Monday, August 15, 2011


TigerBlog doesn't exactly remember the Final Jeopardy question was, though he does remember it had to do with a United Nation's promotional campaign and asked for a 12-letter word that turned out to be "Biodiversity."

TB never learned about it when he was in school, probably because the term hadn't yet been invented, or at least he assumes that. This current decade has been designated the United Nations Decade of Biodiversity, something nobody can be against.

Anyway, this particular Final Jeopardy was on Day 2 of the championship round of the College Championship, which, TigerBlog didn't realize, was actually first shown back in November. Still, he didn't see it then, so this was all new to him.

The final matched a woman named Erin from Boston University against two guys, Sam from Yale and Hans from Southern Adventist (a Seventh-Day Adventist school in Collegedale, Tenn.).

Hans, TB's pick to win it all, had a terrible final round. Sam, who never uncrossed his arms through the opening round, semifinals (where he knocked off a kid named Sid from Penn) and the final, made a big comeback against Erin, who had a huge lead after the first day, and he was the only one who got "Biodiversity" correct.

In fact, he would have won the $100,000 prize had he bet it all in Final Jeopardy. Instead, he bet about half of what he had, which made no sense, since he had to try to catch Erin.

It appeared that Erin didn't realize she had won, because she seemed like she lost track of her total as well. In the end, it was Erin with the $100K, followed by Sam ($50,000) and Hans ($25,000).

The most recent College Championship was the 23rd edition, and to date, only one school has produced more than one winner. If you want to guess, TB will give you two paragraphs.

The winner has come from a Division I school 16 times in 23 years, though it is DI 8, DIII 6 in the last 14 years.

No Ivy League school has ever had the winner, though in 1993, a contestant from Grinnell College (in Iowa, TB believes) beat finalists from Harvard and Princeton to take first place.

The only school with more than one winner? Stanford.

New Jersey colleges have had two winners - one from Rutgers and one from Drew.

Watching the most recent one, TigerBlog found himself rooting for the Penn kid in the earlier rounds and against the Yale kid, possibly because of the whole arm-crossing thing.

Mostly, TB kept coming back to the same question: Should he be rooting for or against the two Ivy League kids?

As near as TB can tell, Southern Adventist doesn't offer varsity sports, so rooting for that school is never an issue.

BU dropped football a few years ago, and Princeton and BU rarely cross paths athletically, unless it's in hockey or field hockey.

The other semifinalists were Sid from Penn, as well as kids from Ohio State, Texas A&M, Arizona State, Florida State and UCLA. Of that group, TB was fine with any of them except for Ohio State.

Ah, but the Penn kid and the Yale kid?

TB rooted for Penn, as he said, because he went to Penn. This isn't something that he necessarily does in athletics, and it's something that people who ask him about it don't quite get, especially when TB confirms that he had a great experience at Penn.

There are some who believe that you root for the teams in your league when your team isn't involved because it's good for the league.

There are others who believe you never root for the teams in your league when your team isn't involved because they're your biggest rivals.

TigerBlog hasn't quite figured out the right answer here. He's somewhere in the middle, in that he'll root against the other Ivy schools to protect Princeton's historical legacies, such as, for instance, being the most recent Ivy school to win an NCAA lacrosse championship or something like that.

Other times, he's okay with the rest of the league doing well.

In a weird way, he often boils it down to the athletic communications contact, like when he used to hope that John Veneziano of Harvard got to one NCAA men's basketball tournament (didn't happen, as Johnny V bailed on Harvard awhile ago).

The whole issue is something that TB has never really worked out, and it stood out during the Jeopardy tournament.

And it's a good thing, too, because if TB had been rooting for Sam from Yale and had watched him misplay the Final Jeopardy, it would've been tougher to take.

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