I’m a Larissa Fan

I don’t remember the last time I was so excited for someone to win a game show. But I must admit that for the past six episodes I have been sitting on the edge of my seat and cheering. And all of this for a contestant on Jeopardy.

In the past, winners were only allowed to win 5 games and then they would be retired as a champion. This in itself is a hard feat. Jeopardy is an awfully tough game.

Only recently, the show changed its rules and allowed contestants to stay on the show as long as they could manage to keep winning. Ken Jennings went on a record-smashing run and was on the show for months. Since then, we’ve had some five-time champions but no one has really emerged as the next big Jeopardy star.

I hope I don’t jinx it by declaring that Larissa Kelly may just be the next big champion. Her six-day run has been very impressive. Last night she had some tough competition and I was actually sitting on the edge of my seat cheering her on. It was a close match and anyone’s game in Final Jeopardy.

Fortunately Larissa won and maintained her champion status. She is the first female to win more than five games. I’m hoping that she can manage to stay on that first podium for quite some time. I can’t say exactly what it is. Maybe it’s the fact that there haven’t been any big winners in some time. Maybe it’s because I like to see someone play such a great game day after day. Whatever it is, I’m a Larissa fan and will be watching and cheering her on tonight.

7 responses to “I’m a Larissa Fan”

  1. Yes, I agree. It is so refreshing to see someone who is smart, polite, decent do so well and receive very positive attention. As someone also originally from the Boston area, and as a graduate student also coping with a history-oriented doctoral dissertation (but about 20th-21st century TV space coverage rather than 19th-century Mexico, and at UMCP rather than UC-Berk.), and a long-time “Jeopardy!” fan since boyhood, I can certainly identify with her in several ways and I definitely root for her continued success.

    Given that Ms. Kelly’s sister appeared on “Jeopardy!” and her husband Jeff Hoppes did, too (albeit against Ken Jennings), and that her father had a library of more than 30,000 books (!) when she was growing in in Newton MA, and that she participated in Quiz Bowls and managed to get accepted to the quite selective graduate school at UC-Berkeley, by circumstance and choice she has been fortunate to be around lots of other people who value learning, knowledge, and intelligence. As a science journalist, I have often been frustrated by my profession’s and the world’s increasing tendency to elevate the momentary over the momentous and the meaningless over the meaningful, such as by glamorizing undeserving “un-role-models,” like these assorted sleazy pseudo-celebs and violent/drug-thug semi-illiterate athletes and “musicians” and such trash.

    I would be much more sanguine regarding our society, civilization, and future if intelligent people the likes of Ralph Nader, Bill Gates, Ken Jennings, and Larissa Kelly were looked to as leaders and role-models. (Syndicated “Jeopardy!” TV host Alex Trebek is a fine example, too–he has worked with the DC-based National Geographic Society for some two decades to foster better geographic literacy, for instance.)

    Good luck with your own teaching endeavors! Education, libraries, museums, archives, and so on in general receive outlandishly ridiculously low priority, as do environmental protection, health (especially prevention), space exploration, and the arts and humanities.
    –ar hogan (arhogan1610@yahoo.com)

  2. Hi Chase,

    I’m not a big Jeopardy fan, but on Monday friends were visiting and they wanted to watch the show. That was the first time I saw Larissa. It was a tough game, but she did great. I even felt pretty smart when I knew the answer to the final Jeopardy question. It was “smokers”. The only reason I knew that was because I had researched the subject for a post I did on my second blog last year.

    Blogging is great for learning hey?

  3. Thanks for the background and history AR Hogan.

    Blogging and Jeopardy make you smarter, maybe. Great comment Barbara!

    I hope I didn’t jinx Larissa’s run. When I start to like a TV show, it tends to get cancelled. One of my friends said that I shouldn’t root for her to loudly or she might fall victim to my “curse.”

    I pounded on the table last night when she lost that last Daily Double. I knew that was the end of the run. It sucked! It was like watching a bad play on the Grey Cup or Superbowl.

    She should have bet low, maybe $3000, so she could’ve had a chance in the Final. But maybe it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. All the contestants got the question correct last night.

    And I don’t think I jinxed it. These shows are pre-taped. It already had happened. My blog post couldn’t have had a negative effect.

    At least, she’ll be back for the “Tournament of Champions.” Hopefully she will be able to take that title. I’m still a Larissa fan. It was just a bad play on her part. Too bad!

  4. Well, six games and out. If you bet it all on DD you better know
    such EASY answers as Chevalier and Le Havre (Den Hagen, The Hague), which a HISTORY Ph D ought to know… Too bad, LK and all fans.

  5. Darn it, Chase, I didn’t visit your blog and so I missed out on this. Where’s the hitting oneself in the head with a brick emoticon when I need it?

    I like Jeopardy and you know I would particularly have enjoyed seeing this contestant win big, being a Jeopardy trailbrazer for Women.