Saturday, January 28, 2023

Time To Retire? --- Day 12/31

Walk: SF Ballet

Distance: 4 miles

Jeopardy! Hosts Over the Years: Art Fleming, Alex Trebek, Ken Jennings

Loyal CIWT readers (thank you) and friends know that Ciwt is a long time Jepoardy! fan who even went down to Universal City to a taping of the show.*  So she is often sent the occasional articles questioning whether the game should be retired. She received one written by a former big time Jeopardy! winner just today, and, for those who might be curious, this is her response to the sender:

No question he's right about how changing the 5-game limit changed the game.  And I've heard from actual contestants that it is more daunting than the viewer realizes to get used to the buzzer, the general noise and commotion, the lights and relax into being able to play the game.  So the winner who has already had experience with these things definitely has an advantage - thus setting up streaks.  I don't know if there is anything they can do to even out those things.

They definitely know this, and several years ago made a change that helped quite a bit.  They began interviewing the contestants half way through the 1st round.  They used to go all the way through the round before giving the contestants an opportunity to talk, and by then the new ones were often so behind and so anxious they couldn't recover momentum.  You often see contestants now relaxing, gaining confidence, even going ahead and winning after their personal talk with the host has grounded them.

A factor beyond Jeopardy! runnerrs' control is the human brain.  It gets tired and that often stops streaks. Competition and tension, being away from home and other circumstances are wearing and you can see some contestants on streaks struggling to maintain a competitive edge. Often by their last round, they just don't have the stamina.  It looked to me like that's what happened to Matt for instance.

Overall, no, I don't think it is time to retire Jeopardy!.  It is still an excellent game - for trivia buffs at least - full of surprises and amazement at the range of facts and experiences some people - ordinary people - have lived,  learned and retained in a vast array of subjects. And their lives are often interesting, heartwarming, expanding to hear about. Not to mention how composed they can be losing or winning in front of millions. Games evolve: most athletes these days are much! more buff, have been focused with high power trainers since childhood, in general people are larger, equipment is more sophisticated, etc.  Likewise, Jeopardy! has evolved.  

*See Days 297, 298 and 299 way back in 2012

No comments:

Post a Comment