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You may recall the news that was broken on this podcast a few months ago, courtesy of Ryan Alley, that tie games were no longer going to be allowed on Jeopardy!. We obviously have not had a tiebreaker question during the regular show as of yet. Tiebreakers are the most obvious consequence of this new rule. However, it appears there have been some unintended consequences of this new rule. And it is one of those unintended consequences of this rule that I am speaking about today.
Today, on Jeopardy!, we at The Jeopardy! Fan have found out that history will be made.
I would like to say at this point that I do not at all believe there is any sort of violation or wrongdoing here on anybody’s behalf. I was told that the show’s staff were informed of this situation prior to its occurrence.
Previously, contestants who knew each other outside of the program would only be able to compete against each other in invitational tournaments. This was due to the obvious fact that the opportunity to collude for a tie could benefit both parties. However, with tie games no longer allowed, this collusion benefit disappears. It has become obvious as well that those who knew each other outside of the show are now allowed to compete against each other on it.
Alex Jacob and Scott Blish, two contestants on tonight’s program, do know each other outside of the program. I believe that both players, knowing about the previous prohibition, were surprised to be paired with each other on today’s show. In fact, we have learned that they were both very up front with the show’s staff about knowing each other.
What does this mean in general? From my own perspective, I think that knowing someone else’s knowledge, tendencies, and strategies would be a good thing when playing, at least to me. I mean, if I know I’m playing someone and I know their strong and weak categories, it would definitely affect clue choices, and even Daily Double hunting. I’d personally feel at more of an advantage playing a friend versus a random chosen contestant. Plus, I might get even more of a handle on their wagering tendencies in Final Jeopardy!, and it might influence my own strategy accordingly.
I certainly think that both Alex and Scott are excellent players, and that many people, including some former champions, are already waiting with lots of anticipation for this matchup. Tonight’s game will be epic and I hope that you get a chance to watch.