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Jeopardy Champion Jason Keller Jason Keller, 30, a private tutor from Highland Park, NJ, won $213,900 as a nine-time champion on Jeopardy! He won for the first time on the December 16, 2011 episode and successfully defended his title eight times until losing on the December 29 episode. His winnings rank sixth in the syndicated show's 27-year history. (It should be noted that contestants were limited to five wins until September 2003.) I know Jason through his connection to tournament Scrabble. (He is one of the top 100 Scrabble players in North America; he finished 19th at the U.S. Nationals in 2011.) Jason attended a Scrabble tourney in Albany, NY just in time to watch the broadcast where he was defeated! He was justifiably greeted by his fellow Scrabble players with great enthusiasm. Jason was called upon to make a speech. He told the crowd a few interesting tidbits about his experiences on Jeopardy!: Tapings are done just two days per week (Tuesday and Wednesday). Jason's shows were taped in mid and late October. Jason won his first game on the last show of the Tuesday taping. He then won all five shows of the Wednesday taping. He then had to fly home for a Scrabble event that weekend and fly back to Los Angeles for further tapings. He won two more games on the Tuesday taping before losing. Jason said he has to wait 120 days to get his winnings--and he will lose about 42 percent of them in taxes. All Jeopardy! contestants are responsible for their own travel and hotel costs. However, the champion of the final show on Wednesday is flown home and back to LA for the next week's taping(s) at the show's expense. In an interesting twist, the player who defeated Jason was Dave Leach--who himself became a six-time champion. The was the first time in Jeopardy! history that a super-champion (a player who won more than five games) was dethroned by another super-champion.
Tags: Jeopardy  Jason  Keller 
Added: 4th January 2012
Views: 4865
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Olympic Protocol Gaffe - Korean Flag Error When play began at the Olympic women's soccer tourney on July 25, 2012 a major protocol error gummed up the works: North Korea's women's soccer team refused to take the field for its first Olympics match after an enormous diplomatic faux pax. The flag of their neighbor and ideological enemy South Korea was displayed alongside the players' names on the scoreboard at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland instead of the North Korean flag. North Korea eventually played its match against Colombia, winning 2-0, but only after receiving permission from the office of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. The diplomatic kerfuffle began after team officials ordered the players back to their locker room, delaying the start of the game for more than an hour. They informed Olympic staff that no further action would be taken until guidance had been sought from North Korea's national soccer federation. That federation is officially headed by Kim Jong-un, the son of recently deceased leader Kim Jong-il. The level of control exerted by the North Korean government over every aspect of life in the country means that all major sporting decisions must be approved by the leadership. North Korea and South Korea are technically still at war. The "peace" to end the Korean War in 1953 is only an armistice--not an actual peace treaty. Organizers profusely apologized for the "human error." The mistake came, ironically, only a few days after British Olympic organizers guaranteed there would be no errors with flags, national anthems, and other areas of international protocol during the 2012 Games.
Tags: flag  error  Olympics  North  Korea 
Added: 27th July 2012
Views: 1737
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Scrabble Cheating Scandal - 2012 It's not often that the U.S. National Scrabble Championship tournament prompts a discussion on an ESPN panel show, gets feature coverage on CNN, is reported in numerous overseas newspapers, and has an op-ed piece in the New York Times written about it, but it happened at the 2012 tourney in Orlando. Why? A youthful competitor was disqualified for cheating. It was the first time in the tournament's 35-year history that a player was booted out of the Nationals. The minor, whose identity is being protected by the North American Scrabble Players Association because of his age, was caught 'palming blanks' before his 24th-round match on Tuesday, August 14. At the previous year's tourney in Dallas, suspicions were raised about the same player because he only had six tournaments' worth of experience and did not possess especially strong word knowledge, yet he consistently scored exceptionally well. After the tournament, one suspicious opponent polled the boy's other opponents and discovered the youth had gotten about 90% of the important blank tiles over 31 games--which is statistically improbable. The legitimacy of the boy's 2011 performance was widely debated on Internet Scrabble forums, with the accusers often being denounced as jealous or sore losers. At the 2012 event, the boy's 'lucky tile drawing' again appeared. Before round 24 began, after all 100 tiles were supposed to have been put into the tile bag, the youth's opponent suspected that the boy had palmed the two valuable blank tiles instead of placing them into the bag. He summoned a tournament director (referee) to examine the bag to see if it contained 100 tiles or just 98. Just as the director was about to begin his count, an alert player at a nearby table shouted, 'He just threw two tiles onto the floor!' Sure enough, they were the two blank tiles. The youth was quickly disqualified--and the close-knit tournament Scrabble world knew about it almost immediately through Internet tournament coverage and social media. The I-told-you-so crowd had a field day. The news spread quickly beyond the Scrabble chatrooms. Within 40 minutes the story was on ABC News' website and on CNN's within an hour. Without much delay, the story spread to most of the English-speaking world, garnering print media coverage in Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, among other far-flung places. The British enjoy a good scandal, so it was not too surprising that UK newspapers were escpecially interested in the youth's disqualification. A picture of the youth, cleverly Photo-Shopped to show him playing Scrabble behind prison bars with the vertical caption 'BUSTED' (written in Scrabble tiles, of course), circulated in cyberspace. John D. Williams of the National Scrabble Association joked, "We're one step away from drug testing." Nigel Richards, a brilliant New Zealander who lives in Malaysia, won the the tournament and the $10,000 first prize for the third time in four years in a spectacular manner--but Richards' feat was almost completely overshadowed by the juicy cheating scandal.
Tags: Scrabble  scandal  cheating 
Added: 5th September 2012
Views: 1512
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Egad! Slovakia Beats Bulgaria 82-0 The ultimate beatdown! Here are selected highlights of the first few minutes of a European qualifying game for the 2010 Winter Olympics in which the Slovakian women's hockey team pounded Bulgaria 82-0! At the time there were only about 30 female hockey players in all of Bulgaria. They had played no games in preparation for the tournament. Earlier in the three-team tourney, Latvia had beaten Bulgaria 39-0. To put things in perspective, Canada beat Slovakia 18-0 in the Vancouver Olympic tournament.
Tags: women  Olympic  qualifying  hockey  Bulgaria  Slovakia 
Added: 26th December 2012
Views: 1477
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Pat Summerall 1930-2013 Pat Summerall, one of the great voices in sports broadcasting, died on April 16, 2013. He would have turned 83 on May 10. A former NFL placekicker, Summerall started broadcasting football for CBS in 1964 and became a play-by-play man in 1974. He is best remembered for his calm, restrained manner in contrast to his excitable longtime booth partner John Madden. Summerall was also a fixture at CBS' coverage of The Masters golf tourney and the U.S. Open Tennis Championships for many years. Once CBS lost its NFL contract in 1993, Summerall and Madden joined Fox's NFL coverage. Sadly, CBS would no longer allow Summerall to cover golf or tennis despite being with the network for nearly 40 years.
Tags: Pat  Summerall  sports  broadcaster  NFL 
Added: 17th April 2013
Views: 1083
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Posted By: Lava1964
Isner-Mahut Wimbledon Marathon A first-round men's singles match at the 2010 Wimbledon tourney between American John Isner and Frenchman Nicolas Mahut was, in many respects, the greatest tennis match ever contested. It is the longest match in tennis history, measured both by time and number of games. The extraordinary match, contested over three days, lasted 11 hours and 5 minutes with Isner eventually prevailing 64, 36, 67(79), 76(73), 7068 for a total of 183 games. The match began at 6:13 pm on Tuesday, June 22. At 9:07 pm, due to fading light, play was suspended at two sets all. After resuming on Wednesday, at 2:05 pm, the record for longest match was broken at 5:45 pm. The light faded again, and so play was suspended at 9:10 pm, with the final set tied at 59 games all. Play resumed at 3:43 pm on Thursday. Isner won at 4:48 pm, the final set having lasted 8 hours, 11 minutes. Both players broke numerous Wimbledon and tennis records, including each serving over 100 aces, with the match being referred to as "the endless match." Twice the score of the final set exceeded the scoreboard's ability to record it. (A computer technician was called in to address the problem both times.) Of course such a lengthy match is only possible at events such as Wimbledon where no tiebreaker is played in the final set.
Tags: tennis  Isner  Mahut  Wimbledon 
Added: 31st August 2013
Views: 1109
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Posted By: Lava1964
Connors-Rosewall 1974 U.S. Open Final Twenty-two-year-old Jimmy Connors showed that experience was no match for youth in the 1974 U.S. Open final. He throttled 39-year-old Ken Rosewall 6-1, 6-0, 6-1 in the last men's final ever played on the grass courts at Forest Hills. Here are some moments from the first and last games of the third set. Connors had beaten Rosewall almost as easily in the Wimbledon final two months earlier. The Grand Slam tourney remained at Forest Hills for another three years, but the surface was changed to clay. In 1978 the U.S. Open moved to its present and more spacious venue at Flushing Meadows, NY with its hard courts. Connors earned $22,500 for winning the 1974 event--pocket change by today's lofty standards.
Tags: tennis  Connors  Rosewall  US  Open  final 
Added: 14th September 2013
Views: 1232
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Canada Beats USSR - 1955 IIHF Tourney The International Ice Hockey Federation has been holding world championship tourneys since 1908. Prior to 1977 the events operated as strictly amateur tourneys much like the Olympic Games once did. Canada typically sent local teams to the IIHF championship and still routinely dominated the tourneys against European national teams. In 1954 the Soviet Union sent a team to world championship for the first time and surprised Canada 7-2 to win the title in Stockholm. With the tournament being held in West Germany in 1955, Canada sent its national amateur finalist team--the Penticton (BC) Vees--to regain national honor. Nine teams competed in the round-robin event. Both the Soviet Union and Canada were 7-0 going into their meeting, so the winner would get the gold medals. The crowd in Krefeld, West Germany included numerous Canadian military personnel stationed nearby along with boisterous German locals who hated all things Russian. The Vees--led by the three Warwick brothers--won handily, 5-0. The Canadian team only allowed six goals in eight games. Here is about a minute of silent newsreel footage of the last game--including two Canadian goals. There's a terrific monument in Penticton that honors the 1955 Vees. History does repeat itself: Sixty years later Canada won the 2015 tourney by defeating the Russians again by five goals. This time the score was 6-1.
Tags: Penticton  Vees  1955  IIHF  hockey 
Added: 20th May 2015
Views: 1287
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Wayne Gretzky Interviewed at Age 16 Wayne Gretzky was a well known figure in hockey circles in Canada when he was a preteen. As an eight-year-old in Brantford, ON he was competing against 11-year-olds on travel teams. This interview was conducted during the 1977-78 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship tournament in Canada in which a soon-to-be-17-year-old Gretzky was starring on the Canadian team. Despite Gretzky's confident prediction, Canada finished third in the tourney. The smooth-voiced Bill Stephenson is the easygoing interviewer. He was a familiar Canadian radio announcer for many years.
Tags: Wayne  Gretzky  interview  hockey  IIHF  juniors 
Added: 22nd June 2015
Views: 1030
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Trumbull CT Wins 1989 LLWS In 1989, Trumbull, Connecticut--population 32,000--won the Little League World series in a spectacular upset, defeating the team from Kaohsiung, Taiwan 5-2 in a thrilling game. Teams from the Far East had dominated the LLWS since international play had widened in the late 1960s. Things got so bad for American teams that foreign teams were excluded from the 1975 tournament. Teams from the Far East demolished all opposition from 1984 through 1988. In 1987 a Taiwanese team crushed the American champs from Irvine, CA so badly (21-1) that a mercy rule was adopted for the 1988 tourney. Thus few people thought much of Trumbull's chances two years later. Here is a seven-minute documentary about how the 1989 upset unfolded. Chris Drury, a pitcher on the Trumbull team, eventually became an NHL hockey player.
Tags: baseball  Little  League  World  Series  Trumbull  CT 
Added: 22nd August 2015
Views: 1365
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964

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