Thursday, March 26, 2009

Jeopardy: Game Two!

Part of an ongoing series. Written before this episode aired.
Contains spoilers of tonight's episode.

My second Hometown Howdy, less thought-out than the previous game's, will not be shown on the Jeopardy website:
"Hey Twin Cities, this is Fred Beukema from Minneapolis. Let's see if I can make it a twin win as the returning champion on Jeopardy."

Kinda dumb. Ken Jennings is lucky they only had to record one Howdy back in his day.

I remember less about my show with Mark and Sonia than my first. I don't think I could name for you any categories or questions from this game, except the Final Jeopardy, which I misremembered as being from the previous game. I'm sure when I see this one on TV, it'll all come rushing back. The image I do remember from this episode is of being in a buzzer battle with Sonia, and being happily surprised when the red lights on the backside of my lectern would light up.

I hadn't really dealt with my bunched right sock during the break, so once again, my toes went numb on and off throughout the game.

And once again, I was lucky to get myself into a lock game going into FJ. Today's response (again, pictured) wasn't as immediate as the previous one. My first instinct was to wonder if there was some Pope from the era in question who had actually spoken out about indulgences. That didn't sound right, and the obvious answer popped out of the soup between my ears.

Holy cow: now I was a two time Jeopardy champion! This was beyond any expectations I had for myself when I went out to the show, and it was a lot of fun.

Now it was lunchtime, and the remaining contestants were cheerfully competitive. They had come up with a nickname for me (“The Hammer”) and jokingly (?) took out contracts with each other to take me down. We were sequestered with the contestant coordinators in the Sony canteen for lunch, which was delicious. The grill had a lot of options, made to order. My turkey burger was delicious, but I wasn't really hungry. We chatted about where we were from, our jobs, stories we'd heard from previous contestants, and about our phobias. Several claustropobes and acrophobes in the group, if I remember correctly. I mentioned I'd been working on some water tower projects, which have the unique distinction of having tight, enclosed spaces sitting at the top of 100ft+ drops. Yeesh.

Peter, Meg, Heather and John, the remaining contestants, had all seemed particularly formidable in the rehearsals, and this was reinforced by our brief after-lunch practice. My adrenaline was starting to wane and I was losing on the buzzer more often. Upon our return to the green room, I learned the last show of the day would be against Meg and Peter, who had learned that morning that they had a mutual friend. Heather and John would be back the next day, along with a new batch of contestants.

In the meantime, I prepared myself for what I expected to be a rough game.

Next Jeopardy blog, to be published after Friday's game: Game Three!


John Rettger said...

Well done! I think that we're more nervous and fidgety than you were, except that neither Dora nor I has any trouble with our sock. I was especially delighted that you got Luther right!

John Rettger

Anonymous said...

Sonia sorta blew it by only wagering $1,000 on the Daily Double late in the second round. She was down ~$15k with 3 categories left. Unbelievable!

Nora Rocket said...

Sonia was a formidable buzzer competitor, but your signal-fu was strong! I also was puzzled by her DD wager--if she'd just buzzed in and answered it right, she'd have had $1200... But in the moment, as your stories show, there's just no way to really know what's happening. Can't wait to see tonight! We've been working on our cheer moves.

Andy said...

Have been digging your time on Jeopardy! this week. Found a link to your blog on the Grinnell College website ( always cheer for a Midwesterner, and with Iowa ties at that! All best. - Andy in Iowa

Annie said...

I have been following your success with some of my Grinnell friends and then yesterday read about you in my home-town newspaper, the Grand Haven Tribune, as follows:

"The grandson of a former Grand Haven man was the winner on the "Jeopardy" show that aired on television Wednesday night.

Fred Beukema of Minneapolis won more than $21,000 to advance to tonight's competition, according to his great-uncle, Corky Beukema of Grand Haven.

Fred is the son of John and Cynthia Beukema and the grandson of Chris Beukema, Corky's brother.

Corky said he has been receiving e-mails from Fred describing what he has had to go through to be a "Jeopardy" contestant, including filming several days of programming in one day."

Nicholas Malinowski said...

Really proud of you Fred! Great contestant--love the way you don't waste time with full category names or dollar amounts and think you're wagering strategy is perfect. On each of your Daily Doubles you have said the exact same dollar amount I would have wagered. Also, I was super-impressed with your performance on the Planet Span It category, and your Bipartisan Artisan response. I can't wait for tonight.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know that various Grinnellians around the country are rooting for you!! There was a story posted about you on the Grinnell website, so ever since then a bunch of us have been watching and trying to 'beat' you. Good luck and have a wonderful day!!!