Inspired Jeopardy

jennings.jpgWe would be remiss if we didn’t tip our collective hat to Ken Jennings, who is setting records on the Jeopardy game show. Many of the news stories about Jennings discuss tithing or his Church affiliation generally. My favorite is this spoof:

According to a source within the Mormon church, a team of investigators have started looking into the life of this bright young husband and father of one…. “This is bad, real bad,” our source said. “Mormons do best when they are flying under the radar. At our core we are a fragile, shallow religion. One tremor like this game show thing could make us implode.”

Our source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said a fact finding inquest has quietly begun on the Jeopardy champ. “We’ve started to look into this Jennings fellow and we want to know how he slipped into Mormonism in the first place. He obviously is quite intelligent and we normally don’t go looking for the folks who are apt to think things out. We try to weed them out right away.”…

“The increased scrutiny we are receiving because of Jennings can only hurt us. Non-Mormons will start asking our members what Mormonism is all about. That can only lead to our people having to wake up and look into things themselves,” said our perspiring source. “We’ll probably lose some of our members. Our net income will go down and the church elders will be furious. We were on course to increase profits by 12% in 2004. We were hoping to list on NASDAQ soon; but I doubt that can happen now.”

51 comments for “Inspired Jeopardy

  1. Kristen
    July 17, 2004 at 12:09 pm

    Yesterday, I was cycling at the YMCA next to two women who were chatting it up. One brought up Ken Jennings and said, “…and you know he’s Mormon, so he has to pay all that money to his church!” I bit my tongue, mostly because I wanted to hear what else they might have to say, but then they changed the subject.

  2. July 17, 2004 at 1:24 pm

    Never bite your tongue.

    : )

  3. Jedd
    July 17, 2004 at 2:31 pm

    For as many news stories that discussed Ken Jennings and his plans to tithe his winnings, or the fact that he’s doing well in the “alcoholic drinks” categories despite being a teetotaler, there were equally as many that simply noted he’s a Mormon, period. For example, “A resident of Utah, [Ken] looks younger than his 30 years. He’s a Mormon, a software engineer who’s responsible for “Jeopardy!’s” recent ratings spike on the Nielsen ratings charts” and “The answer: Let a freakishly smart Mormon loose on the set. The question: How does a 50-year-old game show get people watching again?”

    The list goes on of news stories where Ken’s religion was mentioned out of context, where its relevancy is unclear at best. I noticed the same thing the other day with an article about Kevin Rollins, the new CEO of Dell: “In naming the 52-year-old Brigham Young University graduate and devout Mormon as chief executive of the Round Rock, Texas-based PC behemoth, the company was formalizing what had already been the case: Dell is focused on vision, strategy and business and consumer trends while Rollins runs the show.”

    Is being a Mormon in and of itself newsworthy? Are we really THAT peculiar of a people, that unique? Is it that unexpected to see one of us excel? If Ken Jennings were a “freakishly smart Jehovah’s Witness,” would his religion have been called out?

  4. July 17, 2004 at 2:49 pm

    Jedd, Great comment. I wondered the same things as I sifted through the Jennings stories. Do students at the UW law school refer to me as the “Mormon professor”? Probably. Are we the “Mormon family” in our neighborhood? Yes.

    My hunch is that being a Mormon entails a much more expansive set of behaviors and values than being a Catholic or being a Protestant. Being a Mormon is not just about the obvious aspects of religion, but about so many other things. It is a lifestyle that colors almost everything we do.

  5. sid
    July 17, 2004 at 3:12 pm

    i toatlly agree with the second half of Gordon’s statement. Again, I live in a town, where us LDS folks are a distinct minority. And in disussions with friends who are not LDS, the impression I get is that they think we are folks, whose Church teaches us to behave differently in many ways, and a lot of them wish, they could live lives as cleanly as we Mormons supposedly do. the only people who seem to have an antagonistic attitude against member so f ur Church are either fundamentalist Christians, or leftist campus activists types.

  6. Julie in Austin
    July 17, 2004 at 5:30 pm

    At the risk of threadjacking, Gordon reminded me of something that’s been bothering me . . .

    Two years ago I picked an exterminator out of the phone book, more or less at random. Turns out that it is LDS-owned and most of the techs are LDS. I only discovered this after having the same thing happen every single month:

    technician comes in, looks around, sees the picture on the wall, and says, “Oh, so you were married in the Bountiful Temple?”

    For some reason, this makes me crazy. Why is that?

  7. July 17, 2004 at 5:46 pm

    There are some things that just seem worth mentioning about a person in a news story if they apply, and being Mormon is one of them for some reason. Others I can think of off the top of my head (in no particular order): being a West Point or Annapolis graduate, having written a book, having won a medal at the Olympics, having been previously convicted of a serious crime, having served in public office, having been a Rhodes scholar, having been a Jesuit or a Catholic priest, having survived a near-death experience, having been a US Marine.

    Just shooting from the hip, I’d say these are experiences that the average person (the type who reads the newspaper articles) thinks make some kind of permanent impact on the subject of the story and (whether correctly or not) help the reader understand the story. This is even more true for simple human interest stories, where the biographical details may be all there really is to the story.

  8. Ken
    July 17, 2004 at 5:54 pm

    I was a big fan of this site even before Alex and I were pictured up at the top of it. I just can’t get away from myself these days. :)

    I would think Jim Faulconer, whose posts I often enjoy here, would have something to say in response to this story, since he was so instrumental in de-funding and disbanding the very same BYU quiz bowl program that led to my Jeopardy appearances and success.

  9. Julie in Austin
    July 17, 2004 at 6:02 pm

    Gee, Ken, as long as you’re here, any inside stories you want to share? We promise not to tell anyone ;)

  10. Julie in Austin
    July 17, 2004 at 6:03 pm

    And, Ken, can I borrow some money?

  11. Ethesis (Stephen M)
    July 17, 2004 at 6:04 pm

    And, since every thread here needs to have some SSM note:

  12. July 17, 2004 at 7:12 pm

    Hey admins, howza bout inviting KJ to be a guest blogger, eh?

  13. Kevin Barney
    July 17, 2004 at 7:16 pm

    Hi, Ken, how cool that you would make an appearance on this thread. I wish I could see you on Jeopardy, but it plays at 3:30 in the afternoons here in Chicago (IE while I’m at work), and I still can’t figure out how to work my new TV with the built in VCR. I need to get my son to teach me. (A pretty lame excuse, I realize.) But I’ve been reading all of the articles about you with great interest, so I think I can visualize it.

    Anyway, congratulations on your tremendous sucess!

  14. Lynne
    July 17, 2004 at 8:15 pm

    KEN! So the A.P. story mentioned that you went to BYU but the paper here in South Carolina thoughtfully edited out that part!
    We keep hoping you’ll treat Alex like SNL’s “Sean Connery.”

  15. July 17, 2004 at 8:41 pm

    Hey Ken, Thanks for stopping by. Congratulations and continued best wishes.

    Julie, If you could get Ken to tell you what happens next week, you wouldn’t need a loan. ;-)

  16. Chad too
    July 17, 2004 at 9:37 pm

    Congrats Ken!

    I, too, am interested in hearing the story of the demise of the BYU Intercollegiate College Bowl team. I was on the team the went to the National Championships in 1992. I must admit I was quite surprised to hear the University had yanked the program especially given the team’s successes; five trips to the national championships in the final six seasons.

    In fact, the final four of the final season before BYU pulled the plug (1994-95)consisted of Harvard, U-Chicago, U-Michigan, and BYU. Prestigious company, and a fine opportunity to gain some respect for BYU academics. Too bad it was rewarded at it’s peak by shutting it down.

    Oh, and I’m sad to say that my personal run on Jeopardy ended tragically the first day when, despite my lead, I lost by not knowing that the most recently deceased president on currently printed U.S. currency was Grant, not Lincoln. Oh well. The entertainment armoire I won looks nice in the family room.

    I hope you’ll continue to post and chime in with your opinions/knowledge. I promise not to ask for money!

  17. July 17, 2004 at 9:40 pm

    Howdy Ken! Congratulations!!!! We’re all happy for you.

    I saw you were in college bowl at BYU during the 1990s. I had a friend who was hugely into college bowl sometime during that time period. Goes by the name of Bryce and double-majored in physics and English. You know him?

    Anyway, congrats again bud! Woo hoo!

  18. July 17, 2004 at 11:16 pm

    Ken, first congratulations. With others, I’ve been pleased at your success and that people know you are LDS and from BYU. And, no, the irony of BYU defunding the College Bowl and you becoming “Mr. Jeopardy” wasn’t lost on me.

    I don’t remember whether we discussed this at the time that the Honors Program defunded the College Bowl at BYU, but you are hardly the only one to pin the blame on me. Since I was in charge, that is probably appropriate. But it wasn’t a personal decision. The administration of General Education and Honors (now known as “Undergraduate Education”) was looking at ways to make our budget go further since we were in a bduget crunch. As a group and with no nay-sayers, we came to the conclusion that College Bowl wasn’t really a general education program nor was it an honors program. It might have been able to be interpreted as the latter, but we tried to use our funds for programs that benefited as broad a number of students as possible. Though BYU’s College Bowl team did very well and though it brought good credit to the university, it didn’t benefit a large number of students. We had to cut somewhere and that seemed the most reasonable place.

    Before we did so, we had long discussions with the people in athletics, student life, and the administration. College Bowl seemed to fit naturally with the first two (and would have given the athletics programs the ability to say they had an academic as well as a sports mission), but after some initial interest from both, there were no takers. The administration was unwilling to give us funds for College Bowl and no one else was willing to adopt it. So it went. None of us were happy about its going, but under the circumstances at the time, it was the most reasonable thing for us to do.

    In any case, congratulations.

  19. July 17, 2004 at 11:23 pm

    An additional, just-remembered note about the demise of College Bowl at BYU: We were having difficulty getting a faculty advisor for the team. That sounds like no big deal, but in BYU’s eyes, the team was a club and, so, had to have an advisor or couldn’t operate. We had been allowed to have a part-time advisor for a while, but the administration put its foot down and said that the advisor had to be full-time faculty. I won’t go into all of the complications that created and the attempts we made to solve them because that would involve discussing private matters. Suffice it to say that we never succeeded in getting an advisor. That failure may have been what prompted us to begin to think about defunding the team when we started talking about budgets, though I don’t remember exactly how the conversation came about.

  20. Kingsley
    July 18, 2004 at 1:05 am

    Ken, my short little bald grandmother has a crush on you. She calls every member of my family every night to discuss every aspect of your latest demolition job. I think you have replaced even the prophet as her favorite, most inspiring Mormon. I’m involved in a museum project here at the Y devoted to education in the Church, and we’re thinking of giving you a spot next to Augustine. Keep it up, brother!

  21. July 18, 2004 at 1:18 am

    My cube neighbor at work, a smug fundamentalist had to loudly voice his amusement at Mr. Jennings alcoholic knowledge. This led to another worker coming over and saying how when Mormon clients were in town from Utah, they were the first to the bar at happy hour.

    Oh, the joys of religion talk at work.

    Anway, even cooler than Jeopardy! How does Mr. Jennings feel about being featured on VH1’s Best Week Ever this weekend?? How cool is that?

  22. Kingsley
    July 18, 2004 at 1:22 am

    Ken, this is shameless, but: if you were to write something along the lines of, say, Hi Grandma Noorlander! Thanks for watching! Ken, you would give a very sweet little bald old lady an experience equivalent to a personal visit from the Beatles in the 60s. (I hope that made sense; I’m writing near the Games Center in the Wilk and bleeding from the ears at the racket. And I hope Kaimi doesn’t boot me permanently from the blog for being a bloggian autograph hound. )

  23. July 18, 2004 at 4:10 am

    I think that’s “autograph whore”, kingsley.

    ; )

    Anyway, Ken: congratulations! …a superb effort, and best of luck in the future — with everything. The jibes here (I hope) are all in good fun… but I’m sure that you’ve discovered a whole new side of your family tree by now.

    : )

    I don’t envy you that part of fame and fortune.

    Anyway, back to the post (kinda): The off-hand remark about intellect and religiosity in the spoof article reminded me of a comment that a dear friend of mine (who’s quite the data hound) made… guess he had read somewhere that the Church is the only (or one of a very few) denominations that had a positive corrollary between intellect/education and activity in the faith… it stuck with me (he said this nearly ten years ago) because it rung true.

    Has anyone here heard anything similar?

  24. Ivan Wolfe
    July 18, 2004 at 6:59 pm

    Silus Grok:

    I have heard that Mormons do tend to be one of the few faith groups where advanced education leads to greater degrees of religous devotion.

    However, I recall reading there was one exception: the arts and humanities. Being a theatre, english, fine arts, etc. major reduced religous devotion among mormons.

    Now, if I can recall where it was I read that. I think it was an issue of Dialouge.

    I’ll scan my archives and see if I can find my original source (it may also have been “Religion, Mental Health and the Latter-Day Saints” published by BYU).

  25. Jonathan Green
    July 18, 2004 at 7:24 pm

    I haven’t read this site or posted here before, so I was surprised to see so many familiar names on the front page and in this thread. I can claim a small share of the credit for the success of BYU’s College Bowl teams in the ‘90s. I was part of Dillon Inouye’s resurrected program in 1989-90 as a freshman, and I played on the national championship tournament teams in 93-94-95, including the team that declined to play on the Sabbath for the national championship. I invested a great deal of time and energy not just in playing the game, but in building the program for the students who came after me, so the program’s defunding (in 1998? 99?) was a huge disappointment for me.

    Maybe it would have been different if the teams that followed my time had been more successful, but they committed the unpardonable sin: they lost to Utah in the regional tournament. Moreover, some of the players still there could be abrasive, which undoubtedly didn’t help matters. Perhaps with a different cast of characters or under different circumstances the outcome would have been different, but administrators do what they have to do, which in this case meant axing the program.

    (I’ve never quite understood the argument that Honors and Undergraduate Education preferred to support programs that helped more students. The obvious solution would have been to open the College Bowl program to any student who wished to participate: buy 10 buzzer sets, let a hundred students come to practice, and then pick the best four or eight to go to tournaments. It’s how most teams in the rest of the country operate.)

    As it is, BYU lost a program that was very effective at turning bright students into nationally competitive academic standouts, and I’m not talking about memorizing trivia here. The College Bowl team consistently attracted very good students and then put them into extended contact with their peers a few years older, so that freshmen got to see up close what it took to be a grad student, or to win an NSF grant, or to pull down a job with the Foreign Service, years before they would have otherwise started thinking about it.

    Yes, this means investing some resources in a relatively small number of students for the sake of national prestige, but compared to the ratio of, say, the football team’s budget to the money spent on intramurals, I think we were a very good investment.

    And the recruiting bonanza that could have been won’t be. After Jeff Stewart, another BYU player, won $50,000 in the Jeopardy college tournament and tournament of champions, we promoted his fame and fortune to the hilt and were rewarded with a great deal of student interest. I can only imagine what would have been possible with the media exposure surrounding Ken (who was not at all abrasive but instead terrifically nice the few times I met him). The former high school quizbowl stars now at BYU will have to find something else to soak up all their free time.

  26. Sharkman
    July 18, 2004 at 7:38 pm

    While I can’t document it either, I have heard the same thing. I’ll try to find some hard data.

  27. July 19, 2004 at 1:49 am

    Jonathan Green: You are right that a solution would have been to turn the College Bowl experience into a larger program, to make it something intramural. That is part of what happened, though with little success. But GE and Honors was an academic program with no budget for running an intramural program, and I don’t think College Bowl really gives the kind of experience for grad school, NSF grants, etc. that the other programs GE & Honors was funding gives. Your suggestion would have meant increasing our budget at a time when we were dealing with no increases in income but increases in outlay. Our choice was to defund College Bowl or to keep it and defund something else in GE & Honors. I still think that it should have been funded and sponsored by athletics in parallel with the physically athletic programs.

    Why didn’t the University as a whole pick up the program? Because there’s no such entity with a budget for such things. Some particular entity within the university had to take responsibility for College Bowl. And we were unsuccessful at persuading any of the obvious places–athletics, student life–to pick it up.

    I agree with you that the demise of BYU’s College Bowl team was unfortunate. All of us in GE & Honors at the time thought it was. We took no pleasure in doing so. In spite of that, given the circumstances at the time, I think we made the right decision.

    If former College Bowl people who now have careers and, so, incomes would like to see BYU back in the College Bowl business, there is an easy way to do so: give money earmarked for that purpose. Ken’s success has certainly given the cause great publicity. My experience tells me that publicity and money together are likely to get results.

  28. July 19, 2004 at 3:04 pm

    Hey, Jonathan Green! There’s a blast from the past. Willkommen! (No, I wasn’t ever a German guy; I just had to pick up some as part of my Ph.D.) Hope things are going for you well in Charleston. I love the look of your web pages; mine look positively primitive compared to yours.

    Re the cancelling of the College Bowl: admit it, you were all troublemakers anyway. I remember the Cecilia Konchar Farr protest in front of the ASB, during which Jeff Stewart proudly held up a sign reading “College Bowl Students for Academic Freedom.” I’m sure Professor Ricks was fully supportive of that.

  29. July 19, 2004 at 4:14 pm

    If I had a million dollars (if I had a million dollars) … I would buy you a green dress (but not a real green dress, that’s cruel) … (tra la la …)

    ‘Scuse me folks… I don’t seem to have many comments in me today … had to post something

  30. Adam Greenwood
    July 19, 2004 at 7:50 pm

    Before we conclude that all College Bowlers are troublemakers, let me point out that I, the archangel of orothodoxy, was myself a College Bowler in ’94-’95 (all right, I was on the B team) and lead player on an intramural champion team (Go Fighting Aneurysms!) I left on my mission and came back to find the program cancelled. Until now I didn’t know why. Now, Jim F., I gnash my teeth at you. And to think you’ve added infamy to infamy by coming on here and explaining and apologizing and generally acting too nice to be upset at.

  31. Kristine
    July 19, 2004 at 8:27 pm

    Is it more or less orthodox to spell it “orothodoxy”?

    Sorry, couldn’t resist :)

  32. July 19, 2004 at 9:00 pm

    When Todd Britsch was appointed dean of the College of Humanities (a long time ago), his inaugural address to the faculty (Hmm–it was his first address to the faculty, but “inaugural” is far too formal for what happened) — anyway, Todd included one sentence I’ve never forgotten: “I hope you will remember that administrators may be stupid or inept, but they are rarely malicious.” I’ve tried to remember that as I deal with administrators and I’ve hoped that those I dealt with when I was an administrator knew that truth. My decisions as dean may have been stupid, they may have been the consequence of ineptitude, or (of course) they may just reflect different understandings, but they weren’t malicious.

    It makes tooth-gnashing so difficult!

  33. Kaimi
    July 19, 2004 at 10:13 pm

    Careful — too much tooth-gnashing, and you’ll need some orothodontics to go with your orothodoxy.

    (By the way, Kris, it goes back to the Latin root — orothodoxy (also spelled aurothodoxy) is the “gold standard” of orthodoxy).

  34. Ivan Wolfe
    July 19, 2004 at 10:13 pm

    Always remember Hanlon’s Razor:

    “Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.”

  35. July 19, 2004 at 10:57 pm

    Sheesh, folks: can we get back to the sidetrack at hand: has any one found the study my friend was referring to?

  36. pete
    July 20, 2004 at 12:08 am

    Ken J.:

    It would make quite a story if you actually put your new found money where your mouth is and set up an endowment to fund a revived BYU college bowl team.

    I wonder what the chances are the church would ear mark that additional hundred grand in tithing for the team as well.


  37. July 20, 2004 at 4:51 am

    Let’s see, since Ken’s comment, he has been asked for a loan, requested as a guest blogger, invited to write a personal post to Grandma Noorlander, and hit up for an endowed program at BYU. Do you think he regrets making himself known to us, yet?

    On the positive side, he managed to place Jim on the hotseat over the college bowl team. From his one and only comment, that might be somewhat gratifying to him.

  38. Kingsley
    July 20, 2004 at 11:11 am

    Man, writing personal posts to Grandma Noorlander is all positive.

  39. Adam Greenwood
    July 20, 2004 at 7:13 pm

    “We are the makers of fashion, Kate.”

  40. Mary
    July 23, 2004 at 10:17 am

    I think last night, July 22, was the best night yet. Alex was really animated and as opposed to Wed night when it seemed like Alex wanted to wring Ken’s neck, last night they seemed like buddies. It was funny watching Alex let loose–there seemed for some reason like there was a lot less tension.

    Go Ken!

  41. July 24, 2004 at 12:35 am

    To celebrate tonight’s win, I thought folks might enjoy a thread on Ken’s amazing streak over at Metafilter.

  42. Bryce Inouye
    July 24, 2004 at 10:16 pm

    Since it looks like a regular BYU College Bowl reunion here, I’ll put my $0.02 in.

    I was a member of the BYU College Bowl team with all of the other posters who played on the the team who have posted here (with the exception of Ken, who came the year after I graduated), and am the Bryce referenced by danithew (I got your email last month– I’ll get back to you).

    As much as I’d like to complain about the defunding of the College Bowl program at BYU, I can’t really complain. We had incredible support during the years I was there (and perhaps not coincidentally, incredible success as well, contending for national honors on a regular basis).

    The truth is, I don’t know of any other school that currently or has ever funded an academic quiz bowl team at anywhere close to the same level that BYU did. Most teams nationally are largely self-funded. Of course, most teams nationally can also drive to tournaments instead of flying.

    Jonathan’s analogy comparing the football team’s budget with the college bowl team doesn’t hold, since the football team generates revenue that pays for its own expenses (as well as possibly funding other programs–not sure about this). A better analogy would be the lacrosse team, which is still a club team. My brother played on this team, and in addition to daily practices, they had to clean the stadium to raise money for travel to tournaments. By contrast, instead of charging teams to come to the intercollegiate tournament that we ran, as all other terms do to raise money, we made ours free of charge in order to entice other teams to make the long trip to Provo (We named it the “Perpetual Motion” tournament because you got something for nothing).

    College Bowl teams die off all the time due to lack of funds and student interest. If students at BYU want College Bowl, they can form their own club and raise their own money, just as at most other universities. I’m just glad that I was there when I was — I got a better general education playing College Bowl than from any class that I could ever imagine.

    To return you to your regularly scheduled programming, here’s a thought on Dave’s comment on newsworthy bits of personal biography: One of the speakers at my Eagle Scout court of honor made an observation/threat/admonition that I’ve always remembered. He said, “Every once in a while, you’ll read a story in the newspaper about someone who’s done something bad — perhaps they’ve killed someone, or embezzeled money, or some other crime — and at the end of the description of the person, you’ll see this statement: ‘He was an Eagle Scout.'” He then went on to explain that being an Eagle Scout carries with it a set of expectations, and exhorted us to live up to those expectations.

    Now, in all my years of reading the newspaper, I’ve never seen the sad words “He was an Eagle Scout” after some convicted felon’s name. I have, however, seen “He/she was/is a Mormon” in such a context. So I’m glad when I see the term “Mormon” used to tag admirable or noteworthy behavior, instead of the most recent non-Jeopardy! related news story where I saw someone’s association with the church mentioned (here’s a link to the headline — you can google “mormon assassination” for the copyright-violation full text).

    Another observation: As good, missionary-minded members of the church, we’re constantly advertising our membership when we think we can get good publicity for the church. News stories may report church membership for LDS subjects more often than for members of other faiths simply because we advertise more. Put another way, think of how you might answer the question “What are you?” I think that it is probable that LDS people self-identify as LDS much more strongly than the average population.

    So I’ve now got five other ideas I’m elaborating in my head, it’s 3:15 AM (in Barcelona, where I am right now — my body is still on Eastern Daylight Time), and everyone has stopped reading by this point, so I’ll stop.

  43. Kingsley
    July 25, 2004 at 12:25 am

    I just want to say that Ken’s last appearance was about as scripted as you can get without actually doing any scripting. I was sure about Hamlet, Macbeth, and JC, and nearly sure about Richard III, but not quite. I normally dislike game shows, but I was actually on pins and needles as whatever his name is, Alex T., went slowly down the list. Congrats, Ken. And kisses from Grandma Noorlander.

  44. July 25, 2004 at 11:24 am

    I am 28 years of age and handicapped. I overheard about Ken Jennings, and his umpredictable winning streak on “Jeopardy”, and I would just like to take this time to personally congratulate him on his tremendous accomplishment. Take care.

  45. July 25, 2004 at 1:46 pm

    Hi Bryce! Good to hear from you. I look forward to your email!

  46. Jeff
    August 4, 2004 at 12:19 pm

    Well done, Ken! It’s nice to hear from old College Bowlers. I have to agree with Bryce; we all owe a great debt to BYU and the Honors Department for giving us the opportunity to play College Bowl at the highest level.

    Thanks for trying to save the College Bowl funding, Jim. I think Ken’s reflection on BYU has proven the wisdom of Honors having funded the program for as long as it did. So far for its investment (I’m speculating it was about $200K over 10 years) BYU got $25k in direct revenues from Jeopardy and truly priceless press from Ken. I think BYU College Bowl has now done more for establishing the University’s academic reputation than any other single program. Honors got a phenomenal return on their College Bowl investment. Well done, Honors Department!

    Russ, although I would be proud to take all the credit for standing up for Cecilia Konchar Farr, I cannot. As I recall five of the eight players on the team also put their own ethos on the line in the face of apparent injustice. If you want to lay some blame at our feet for loss of funding (or at least administrative support) for College Bowl, I think you might be justified. I do not imagine Stephen Ricks was amused.

    Jeff Stewart

    P.S. As long as everyone is hitting up Ken, I’ll hit him and Bryce up, also: Is there an easy way for us old BYU CBers to get a place to exchange contact information. I, for one, want to know what the heck Bryce is doing in Barcelona.

  47. Jeff
    August 4, 2004 at 12:21 pm

    Well done, Ken! It’s nice to hear from old College Bowlers. I have to agree with Bryce; we all owe a great debt to BYU and the Honors Department for giving us the opportunity to play College Bowl at the highest level.

    Thanks for trying to save the College Bowl funding, Jim. I think Ken’s reflection on BYU has proven the wisdom of Honors having funded the program for as long as it did. So far for its investment (I’m speculating it was about $200K over 10 years) BYU got $25k in direct revenues from Jeopardy and truly priceless press from Ken. I think BYU College Bowl has now done more for establishing the University’s academic reputation than any other single program. Honors got a phenomenal return on their College Bowl investment. Well done, Honors Department!

    Russ, although I would be proud to take all the credit for standing up for Cecilia Konchar Farr, I cannot. As I recall five of the eight players on the team also put their own ethos on the line in the face of apparent injustice. If you want to lay some blame at our feet for loss of funding (or at least administrative support) for College Bowl, I think you might be justified. I do not imagine Stephen Ricks was amused.

    Jeff Stewart

    P.S. As long as everyone is hitting up Ken, I’ll hit him and Bryce up, also: Is there an easy way for us old BYU CBers to get a place to exchange contact information. I, for one, want to know what the heck Bryce is doing in Barcelona.

  48. August 4, 2004 at 12:35 pm

    Jeff, just to keep the record clear: the College Bowl Team’s support of Cecilia wasn’t even mentioned in our discussions of its funding. I suspect that most of those talking about the funding were like me and didn’t know that members of the team had taken part. Though I seriously doubt that would have mattered, the fact that we didn’t know about it made it impossible for it to matter.

  49. Chad too
    August 4, 2004 at 1:55 pm

    Hear Hear on the info exchange (and hello to Jeff, Jonathan, Bryce, and any others)!

  50. Bryce I
    August 4, 2004 at 5:29 pm

    Again, sorry to threadjack, but since there’s so many of us qb’ers here, I’ve set up a Yahoo group for us to meet

    I’ve sent some invites, but for those of you who wisely don’t publish your e-mail addresses, you’ll have to visit the site.

  51. Jeff
    August 4, 2004 at 8:30 pm

    By the way, Jonathan, are you implying I am abrasive? If so, you can eat tacks ;)


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