A few days late, thoughts on the awesome Spelling Bee. RIP, Alice from “The Brady Bunch.” And the perfect graphic for/against Derek Jeter

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Game 7, overtime, Blackhawks-Kings. Nuts. And L.A. wins it. So now we know it’s Rangers- Kings, starting on Wednesday. Should be a whole lotta fun. New York vs. L.A., Marian Gaborik against his old team, maybe the two best goalies in the world going head-to-head… can’t wait till Wednesday.

So one of my favorite events of any kind in any year is the National Spelling Bee, and every year since I”ve had this here blog thingy I’ve written about the Bee, its awesome contestants, and everything associated with it.

Alas, this year the Bee happened during Game 6 of Rangers-Canadiens, and so I didn’t get to see the coolest “smart kid” competition of them all until this weekend.
My father-in-law thought I was “very weird” for watching a Spelling Bee on DVR, but he just doesn’t get it.

Some thoughts, a few days late, on the craziness of the Bee and the first co-champions in 52 years:

— OK, first of all, every year ESPN tries a little bit harder to make these kids seem cool. But this year, man, they went SO over the top trying. Those skits/vignettes with the spellers dressed up in weird costumes, set to current music? And the whole skit with Dr. Bailly, the awesome pronouncer, yelling at the kids that “it’s Bee Day!”

Bless your heart, ESPN, for trying to make our spellers look like cool kids. but they’re not, they know they’re not, WE know they’re not. But I’m glad you try.

— Is it me, or has this thing gotten way friendlier and more casual this year? The sentences Dr. Bailly’s reading out as part of the definitions were funny, lots of times, and filled with pop-culture references, like “Breaking Bad” and lyrics from Kelis. And all the kids say “hi” to Dr. Bailly before spelling their word! Man, I remember when this competition was more cold-blooded.

— Still my favorite thing about the Bee: When a kid sounds out a word, basically guesses, gets it right, then comes back to the chair and gives the other kids a look like “I didn’t know it!” Happened a few times Thursday.

— Jacob. Jacob, Jacob, Jacob. This kid’s in the Bee Hall of Fame off his theatrics in the finals, isn’t he?

–Finally, I’m so glad this is on national TV every year. It’s always riveting; I mean, co-champions, with each kid nailing incredibly difficult words in the last few minutes? Great drama. And for once, it shows young people with no athletic ability or “musical talent” in a positive light, for millions to emulate. I know it’s corny, but I love it.

**Very sad to hear that Ann B. Davis, Alice of “The Brady Bunch” died Sunday at age 88. She will always be remembered as Alice, the housekeeper who for some reason got brought along on family vacations with the Bradys (she threw her back out in Hawaii, who could forget that?), never could get Sam the Butcher to commit, and in the end got replaced by some chick named Kate.

I always loved her little shopping list chalkboard, and her genuine enthusiasm for every Brady kid triumph.
Ah, Alice, you’ll be missed.

Jeterscoutingreport

**Finally today, this made me laugh out loud, pretty hard. Derek Jeter is beloved by  Yankees fans, hated by everyone else, and generally acknowledged to be the kind of player whose greatness is always talked about in intangibles, like “he’s a winner,” or “he plays the game right.”

It drives quite a few people nuts, including Joe Posnanski, who laughed at this “scouting report” graphic posted about Jeter before a game last week.

So he wrote a column about it, and it’s hysterical, especially the “conversation on the mound” part.
It’s Monday, and you need a good laugh. Click here.

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