Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Board Giveth and the Board Taketh Away

 

photo-14What Ricochet members have long suspected has now been confirmed on national television: soy un perderor. I’m a loser, baby. Last night, 24 hours after my inaugural appearance on Jeopardy! ended with me perched atop a throne of skulls, viewers got to witness the fall of the House of Senik (in case you can’t tell, I’m using this post to disgorge all the references I had been husbanding for my appearance). And you know what? The loss was probably worth it to be the guy who got to avenge all the past Jeopardy contestants who have had their interview segment (or, as I call it, High-Functioning Autism Theater) hijacked by Alex Trebek making the story about himself:

 

A few reflections on the experience:

  • Jeopardy! producers will tell you that the answers that haunt contestants aren’t the ones that they just flat didn’t know; it’s the ones that were entirely in their wheelhouses … where they just went blank. I would’ve notched my second win if I had only been able to call to mind GM as a company that had been removed from the S&P 500 and then relisted — not an unreasonable expectation given that I was actually serving in the White House at the start of the auto bailout. When it didn’t come immediately to mind, however, I made the mistake of racking my brain instead of rereading the clue, wherein the superfluous use of the word “big” is a tipoff that the writers were looking for a big three automaker. That, by the way, is one of the keys to show — reading the signposts that the writing staff is giving you.
  • A Jeopardy! appearance will forever toy with your Google search results. I have now uttered “666” on national television. The devout amongst you can read into that what you will.
  • Depending on who you talk to on Twitter, my celebrity doppelgangers are Adam Scott (the actor, not the golfer), James McAvoy, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, or a wrestler who fights under the name Bad News Barrett. I was also compared to an evil version of Wil Wheaton and — my personal favorite — the pregnant man. Kudos, also, to the person on Twitter who noted “Troy’s eyebrow game is too strong. He looks like a super villain.”
  • Speaking of social media, there was a subset of Americans who were rooting for my defeat based solely on my friendship with John Yoo. They are currently on their way to CIA black sites.
  • Some kind, but deeply misguided, soul announced on Twitter yesterday that I had surpassed John Podhoretz as Ricochet’s most impressive Jeopardy! player (John made it into the 1987 Tournament of Champions). Do not turn to this person for financial advice. John remains the king and it bears noting that I’m only now catching up to James Pethokoukis and James Poulos, both also one-day winners.
  • Contestants who live in Southern California are usually called in as alternates, meaning you might sit through one whole day of tapings (Jeopardy! tapes five shows for each day of production) and not actually play, at which point you’re asked to come in again at a later date for a guaranteed appearance. This happened to me and one of the shows for which I was not chosen featured categories on football and conservative books. Had there also been categories on fried food and dark liquors, I would have been certain that God had dusted off the old Job playbook for use on me.

All in all, it was an extraordinarily fun process and the people who make Jeopardy! are really fantastic, from the producers all the way down to the intern who defrosts Alex’s heart just before he goes on stage. If you didn’t see the shows, the videos are down in the comments.

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There are 45 comments.

  1. Troy Senik Contributor
    Troy Senik Post author

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgDX5ShVEGY

    • #1
    • June 20, 2014, at 3:08 PM PST
    • Like
  2. Troy Senik Contributor
    Troy Senik Post author

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0YSTbmUJfk

    • #2
    • June 20, 2014, at 3:10 PM PST
    • Like
  3. Jimmy Carter Member

    Is it rude to ask how much the governments took for taxes?

    • #3
    • June 20, 2014, at 3:15 PM PST
    • 1 like
  4. Troy Senik Contributor
    Troy Senik Post author

    Jimmy Carter:

    Is it rude to ask how much the governments took for taxes?

     Barack Obama and Jerry Brown had very, very good days.

    • #4
    • June 20, 2014, at 3:17 PM PST
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  5. Eustace C. Scrubb Member

    I was thinking Sears as well in the safety of my home.

    • #5
    • June 20, 2014, at 3:38 PM PST
    • Like
  6. Troy Senik Contributor
    Troy Senik Post author

    Eustace C. Scrubb:

    I was thinking Sears as well in the safety of my home.

     Bless you. You have no idea how much better that makes me feel. I had been reading about Sears’ travails a few days before and it was the only thing that was coming to mind. I was fairly confident from the moment that I wrote it down that I was going home.

    • #6
    • June 20, 2014, at 3:43 PM PST
    • Like
  7. EJHill Podcaster

    As for the show toying with your Google results, I now understand motivation. Up until that moment your Google life belonged to moi

    But I’m not worried. I’ll still be there when dreams of snotty Canadian game show hosts have faded into the mists like Brigadoon. I’ll take ‘Gangnam Style’ for $200, Alex…

    More seriously, we were all happy for you and the $1.28 you get to keep after taxes.

    • #7
    • June 20, 2014, at 4:24 PM PST
    • Like
  8. Troy Senik Contributor
    Troy Senik Post author

    EJHill:

    But I’m not worried. I’ll still be there when dreams of snotty Canadian game show hosts have faded into the mists like Brigadoon. I’ll take ‘Gangnam Style’ for $200, Alex…

    I think your legacy’s secure. Gangnam Style is basically your Mona Lisa. It got brought up to me at one point at a holiday dinner with distant family members who I didn’t even know read Ricochet.

    Needless to say, I killed them and their hard drive is now in the Pacific.

    • #8
    • June 20, 2014, at 4:32 PM PST
    • Like
  9. Doug Kimball Member

    You left Alex speechless and non-plussed, something I have never seen and I watch the show often (I always win when I’m on my couch.) I was hoping you would have the chance to use the answer (“Who is someone who has never been in my kitchen?”) but alas, it never happened, but the question of Trebec after his “thorough world traveler – “Antarctica? Let me tell you about Antarctica…” spiel, was classic! He was being so clever and you stunned him with a clever, “Recommend any good restaurants?” quip! You could tell he didn’t like to have his “clever” time one upped by a well spoken, attractive, male contestant who clearly sees no need to have “work done.” “Did I just say “attractive?” Don’t take it the wrong way.

    Anyway, now $30, 700 richer, I expect you to pick up the tab next time we meet.

    • #9
    • June 20, 2014, at 4:54 PM PST
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  10. Doctor Bass Monkey Inactive

    So when is Trebek coming on the podcast?

    • #10
    • June 20, 2014, at 5:55 PM PST
    • Like
  11. Profile Photo Member

    Banana clip? Really? Sorry, I had to bust you on that, otherwise quite impressive. I shudder to think how I would do on “Jeopardy.”

    BTW, I spent three summer seasons flying helicopters from McMurdo Station, Antarctica 1986-1989 and this was the best, I mean only, restaurant around.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yzjl0bNOD_U

    • #11
    • June 20, 2014, at 5:56 PM PST
    • Like
  12. Mark Krikorian Contributor

    Hey, at least you get to keep the money now even if you don’t win. I was on in the early 90s, before losers got to keep their money. I didn’t even win once, I’m afraid, meaning you and Pethakoukis & JPod are all smarter than me. But at least my second place finish got me a nice dining room set — WHICH I HAD TO SELL TO PAY THE TAXES. But I got Final Jeopardy right, unlike the hapless third-place finisher, who got a punchbowl for his trouble.

    • #12
    • June 20, 2014, at 7:47 PM PST
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  13. Cow Girl Thatcher

    Very cool contestant, Troy! You were suave and funny. And for all those haters who make fun of your loss: it’s easy when you’re sitting on the couch! Up there, on the stage, with the lights and the timers…not so much. Way to go–it was fun to see you.

    • #13
    • June 20, 2014, at 8:59 PM PST
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  14. Randy Weivoda Moderator

    I didn’t see the first episode but I saw the second. My only disappointment was that you didn’t answer “Who is Harry Stinkin’ Reid, the most senile member of the U.S. Senate.”

    • #14
    • June 20, 2014, at 9:04 PM PST
    • Like
  15. Arahant Member

    Mark Krikorian: But at least my second place finish got me a nice dining room set — WHICH I HAD TO SELL TO PAY THE TAXES.

    I would love to know how you came out on that deal, Mark. I can’t imagine that the price you sold it for was as much as the list price they were taxing you on.

    • #15
    • June 20, 2014, at 10:26 PM PST
    • Like
  16. EThompson Inactive

    You left Alex speechless and non-plussed, something I have never seen and I watch the show often … 

    My thoughts exactly and may I add it was a pleasure to watch a non-nerd do well on this show!

    • #16
    • June 20, 2014, at 11:47 PM PST
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  17. Songwriter Member

    For cryin’ out loud – I watch “Alex Trebek is a Pompous Blowhard” (aka “Jeopardy”) faithfully. But a fellow goes out of town once a year and misses the appearance of THE Troy Senik. Bummer.

    • #17
    • June 21, 2014, at 7:29 AM PST
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  18. Kim K. Member

    For some season I thought you’d be taller! /jk/ I don’t usually watch Jeopardy, but it was a blast to watch someone I “know”.

    • #18
    • June 21, 2014, at 8:28 AM PST
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  19. Dipsy's PAL Member

    I always thought the evil version of Wil Wheaton was Wil Wheaton .

    • #19
    • June 21, 2014, at 11:43 AM PST
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  20. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    Troy, you should have gone the full Sean Connery on Trebek.

    http://youtu.be/Bdt9Piq5s0g

    • #20
    • June 21, 2014, at 2:51 PM PST
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  21. EThompson Inactive

    @MLR: Honestly, this is yet another reason you’re one of my very favorite members on Rico. As an avid SNL fan since forever, this sketch ranks as one of the best! Thanks for making me spit up my glass of chardonnay right now.

    • #21
    • June 21, 2014, at 4:12 PM PST
    • Like
  22. Melissa Praemonitus Member

    It’s not quite fair that the other contestants got the good cursive pens.

    • #22
    • June 21, 2014, at 4:13 PM PST
    • 1 like
  23. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    EThompson:

    @MLR: Honestly, this is yet another reason you’re one of my very favorite members on Rico. As an avid SNL fan since forever, this sketch ranks as one of the best! Thanks for making me spit up my glass of chardonnay right now.

     My pleasure! ;-)

    • #23
    • June 21, 2014, at 4:32 PM PST
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  24. Hammer, The Member

    “is there a restaurant you’d recommend?”

    that was a brilliant zinger that really gets to the heart of trabek’s arrogance. fantastic!

    • #24
    • June 22, 2014, at 10:10 AM PST
    • Like
  25. EThompson Inactive

    One more comment: Troy, much to this FiCon’s chagrin, you missed the “big business” answer, but thank goodness you got Pat Summitt and Mitt Romney! All is not lost.

    • #25
    • June 22, 2014, at 2:20 PM PST
    • Like
  26. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    In the first clip posted in comment #1, one of the questions mentioned the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. My mother founded that organization’s Laredo, Texas chapter back in 2001.

    • #26
    • June 22, 2014, at 3:06 PM PST
    • Like
  27. EThompson Inactive

    Mike LaRoche:

    In the first clip posted in comment #1, one of the questions mentioned the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. My mother founded that organization’s Laredo, Texas chapter back in 2001.

    I noticed the same question. My mom’s a DAR. :))

    • #27
    • June 22, 2014, at 3:17 PM PST
    • Like
  28. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    EThompson:

    Mike LaRoche:

    In the first clip posted in comment #1, one of the questions mentioned the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. My mother founded that organization’s Laredo, Texas chapter back in 2001.

    I noticed the same question. My mom’s a DAR. :))

     We’re two peas in a pod!

    • #28
    • June 22, 2014, at 3:46 PM PST
    • 1 like
  29. Arahant Member

    EThompson: I noticed the same question. My mom’s a DAR. :))

    I qualify for SAR and the Sons of the Confederacy, of course.

    • #29
    • June 22, 2014, at 3:51 PM PST
    • 1 like
  30. Funeral Guy Member

    I was on one episode of Jeopardy in 1984. When friends would ask me what it was like I’d say it was the fastest half hour of my life. The episode I was on turned into a pretty weird game. The winner won with only $1000 as all the contestants booted the Final Jeopardy question. (Who was Wild Bill Hickock, can’t remember the answer.) I was leading going into Double Jeopardy but I must have started to clutch, because I fell victim to the Too-Quick-On- The-Buzzer-Syndrome on a couple of crucial questions. Oh, well. As it turned out people were more impressed by my loss on Jeopardy than the fact that a couple of years before I won $28,000 on the short-lived hybrid Match Game/Hollywood Squares. (Which wasn’t the same without Paul Lynde.)

    • #30
    • June 22, 2014, at 6:26 PM PST
    • Like