice that these contestants get along well enough that someone said, “Hey, we should do a synchronized introduction! I think that would be fun!” That does, indeed, sound like fun.
But this is, uh … Have any of them actually seen basketball happen before? Space work is hard. It takes a lot of practice. But maybe they should have gone with something else, as it’s unclear if any of them have actually been in contact with a basketball before. Maybe it just needs some different music?
Hrm. No, still needs work.
Let’s be clear here: all three of these finalists will go on to do impressive things. And their Friday intro seems to be a “YMCA”-inspired bit with Alex Trebek as the “A.”
But if you’re gonna bring up basketball on Jeopardy, you gotta do it right.