The winner and NEW Jeopardy champion of the worrrrrrrrld. Ken Jennings!!!
As a diehard Big Brain James guy, typing that sentence felt like poison was coming out of my fingertips. But I have to tip my blogger cap to Ken Jennings for not only flexing his big brain on James but for also flexing his big balls all tournament. I didn't know if Ken would be able to play James' all-in game considering his soul almost left his body when he did it during Game 1.
But Ken's cojones were on full display in Round 1 both when he bet it all with his Daily Double and went all-in on Final Jeopardy.
At the time, I couldn't figure out for the life of me why the hell James went back to his old strategy of betting weird numbers in Final Jeopardy instead of going all in like a swashbuckling pirate unless he was looking to rediscover that old juju.
Which to be fair, he did when he led off the game absolutely SEWERING Brad while in 2nd place
Then keeping the game close with Ken before finally finding a Daily Double before Brainless Brad could and making it a true Daily Double.
At this point, I'll admit I was feeling good about my chances. James and Ken once again were locked in a heavyweight battle, throwing answer haymakers at each other while Bumbling Brad occasionally walked into one. Everything I had seen from James during his run told me he was going to turn his computer brain into Robot Mode, eliminate the competition, and we were going to get a Game 5.
I wasn't even worried when Trebek brought out the trophy like it was the Stanley Cup during a deciding game.
Then it happened. Everything came down to Final Jeopardy and a big boy Final Jeopardy category.
Brad answered with a heartwarming answer to Trebek long after James did because Brad stunk at everything he did during this tournament. He also answered like this because he probably legitimately didn't know the answer.
Ken's big brain got the answer right but his big balls temporarily recessed back into his stomach with a $0 bet.
Which takes us to James. My sweet, sweet James. A man who is as ruthless as he is brilliant. He of course bet it all while playing for his life and answered with...
Who is Horatio? WHO IS HORTATIO?!?!? Seriously, who the fuck is Horatio? I don't know my Shakespeare and apparently neither does James, but my dying words will be "Who is Horatio" said in the Rosebud voice from Citizen Kane. Sure, I have never seen Citizen Kane. But I know everything about that final scene thanks to Jeopardy. That answer by James will haunt me for the rest of my life like that sled did Citizen Kane (I have no clue if that's the guy's name or the actual plot, but as you can see, James losing crushed my soul while giving my wife a little too much entertainment for my liking).
I'd love to spinzone this for my guy, but I can't. If you are a trivia nerd, let alone a Jeopardy legend, you have to know every single soliloquy that balding asshole ever wrote and James clearly didn't considering he has lost two games on Shakespeare questions. Simply unacceptable. In the end, James' Achilles heel was having a blindspot for the most famous writer of all-time, which is ironically a Shakespearean tragedy in itself. Not Achilles and the Iliad, James. That's Homer, you uncultured fool. No matter what you think of James, Ken, or Jeopardy as a whole, there is no denying the drama on that stage trumped anything we have seen so far this decade, along with Ken getting the greatest honor a nerd could ever get.
Followed by what had to be the most awkward Rudy moment ever.
And the official death of the legend of Big Brain James.
Some other thoughts from last night/the entire tournament:
- Even in defeat, my guy Big Meme James brought the heat on Twitter.
- Credit to me for making it through this entire blog without bringing up the conspiracy theory that James just HAPPENED to lose to Ken in the most dramatic way possible after he just HAPPENED to lose his Jeopardy winning streak right before he would have broke Ken's earnings record, how Brad just HAPPENED to get way more Daily Doubles than someone who played as poorly as he did, and how Ken Jennings patted Brad on the back after he sniped yet another Daily Double from the board, thus neutralizing James.
- Again, credit to me for not mentioning that or how Ken winning the GOAT Tournament gives him the perfect amount of credibility to become the next host of Jeopardy whenever Alex Trebek decides to hang them up considering he had gotten dusted by Brad and Watson in all the other tournaments.
- Okay, this old Ken moment was pretty awesome and proves he does have at least a little bit of the humor needed to fill Trebek's size 100 shoes behind the podium.
All schtick aside, I have always been a fan of Ken Jennings and he was my number 1 Jeopardy guy before James' Big Brain came into my life. I don't know who will fill in for Trebek when he leaves, but Ken would be my first choice for sure.
- Speaking of Trebek, I honestly wouldn't have been shocked if he rode off into the sunset after last night's game. It was an incredible tournament and him calling it a career after it was over would have been his MJ Game 6 moment in Utah. He probably already taped a bunch of non-tournament games though and if he loves doing Jeopardy, he should do it for as long as he wants to. It's not like Trebek shleps to work every day like you or I since he bangs out a bunch of episodes in a day. But the one undeniable truth is that he is the straw that stirs the drink on the show and I am going to miss the fuck out of him when he leaves. If ESPN doesn't have a 30 For 30 made about Trebek by the time 2020 is done, Disney should throw the company in the trash because the man is a living legend.
- Finally, A++++ work from everyone that was involved in that show not named Brad Rutter. From Trebek displaying his usual effortless greatness as a host, to the contestants for rattling off answers to questions my dumb brain couldn't even process, to the producers for dialing it up with the set/music/cameos, to all the other people that have jobs in television that I don't know the titles of that made everything feel special. Everything about the show was incredible.
That being said, I am lowkey happy this tournament is over because it was EXHAUSTING having a playoff atmosphere every night from 8-9. Don't get me wrong, it was awesome to watch, live tweet, blog, and to discuss with you guys. But living and dying with every answer as well as every time Trebek paused before the Daily Double sound came on the screen is not a sustainable way to live for someone like me that has Kool-Aid pumping in his veins and I've never been more excited to have the irrelevant Knicks back in my life as my only active sports team.
For any of you savages that want more takes about last night, you can watch KFC and I talk about Ken's win and the entire tournament on Instagram Live. But other than that, it's back to reality and three faceless Jeopardy contestants for the foreseeable future.