Monday, February 14, 2011

This Is Jeopardy

When the Final Jeopardy category was announced as "Movies of the 1930s," TigerBlog immediately thought the correct answer had to be one of three:
* "Gone With the Wind"
* "The Wizard of Oz"
* "It Happened One Night"

Then the clue asked in which 1930s movie had a category who gets the Pythagorean Theorem wrong. TigerBlog didn't immediately remember the scene that the clue was referencing, and had he been one of the three contestants, he would've spent the 30 seconds or so figuring which of his three original thoughts it had to be.

The correct answer, of course, was "The Wizard of Oz," from the scene where the Wizard gives the Scarecrow his brains, which leads to this from the Scarecrow:
"The sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side."

In reality, he's wrong about a bunch of things. First, it's not an isosceles triangle; it s a right triangle. An isosceles triangle is one with two equal sides, but it doesn't necessary have to have a right angle. In a right triangle, the sum of the square of the other two sides is equal to the square of the hypotenuse, which is the side opposite the right angle.

As an aside, TB was always a big geometry fan, back in Mrs. Mancuso's class sophomore year of high school. There was something about the logic that appealed to TB.

Meanwhile, back at Jeopardy the other night, the doctor who delivered her own baby at her house (at least that's what she told Alex during the part where they all talk about themselves after the first commercial break) ended up getting "The Wizard of Oz" and knocking off the four-time champion.

TigerBlog, for his part, couldn't understand why Alex didn't follow up with the woman to ask her why she delivered her own baby. Was it because the baby showed up unannounced, early and quickly, or did she do it by her own choosing?'

As for the four-time champion, he was a big, soft-spoken computer programmer from Tennessee who knew a lot about a lot.

Jeopardy is by far TB's all-time favorite game show, far outdistancing "The Price is Right." It's a great show, one that requires a combination of well-rounded intelligence and a sense of how the strategy of the game works.

TB is still shocked by the woman from two weeks ago who didn't have to bet anything at Final Jeopardy to win and instead bet it all, got the question wrong and left $16,000 on the table. It brought back memories of Cliff Clavin.

TB likes to DVR the show, because he can watch an entire episode in about 15 minutes by fast-forwarding through the commercials and small talk. Unfortunately, he'd already gone through two shows and deleted them before Princeton head football coach Bob Surace came in the other day and said that his former teammate was a four-time champion on Jeopardy who had won $72,000.

When Surace said that, TB immediately knew whom he was talking about. Surace also ruined it somewhat for TB, since he'd only seen him win two episodes.

The teammate was Paul Wampler, who actually won $72,002 in his run through four wins. Wampler was stopped short by the LDWDHOB (Lady Doctor Who Delivered Her Own Baby). His winning total ranks him in the Top 100 of all time.

Because TB deleted the first two shows after watching them, he's not sure if Wampler made any references to his Princeton football career during his small-talk-with-Alex time.

Wampler graduated in 1992, one year after Surace, though they both started here in the same year. Both were offensive linemen; both came to Princeton from New Jersey high schools, Surace from Millville in South Jersey and Wampler from Westfield in North Jersey.

While at Westfield, Wampler was an all-state football player, as well as a member of two state championship lacrosse teams. His bio in the 1991 football guide also refers to his two sisters; at some point during one his talks with Alex, Wampler mentioned that they are both lawyers who also married lawyers.

Wampler suffered a major knee injury that cost him a year, but he did play a great deal his senior year.

TB was still at the newspaper during Wampler's playing days, and in fact, TB is pretty sure that his first-ever Trenton Times feature story was about Surace when he the Tiger center.

TB didn't remember Wampler by name or by face when he saw him on Jeopardy, but he was definitely impressed by his four wins.

Wampler spent much of that time destroying the field. He had to come from behind once in the four shows, as TB remembers, and he couldn't have been too upset when he finally fell short.

This Princeton football alum won $72,002 on Jeopardy.

Who is Paul Wampler.


Anonymous said...

Westfield is Central Jersey. Probably not on the map but when you break it down by population centers. It was a legendary football powerhouse for many years.

Anonymous said...

As someone from the NJ Skylands, we consider anything south of I-80 as south Jersey. And as I've been told multiple times by someone from Toms River, anything north of the Raritan River is north Jersey. Therefore, Westfield is central Jersey.

Anonymous said...


I like that.