Sports heroes in action all over TV

     Today on Jeopardy!, an episode of Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational.  I don’t really like Celebrity Jeopardy but this is best possible week for those episodes: The U.S. Open has begun and is on ESPN2 and the Tennis Channel, all day every day this week.  My DVR can only handle recording two things at once, which puts Jeopardy!, well, in jeopardy.  (You know that Jeopardy! always comes first!)  The solution: I have to be present to watch the show when it’s actually on, and I will just have to not record about a half-hour of tennis.
     Today’s contestants:
         Kareem Abdul-Jabbar                                                                                                                                                Michael McKean
Soledad O’Brien
     Mr. Trebek mentioned at the beginning of the show that they had all appeared on Jeopardy! before.
     Did you guys know these triple-stumpers in the Jeopardy round?  I got them right, but they were lucky guesses.  The “question” to this one in Other Sports Legends could have been a bunch of people: “On Tennis Magazine’s list of the 40 greatest players from 1965 to 2005, she’s the top female player.”*  I thought Michael’s guess of Billie Jean King was certainly reasonable, and Soledad’s Venus Williams was decent.  Here’s another triple-stumper in Other Sports Legends, although Mr. Trebek indicated that Michael knew it but didn’t ring in (This was was answerable without guessing, I think): “In 1996, this ‘golden boy’ TKOed Julio Cesar Chavez in 4 rounds; in ’98, it took him 8.”*
     The other triple-stumper that was a total guess was in Famous O’Briens: “At the end of Prohibition in 1933, Pat O’Brien converted his speakeasy to a legal bar in this city.”*  I don’t know why I guessed what I did.  I’d like to think that I remembered this one from the show’s original airing!  Speaking of this category, how many famous O’Briens could you name before all these clues were revealed?  I could only think of the obvious one, and he wasn’t even the subject of any of these clues!  Then again it wouldn’t have occurred to me to consider “potatoes o’brien” a “Famous O’Brien.”  Somehow I swept the category. 
     At the end of the round (we didn’t get to see the Daily Double or any Starts with 3 Consonants clues), Kareem had 3200, Soledad was in the hole 200, and Michael had 7000.
     In the Double Jeopardy round, Kareem, who was so tall that the podium was not visible when he was shown responding to a clue, embarrassed himself like crazy by thinking he was the correct response to this clue in I Went to UCLA: “Tell your old man to drag this ’70s UCLA and Trail Blazer center (and Lanier!) up and down the court for 48 minutes.”*  What’s more, it looked like he didn’t know the correct response until Mr. Trebek said what it was.  (No one else answered it.)  Kareem’s reaction:
     I have to admit this clue befuddled me when it originally aired and it does now, partly because Kareem selected the next clue by saying, “I Went to UCLA…almost.”  I just looked it up, and he did go to UCLA, but I see that was in the ’60s and not the 70s.  Also, he was never a Trail Blazer.  But what is a “Lanier”?
     In the Double Jeopardy round, we got to see both Daily Doubles.  In fact, the first one was the clue immediately after the one Kareem thought he was the correct response.  He had 12400, Soledad had 5000, and Michael had 16200.  Kareem wagered a whopping 8000 on this clue: “Kirsten Gillibrand got her law degree from UCLA in 1991 and filled the Senate seat left vacant by this woman in 2009.”*  Ouch: Kareem guessed a Supreme Court justice, and not a senator.
     When Soledad found the next Daily Double in Listen to the Flower People, she had 4200, Kareem had 4400, and Michael had 17400.  She wagered 3000 on this clue: “My Latin teacher often reminded me that the name of this month comes from a Latin word meaning ‘when flower buds open.'”*  She got it right, but the game was still a runaway: that clue wound up being the last clue in the round.  The Final Jeopardy category was Biblical Names.  This was the clue: “Trees with Biblical names include the Joshua tree and the world’s oldest tree, a 4,700-year-old pine named for him.”*  Kareem redeemed himself a little by getting it right, but I doubt anyone will remember that after the “UCLA” fiasco.  Michael got it right, too, and Soledad got it wrong.  So Michael earned the most dough for his charity, the International Myeloma Foundation.
     An update on the Summer Hiatus Challenge: We have now begun week 5 of 6.  Through week 3, mrbungle (Ryan Chaffee) looks like he is in the lead among the former
that I am following.  (I’d post a “leaderboard,” but it looks like there’s something wrong with the spreadsheet, and I can’t see everyone’s name.)  There’s still time for you to play.  If you sign up and let me know, you will have a chance to win a copy of Chuck Forrest’s Secrets of the Jeopardy! Champions.

*Martina Navratilova, Oscar de la Hoya, New Orleans, Bill Walton, Hillary Clinton, April, Methuselah