Editorial: On Entitlement In The Fandom

Something has really started to bother me as of late.

There’s a terrible sense of entitlement by many in the Jeopardy! fandom.

A sense of entitlement that the home viewer feels like they should be equal to the judges on stage, or that they feel that they can one-up Jeopardy.

Don’t get me wrong: A good number of you are incredibly awesome people and I’m proud to call many of you my good friends. I just wish that more people were like you!

As an example, look at the mountain of tweets that come Jeopardy!’s way every night every time someone thinks that a contestant has failed to phrase in the form of a question, asking passive-aggressively at the show, “Have the rules changed?” (Spoiler alert: No. The rules have not changed. If they were to change, especially in this respect, it would be a front-page story here on The Jeopardy! Fan for weeks.)

It also manifests itself in other strange ways, like the questioner at 92Y on Tuesday night who asked Alex the most esoteric cringeworthy question, and then turned to the audience to say “I stumped him”. Really? That’s how you want to conduct yourself as a Jeopardy! fan?

Alex literally has an earpiece so he can clearly hear contestants. He said as much this week when he was interviewed at 92Y by Michael McKean. The judges have tens of thousands of dollars worth of professional audio equipment so that they can hear the contestants.

You at home? You have a TV speaker.

As we saw on Tuesday, if a contestant fails to phrase their response properly, Alex and the judges will tell us.

Sometimes, contestants like to play quickly. Their phrasing often crosses with Alex calling on them. But it is there.

So, as a fan, focus on the clues. You don’t need to be an armchair judge.

It’s not a good look. It’s even starting to sour me as a Jeopardy! fan. And nobody wants to see that happen.


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