Take me out of the ballgame (please!)

     Remember how I said I asked Jonathan Corbblah on the Jeopardy! message boards to explain his Final Jeopardy wager on Tuesday’s episode?  (He wagered 2200 of his 10800 while Judy had 12400 and Tom had 18600.)  This is what he said: “I was thinking by FJ I only had a winning chance if the other two were wrong so in that case I figured that I would also have to get it right. I started to wager a big chunk but the decided to wager less in case of a massive miracle of huge overbetting and I figured since I needed luck, I would repeat the 13000 that I won yesterday.”  By the way, Jonathan, if you’re reading this, did you story for your appearance on the show?
     Here are my scores for Wednesday and Thursday:
Anthony Flores 0     Alexis Hawley 6100     Tom Nissley 23201     Me 23202
Jen Huff 6594     Tim Klein 13600     Tom Nissley 23201     Me 23198
     Today’s contestants:

Tom Nissley

Teresa Lane

Nina Kiekhaefer

     You can see over the past three days that Tom has been at least a threat.  Today he was a full-out menace.  By the first break, he had 5000, Nina had 200, and Teresa had 2800.  I was struggling and had 0!  After the break Tom swept the category Musical Lodgings, a category that at least Mr. Trebek thought was tough, and it was for me, too!  Sample clue: “This ’80s group reminisced that ‘our house was our castle and our keep.'”*  I know the song but not who sang it (til now).  But it gets worse: “Led Zeppelin’s alliterative fifth album title, it referred to the large stadiums where the band played.”*
     The Daily Double didn’t come until the very last clue of the round, in The Winter Of.  By then, Tom had 9000, Nina had 2600, and Teresa had 3800.  I had 4600.  Nina wagered 2000 on this clue: “…1939 and 1940 was when the USSR fought this country in ‘The Winter War.'”*  I didn’t know it, and neither did Nina.
     How did you guys feel about this clue in A + 4 (where each word begins with an A and has four more letters after it): “It’s a saying that sets forth a general truth and has gained credit through long use.”*  I thought of two appropriate responses while the clue was being read, and I couldn’t decide which one they could’ve been looking for!  I finally went with the one they initially accepted, but poor Teresa went with the other one and was counted wrong.  They credited her later, and Mr. Trebek said he didn’t know why they hadn’t thought of the possibility of both correct responses.  The next clue in the same category was a triple-stumper that I got: “It can mean passion or zeal, or the intense heat or flow of a fire.”*
     I just couldn’t catch up to Tom.  I was sweeping Scott Land, but Tom got 3 of 4 right before finding the Daily Double in that category.  He had 19800, Nina had 2600, Teresa had 7000, and I had 12400.  Tom wagered 6000 on this clue: “Campbell was the middle name of this actor who refused an Oscar in 1971.”*  This one should’ve been a “duh,” but I missed it, I think because I forgot the category.  Tom, of course, got it right, pretty much slamming the door on his two opponents.  Before the round was over, though, Nina did find the other Daily Double near the end of the round in A Hint of Spice.  Tom had 29800, Nina had 3400, and Teresa had 7800.  I had 5000.  Nina wagered 2000 on this clue:  “It’s used medically to treat colic (oh, and in Japan to cleanse the palate.”*  Nina and I got it right.   I went out in a blaze of glory: I got this triple-stumper right in the same category: “This spice resembles an onion seed (oh yeah, the hint – it shares its name with TV chef Lawson.”*
     So the scores going into Final Jeopardy: Tom had 29800, Nina had 5400, Teresa had 7800, and I had 21800.  So it wasn’t a runaway for me.  The Final Jeopardy category was Americana.  This was the clue: “Riding the subway in 1908, Jack Norworth saw a sign for the polo grounds and was inspired to write this song.”*  I threw out a wild guess, and I’ll just say I’m glad I wasn’t on the show, having given that response.  But I never would have guessed what Tom and Nina correctly did.  Nina added 2401, giving her a one dollar lead over Teresa until she lost 3001.  After revealing that Tom had answered correctly, Mr. Trebek said, “I hope you wagered a bundle.”  Weird, I was hoping he had not wagered anything!  I just think it’s a classy move.  Not “in-your-face” to your opponents, you know?  Anyway he wagered 14000, and we will obviously see him Monday!
*Madness, “Houses of the Holy,” Finland, adage/axiom, ardor, George C. Scott, ginger, nigella, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”