Tag Archives: James Holzhauer

A smaller Democratic debate entertains but lacks fireworks, and a few words from a Booker supporter as he bows out. An awesome “Family Feud” horrible answer. And Ken Jennings is a “Jeopardy” God

The Democratic presidential debate stages are getting smaller, which makes me happy. But they’re also getting whiter, which does not, and this week brought a second defeat to candidates I support (more on that in a minute).

First some thoughts from a lively, but relatively tame, CNN debate:

— Right from the first question Wolf Blitzer pissed me off. It’s not just him, lots of people ask a variation of it. It was a question directed to Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, asking how can Americans trust your judgement when you made a mistake voting for war back in 2003 with Iraq (Biden) and 2001 with Afghanistan (Sanders).

So basically the premise of the question is that, “Hey, you made a mistake once, so how can we ever trust you again?” I’m sorry but that’s freaking ridiculous. Every single person on Earth has made a bad decision or judgement in their life, so no one is to be trusted again?

“Steve, in 1998 you decided to go to that terrible office party instead of seeing Prince live in concert. How can we ever trust you again?”

Such a stupid premise. People make mistakes! Doesn’t mean they can’t learn from them and grow. I just so, so hate this line of questioning.

— Biden was sharp Tuesday night. He’s been getting better and better. It’s like the first few debates were spring training and now he’s rounding into form.

— I thought Elizabeth Warren, now my top choice (more on that in a minute), had another terrific debate, standing up for women candidates, showing savvy and intelligence on foreign policy, and again showing why she’d be an outstanding President. I don’t want to hear any of my wishy-washy fellow Democrats talk crap about “ooohh, she’s too liberal, she won’t get the moderates, yada yada yada.”

Screw the moderates, she’ll get the liberals and progressives to turn out in Obama-like numbers, and that will be enough to get to 270 electoral votes.

— I also loved it when Warren said she and Amy Klobuchar were the only candidates on the stage who’d never lost an election. Women!

— A few words about Cory Booker, my No. 1 choice for President and a man I truly think would have made an excellent nominee, and Commander-in-Chief. Booker suspended his campaign for the nomination this week, and I am not surprised but crestfallen. He is a strong, smart, incredibly-charismatic man who I believe has a terrific heart, and he failed in this nomination because not enougb people felt that way.

I don’t know, truly, why Booker never caught on. Maybe it’s that we’ve already had an African-American President. Maybe he never found a lane between progressive die-hards like Warren and Bernie, and moderates like Klobuchar and Biden. Maybe he should’ve done big-money fundraisers to keep him in the race, I don’t know.

But he was a longshot from Day 1, and it makes me sad that is candidacy is over. I was more stunned that Kamala Harris failed in this quest than Booker did, but it still makes me sad.

Sigh. Elizabeth Warren, you’re getting all my support now. Go get it done.

**Next up today, game-show screwups always bring the funny. Check out how confident and proud of herself this blonde woman is when she gives what she thinks is the best answer to host Gerry Dee’s question on the Canadian version of “Family Feud.”

What’s really scary? What did those other 46 people out of 100 say?

**And finally tonight, let us all bow down to the greatest mind of our generation, Mr. Ken Jennings.

OK, maybe he’s not the greatest mind. But who knows more than this guy? Tuesday night he finished his downright evisceration of two incredibly smart guys on the “Jeopardy” Greatest of All Time Tournament.

In winning three of the four matches against James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter, Jennings just again showed mastery of all subjects, winning the $1 million cash prize and a super cool trophy. It was incredible how good he was, against two “Jeopardy” masters.

The whole tournament was great, as three dudes who got super-wealthy for knowing stuff had fun in the competition.

Hey kids, it’s cool to be smart. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

The great “Jeopardy James” finally loses, and a nation is shocked. Billy Joel and Def Leppard singer do a fabulous duet on a classic. And Roger vs. Rafa, one more time, at the French Open

All great streaks must end, eventually.

Cal Ripken played 2,632 straight baseball games, then sat one out.
The UCLA men’s basketball team won 88 consecutive games, then lost

My 4 1/2 year old son suffered a tiny bump or bruise and didn’t cry… no wait, sorry, that streak of tears is still going.
Anyway, you get my point.

Monday night, millions of viewers across America watched, stunned with mouths agape, as the great “Jeopardy James” Holzhauer was finally defeated on the quiz show.

Mere thousands of dollars shy of breaking Ken Jennings’ all-time record money haul, Holzhauer, the professional sports gambler from Vegas, lost.

He lost to a 27-year-old librarian from Chicago named Emma, who once wrote a dissertation on how to win at “Jeopardy” and the difficulty level of the clues come up. He lost for a bunch of reasons, none of which were that he got any answers wrong (he didn’t buzz in and get a single one wrong, incredibly.)
James’ streak died because he came up against a fantastic player, yes.

But he also ran out of luck with Daily Doubles, the biggest reason he’s been able to win more than two million dollars on the show over the past several weeks.

He found the first Daily Double on the first clue of the game, which meant James could only wager $1,000 at most. Then in the Double Jeopardy round, Emma found both Daily Doubles, and passed, then padded, her lead over James.

So the great Holzhauer, who I found so entertaining with his breadth of knowledge and cool wagers, never got a chance to run up a big score like he always does.

I embedded the last two minutes of the episode from Monday above; check out how the crowd gasps when they realize James lost, then listen to how choked up Alex Trebek gets at the end! He’s legit bummed that James is done.

Bravo, young Jedi Master James. We all bow before you. Now let’s get that head-to-head matchup with Ken Jennings scheduled and on TV, pronto.

**Next up today, there’s no way in the world once I saw this, that I wasn’t putting it here.

Def Leppard is one of my all-time favorite bands, “Pour Some Sugar on Me” is one of their classic songs, and Billy Joel, God bless him, tries to spice up his monthly Madison Square Garden shows every once in a while.

So he had Joe Elliott, the band’s lead singer, come out for a duet on “Pour Some Sugar on Me” with him Sunday night.

Very freaking cool. 1989 me would be freaking out if I saw this live. (By the way, how incredible is fan-taken live concert footage quality these days? Remember when it used to be all grainy and out of focus?)

**And finally today, oh man, Tuesday was a glorious day for me and the other tennis nuts out there. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal both won their quarterfinals at Roland Garros, and that means on Friday morning, we get Fedal 39, the 39th meeting ever between two of the 5-6 greatest men’s tennis players of all time.

Yes, after eight years of them not playing each other at the French Open, and four years after Federer last played in Paris at this clay-court Slam, we get another installment of one of the best rivalries in the history of the sport.

The enormous Fed fan in me wants to believe Roger can beat the best clay-courter ever, that he’s been turning back time for a few weeks, and accomplish the one feat he never has: Beating Rafa in his backyard, Roland Garros.

But I dunno… it’s going to be incredibly tough. Nadal is playing so damn well right now, and he’s not tired at all from the cakewalk matches he’s been having so far at this tournament.

Whatever happens, it’s going to be special. These two incredible sportsman, both so worthy of emulation for the way they carry themselves on and off the court, might never play again at a Slam.

So I’m sure as hell going to savor this meeting Friday, however it turns out. And if you’re a sports fan, so should you.

The U.S. is now a “problematic” place to be a journalist, says world safety organization, and it’s getting worse and worse. Trevor Noah makes laugh, on the Democratic Town Halls. And the “Jeopardy” legend of James Holzhauer grows ever bigger

At 6 a.m. Tuesday morning, while most of us were either sleeping, getting ready for work, or getting off a graveyard shift somewhere (dudes working the 7-11 at that hour, I feel you), the President of the United States was wide awake and Tweeting.

I try really, really hard to ignore the ravings of this madman, because he’s just so awful, so psychologically damaged, but he’s so dangerous to the world.

So sometimes, I can’t ignore it, despite my best instincts. Sometimes, he says something so awful that if offends me as a human, and also as a journalist, which I still consider myself, even though I’m not a full-time journalist anymore.

This is what the President of the United States wrote on Twitter:

I wonder if the New York Times will apologize to me a second time, as they did after the 2016 Election. But this one will have to be a far bigger & better apology. On this one they will have to get down on their knees & beg for forgiveness-they are truly the Enemy of the People!

Yes, the President of our free democratic nation is saying the largest, most reputable and most legendary newspaper in America should get down on their knees and apologize to him, and that they, the New York Times, are the Enemy of the People.

The Enemy of the People.

A newspaper full of journalists, exposing wrongdoing all over the world, reporting on war and famine, afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted, is the enemy of the people.

Disgusting and outrageous doesn’t begin to express how I feel. He’s said this before, I know, and it’s disgusted me then, too. We are barely a year past the massacre at the Capital-Gazette newspaper in Maryland (the names of the deceased are in the above photo), and it has never been more dangerous to be a reporter in the U.S.

Trump’s Tweet came just a few days after this story caught my attention, that the international group Reporters Without Borders has dropped the U.S. to No. 48 out of 180 on its World Press Freedom Index, downgrading America to “problematic” for reporters in its rankings.

“Never before have US journalists been subjected to so many death threats or turned so often to private security firms for protection,” the report stated.

Ten journalists have been physically attacked this year, and 46 since 2017. In January, one reporter was punched in the face and her phone stolen, while interviewing voters in California.”

As you know, I take this shit VERY seriously. People in my beloved profession having to live in fear, and being treated like this, is unconscionable. And our fearless leader stoking the embers of this fire makes me want to vomit.

“The phrase “enemy of the people” is not just false, it’s dangerous. It has an ugly history of being wielded by dictators and tyrants who sought to control public information,” New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger said in response to Trump’s attacks on the paper in February.

He’s a dictator and a tyrant, and it’s enough.

Be safe out there, reporters, and keep doing the people’s work. You are far from the enemy.

**Next up today, I don’t watch Trevor Noah and “The Daily Show” as much as I should, and I say that because every time I take the time to watch one of his clips on Twitter, I laugh pretty hard.

Here’s Noah from Tuesday talking about the five CNN Town Halls Monday with Democratic Presidential candidates (I didn’t watch them all, but quickly, I still love Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren is brilliant and amazing, and I’m just not quite buying the hype over Mayor Pete yet, I think he may prove to be a flash in the pan).

Anyway, Noah is fabulous here, especially with the “white guy advantage” stuff at the end.

**Finally tonight, not sure if any of you are as big “Jeopardy” fans as we are in our house, but have you seen the last few weeks of utter and complete domination by James Holzhauer, a professional sports gambler? Dude hasn’t just been winning, he’s been obliterating the competition, making cartoonishly large bets on Daily Doubles, and just garnering obscene amounts of money.

He’s been breaking the one-day money record like it’s nothing, and Tuesday night he continued his tremendous winning streak, getting his 14th straight win, winning $118,816 total and now up to a grand total of $1,061, 554.

The guy is a machine, and we absolutely need to get him in the Tournament of Champions against weird-dude Austin and Ken Jennings immediately.

I am in awe of this dude. And he doesn’t seem like a jerk, either!