Interesting idea from the J! Facebook

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Interesting idea from the J! Facebook

Postby hanzz » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:01 am

So browsing the Jeopardy! Facebook page for whatever nuggets of entertainment I might find (spoiler: there are many), I happened upon this interesting post:

"I know I've said this before, but I have to say it again. As you know, teen champions have not been invited to participate in the show's Tournament of Champions since 2000. There have been now 14 teen champions since that time. I feel that from all they did just to win their tournament, they should have been given a spot in the ToC. Seeing there's gonna be 15 teen champions who haven't played in the ToC after this next tournament, I strongly urge you to bring them all back in a "Tournament of Teen Champs who didn't play in the ToC" to get the chance to finish what they started."

This is a strangely fascinating idea, and though I'd much rather a Lovably Memorable College Finalists reunion, I think this would be great to watch. The TT has produced quite a number of players I'm sure many would love to see back (and Leonard would, of course, be a publicity gold mine of a representative face to the tournament).

(Forgive me if this has been brought up before)
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Re: Interesting idea from the J! Facebook

Postby whoisalexjacob » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:10 am

Umm.. can we go the other way and not let the college winner play the TOC anymore?
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Re: Interesting idea from the J! Facebook

Postby Johnblue » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:50 am

I agree with the 2nd post. And let's not waste a spot with the Teacher winner either. J! is diluting its brand in some ways.
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Re: Interesting idea from the J! Facebook

Postby emtwo » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:38 am

Of course I have a personal investment in this, but I humbly disagree. The college and teachers champs can absolutely run with the big dogs, and as much as I agree that too many tournaments spoil the Jeopardy, the college and teachers tournaments aren't a waste. The college tournament especially gives Jeopardy a chance to showcase younger players (viewers love the PYTs, right?). I wish they didn't dumb down the boards as much because I know the college players can handle harder material and deserve that credit, but I'm not in charge, oh well. Besides, putting the college and teachers' champs in the ToC lends the tournaments more credibility too. They've got the goods, so let them prove it!
I'm not be the best person to argue this, since my wild card ran away from me a few hours ago, but I stand by it nonetheless. As far as the teens, there are definitely a few who are ToC caliber, but the age (and subsequently knowledge) differential is big enough that they'd have a consistent disadvantage against the old farts.
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Re: Interesting idea from the J! Facebook

Postby seaborgium » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:10 am

15 people also prevailed in the fall 2010 sparring sessions against Watson.

On the subject of tournament winners, I could see a conditional spot in the ToC for them. I wouldn't mind if, say, a Teen Tournament winner were ranked ahead of 3xers and behind 4xers in the ToC standings (or as 3xers with $75,000, or however much they won). But I think it could only work if the other tournaments occurred with the same frequency as the ToC, because as it stands, there could be times when one TT winner would make it and the other would be the alternate, with no real way to choose one over the other.
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Re: Interesting idea from the J! Facebook

Postby whoisalexjacob » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:11 am

I just think that making the TOC field as a regular player is a lot tougher than winning a 15-player tournament... and personally, I'd bet on a random just-missed-the-cut player over a random college or teachers champ.

Bummer about the wildcard. Tough draw going against Keller, he's a monster.
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Re: Interesting idea from the J! Facebook

Postby CoachP » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:13 am

I like the idea of an All-Teen Champ TOC. And, I think (especially this year) the College and Teacher's Champions are every bit as good as the other 12 finalists. I will say I was a little disappointed to see 2 Teacher's tourney champs getting automatic qualifiers this time instead of just one, but perhaps that was due to a quirk of the show's calendar?
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Re: Interesting idea from the J! Facebook

Postby seaborgium » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:28 am

Yes, all hell broke loose when they dislodged the ToC cycle from the calendar cycle. It used to be rigidly annual, then in season 14 they moved it to February, then to May in season 16, and it hasn't held still since.

P.S. [insert admonition about discussing games' outcomes outside spoiler designated threads] [insert complaint about what my local J! affiliate is doing for the second week in a row]
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Re: Interesting idea from the J! Facebook

Postby hanzz » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:54 am

CoachP wrote:I like the idea of an All-Teen Champ TOC. And, I think (especially this year) the College and Teacher's Champions are every bit as good as the other 12 finalists. I will say I was a little disappointed to see 2 Teacher's tourney champs getting automatic qualifiers this time instead of just one, but perhaps that was due to a quirk of the show's calendar?


Stefan's tournament had three College Champs due to scheduling quirks, which, if I recall, meant that all 4xers got on, yet the highest ranking 3xer (whose name escapes me at the moment) had accumulated more $$$ (about $100k) than a good number of players in the field.
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Re: Interesting idea from the J! Facebook

Postby Bamaman » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:10 am

seaborgium wrote:Yes, all hell broke loose when they dislodged the ToC cycle from the calendar cycle. It used to be rigidly annual, then in season 14 they moved it to February, then to May in season 16, and it hasn't held still since.

P.S. [insert admonition about discussing games' outcomes outside spoiler designated threads] [insert complaint about what my local J! affiliate is doing for the second week in a row]


I agree I liked it better when they had it the same time every year. I wish they had kept it a seasonal tournament like they did for the first TOC.

The problem with a Teen TOC is that there would be a wide age range and many of the players are no longer teens.
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Re: Interesting idea from the J! Facebook

Postby seaborgium » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:42 am

hanzz wrote:
CoachP wrote:I like the idea of an All-Teen Champ TOC. And, I think (especially this year) the College and Teacher's Champions are every bit as good as the other 12 finalists. I will say I was a little disappointed to see 2 Teacher's tourney champs getting automatic qualifiers this time instead of just one, but perhaps that was due to a quirk of the show's calendar?


Stefan's tournament had three College Champs due to scheduling quirks, which, if I recall, meant that all 4xers got on, yet the highest ranking 3xer (whose name escapes me at the moment) had accumulated more $$$ (about $100k) than a good number of players in the field.

Patrick Tucker and Nick Yozamp would have been in my ToC anyway; Joey Beachum won the 2008 College Championship, but the 2009 ToC tape dates conflicted with his Air Force schedule.

When Maggie was briefing us before the first ToC taping, she introduced us to Kevin Joyce, and said that in three games, he won more than any of the 4xers did. I raised my hand and semi-quietly interjected, "And one of the five-timers!"

Pretty much every ToC that keeps out all 3xers (and some that let them in) is going to have also-rans that earned more than some people who actually made the tournament. Here are the highest earning 3xers from each ToC qualifying period who didn't make the ToC:

2013: Patrick Morrison: $80,701 (over Kristin Morgan's $69k, Paul Nelson's $54k, Ashok Poozhikunnel's $69k, and Dan McShane's $60k)
2011: Megan Barnes: $103,203 (over Kara Spak's $83k, Brian Meacham's $90k, and Buddy Wright's $88k) (not an alternate)
2010: Kevin Joyce: $111,299 (over my $84k, and all six 4xers)
2009: Jack Feerick: $108,200 (over Matt Kohlstedt's $77k, Lisa Klink's $70k, and six of the seven 4xers) (not an alternate)
2008: Julie Dunlevy: $73,800 (over Sara Terrell's $71k)
(2006's lowest earning competitor was a 3xer, so no 3xers with more than 4xers were overlooked.)
2004: Patrick Macaraeg: $83,002 (over Steve Reynolds's $75k, Sam Ott's $67k, and Russ Schumacher's $64k)
2003: Tom Kelso: $83,402 (over Travis Troyer's $83k, Ben Tritle's $78k, Mark Brown's $68k, and four 4xers' totals) (not an alternate)
(2001 and 2000 skipped because they didn't even let 4xers play, and no 3xers earned over $50k in this period, making a search of Jeopardy.com's Hall of Fame useless.)
1999: Louis Cohen: $48,203 (over Andrew Maly's $44k, James Arey's $42k, Dan Girard's $37k, J.J. Todor's $29k, and three of the four 4xers)
(1998 skipped because all 3xers earned less than all 4xers and 5xers during the qualifying period.)

Beyond that, the Archive gets spotty, so I'll stop there, except to note that Matt Handel is listed in the Hall of Fame with $63,401 in season 11 (I assume during the 1995 qualifying period; MarkBarrett's help would be appreciated here!), and since the 1995 ToC had 4xers below that (Ryan Holznagel is particularly notable), that must mean he's a 3xer. (cheezguyty once found his linkedin, where he self-identified as a 3xer, so there you go.) That total puts him above all but two of the 1995 ToC participants.

While I'm at it, here are the highest 4xers for each qualifying period who outearned 5xers but didn't make the tournament:
2011: Sara Heard: $85,601 (over Kara Spak's $83k)
2001: Jason Parker: $59,800 (over eight of 14 5xers) (not an alternate)
2000: Jason Karpf: $46,499 (over Steve Fried's $45k, Mike Blumenfeld's $44k, Helen Petroff's $43k, Terry Currin's $40k, and Darlene Lieblich's $35k)
(1999 and 1998 saw all 4xers make the ToC)
And again, J! Archive gets spotty. But there are a few people who made the Hall of Fame without making a ToC. Josh Vincent is the highest pre-doubled non-ToC HoFer besides Matt Handel, with $58,800 in season 8. This puts him above 5xers Dave Willis, Robert Slaven, and Kirk Ditzler. The earliest non-ToC HoFer is Paula Massengale, who is a mostly archived 4xer from season 6, with $50,901, more than 5xers Steve Berman, Dan Katz, Jeff Bandman, Lisa Guay, and Andrew Bernknopf.

And heck, let's go the other way for 2006! 2xer William Lee won $62,500, which is more than Michael Falk (whom he beat!) and Aaron Thompson, and all the 3xers who didn't make that ToC.
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Re: Interesting idea from the J! Facebook

Postby Vanya » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:13 am

omgwheelhouse wrote:I just think that making the TOC field as a regular player is a lot tougher than winning a 15-player tournament... and personally, I'd bet on a random just-missed-the-cut player over a random college or teachers champ.

Bummer about the wildcard. Tough draw going against Keller, he's a monster.


To get in the TOC you have to win at least 4 games. To win a tournament you have to win or do well in 4 games, against increasingly better opponents. Seems like a wash to me.
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Re: Interesting idea from the J! Facebook

Postby rmfromfla » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:44 am

Well, to the rescue again:

Walter Mayes (season 8) -- 4 wins, $56,003 (didn't qualify for the TOC)
Seth Davis (season 8) -- 4 wins, $53,801 ( " " " " ")
In Matt Handel's case, he won 3 games ($23,400, 17,001, 23,000), but lost his fourth game in what must have been a wild finish in
Final Jeopardy, as the new champion walked away with a whopping $899. Handel became the new champ after Steve Chernicoff
finshed out the first three games of S11 to complete his run.


Enough said -- back to the cave! 8-)
Last edited by rmfromfla on Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Interesting idea from the J! Facebook

Postby MarkBarrett » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:01 am

It looks like Robert has covered Seaborgium's request. All I can add are these names from the old Dominy pages:

Other season 7 players that did not make it to the TOC:

Kyle Freeman $36,003 - 4-time winner
David Epstein $46,101 - 4-time winner
Marc Goldberg $16,401 - 4-time winner
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Re: Interesting idea from the J! Facebook

Postby Austin Powers » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:12 am

I mean, I would take a tourney like that over having *two* Teacher's tourneys.

And I would also take it over a kids week plus one week of Chris Matthews
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Re: Interesting idea from the J! Facebook

Postby jeff6286 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:21 pm

Austin Powers wrote:I mean, I would take a tourney like that over having *two* Teacher's tourneys.

And I would also take it over a kids week plus one week of Chris Matthews


Seriously, dump the kids and give us two weeks of Chris Matthews. :mrgreen:
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Re: Interesting idea from the J! Facebook

Postby Johnblue » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:31 pm

There are many things they could do to improve the show but Chris Matthews isn't one of them! I'd start with short questions from any guest questioners. Oprah, any pols, Kareem, the others - 7 words or less!

As for the original idea from FB: the contestant pool is too big as it is. Is it fair for those who are still waiting to get on to be shunted aside for prior winners? And as a wise man above said, the age difference between 1998's winner & this year's would be odd.
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Re: Interesting idea from the J! Facebook

Postby Austin Powers » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:36 pm

Let me rephrase. I don't mean NO Chris Matthews whatsoever. If they waterboarded him I would certainly watch that.
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Re: Interesting idea from the J! Facebook

Postby Johnblue » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:42 pm

Watching him is a firm of torture! Unintentionally funny guy. I hope they drop the whole celeb/power players nonsense.
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Re: Interesting idea from the J! Facebook

Postby dhkendall » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:42 pm

Johnblue wrote:There are many things they could do to improve the show but Chris Matthews isn't one of them!


Speaking as somoene who rooted for Chris in his Celeb game, I disagree! (Rooted for him as a fellow Toastmaster - and yes, I'll readily admit that Chris' performance was not nearly as polished as other Toastmasters who competed in regular games (I knew they were Toastmasters mainly from articles the Toastmaster magazine would do on them after their appearance). Lesson is, I suppose, don't leave Toastmasters lest your speaking abilities get rusty again! :) (Chris is a former Toastmaster, but remains their poster boy and star of their PSA))

Johnblue wrote:I'd start with short questions from any guest questioners. Oprah, any pols, Kareem, the others - 7 words or less!


Oh, I can definitely see them even bung up a short question from them.

As to the whole idea of revamping the tourneys to how we'd like them (ditch the kids, the celebs, take the college winner out of the TOC), we can come up with what we'd like to see all we want, but I'm sure everyone here knows we are not in charge of ratings - the stuff we hate (kids, celebs) is what brings in the occasional viewer (that and things like Ken and Watson that bring in major media buzz), and ratings is what pays the bills. (We don't even seem to be in the typical (or stereotypical) demographic of J! viewer, based on advertising (which I'd take it to mean someone who is at least 80 years old, even though the faces of the contestants and even the studio audience shots seem to belie that.)
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