There have been plenty of sports and sports-adjacent flubs on Jeopardy! over the years, from lots of misses in the “Talkin’ Football” category through describing spring training in Florida as “The Bush League.” But Thursday’s three college contestants didn’t embarrass themselves with a lack of sports knowledge. No, they embarrassed themselves with a choreographed (if you can call it that) intro with an imaginary basketball:
They deleted it, but don't worry…
I saved the College Jeopardy basketball introduction for the culture ??? pic.twitter.com/6nhc7Rz7H5
— Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) April 20, 2018
Let’s illustrate this through screencaps. We start with Dhruv Gaur, a Brown freshman, who presents “totally normal two-handed dribbling”:
He then “passes” to Central Florida sophomore Hannah Sage, who gives quite an unconvincing head-fake:
Sage then draws the ball to her mouth before passing it on:
The “ball” then goes to Tufts freshman William Scott, who repeats Gaur’s two-handed dribbling with an even stranger expression:
And then takes a shot, if you can call it that:
Yeesh. That shooting form looks worse than Markelle Fultz’s.
These people know much more on a wide range of subjects than many sports fans, and they wound up walking away with $25,000 (Hannah), $50,000 (William), and $100,000 (Dhruv) in prize money (after final two-day scores of $16,800, $16,801, and $27,181 respectively), so they’re probably laughing last. And many sports fans might do something even more embarrassing if they wound up in this situation, so it’s not like this is the end of the world.
But this maybe showed us why standard Jeopardy! just has the “adults standing still and awkwardly smiling” introductions. It turns out there can be far, far worse options.