I hoped to post an entry yesterday, but things were a mess. We had planned a big Jeopardy viewing party at my school yesterday to watch my appearance to that point. But after 80 degree temperatures earlier in the week, we had a massive snow/ice storm here that shut the county (and my school) down. It was a major bummer. Fortunately, we were able to reschedule for today in the same auditorium. It won't be as suspenseful, but I hope it will still be fun.
Anyway, first to answer the major question that must be on everyone's mind:
Why did I answer "John the Baptist" on the video clue? The monitor where video clues appear is at the other side of the studio next to the board. So I couldn't see the relevant part of the picture where Euclid was drawing on the slate with the compass. It looked to me like the kneeling person was pouring water on the seated person's feet. The only person I could think of associated with bathing was John the Baptist (who I was pretty sure was not Greek).
Oh, you want to know about the Final Jeopardy! wager? It was an intentional bet. I counted on Anders and Jamey betting rationally and wagering everything. I thought it would be really cool to be a part of Jeopardy history. I knew that meant I'd be playing seasoned opponents, but it didn't matter to me. I had already won a couple of games myself, and I thought it would be neat to share the money. (See my post about Jennifer from a couple of days; that's what the literary people call foreshadowing. :-)). Now there'll be a notation next to one of my games in the J! Archive. How cool is that?
But there have been other unexpected benefits. A schoolteacher present at the game came up to me and said I taught the kids a great lesson in sportsmanship and generosity. Cecil and I have become good friends with Anders and his wife Juneko, and Jamey and his wife Beth. Juneko made Beth and Cecil gorgeous glass pendants commemorating the tie, and she made a teddy bear for Ragnar out of felt. I just got a note from Anders asking what charity I'd like him to donate some of his money to.
Some people, maybe even many people, seem to think the wager was a mistake. But I don't think so. I can't say I was 100% altruistic in my decision. I liked Anders and Jamey; Anders and I had talked at lunch about cryptics a little, and Jamey seemed like a fun person. (Maggie commented to us before the game as to what a good time I seemed to be having, and Jamey half-joked that he hoped I'd have a little less of a good time then.) But I really wasn't thinking about them. I thought more of the show. I've been watching Jeopardy! for all of its 23 years. Yesterday I got to give something back. How many players or even champions get the opportunity to do that?
One other story. That Jeopardy round was terrible for me. Normally I like theme boards, but these categories were outside my area. Between the J and DJ rounds, Maggie Speak, contestant coordinator and goddess, came up to me and whispered something to the effect of "You just had a bad round, but you can take these guys. Go out there and play like a champion". I said "Yes, ma'am". And the rest, as they say, is history.