I went on a treasure hunt and struck gold! Or at least a second-place silver.
Frequent blog readers know of my past Jeopardy! experience as a contestant in 1988 and how my single videotape of the airing was eviscerated by a hungry VCR machine. I had thought my defeat was lost to future generations, but a few months ago I made another try to locate a copy.
A wonderful Jeopardy! resource exists at the J! Archive, a fan site with details of almost every Jeopardy! ever telecast, including players, answers, questions, a variety of statistics, and even a lexicon of Jeopardy! jargon. It was at this site that I began my search.
I was able to locate the episode I appeared in, #893, and noted the name of my two opponents, Neil L, an engineer from El Cerrito, California, and returning champion Linda M, a substitute teacher from Elizaville, New York.
I took my info and ran with it to Facebook, private messaging anyone I found who might possibly have been one of my opponents. I asked each contact if they could have been my Jeopardy! nemesis, and if they had a copy of our show.
Weeks went by with no return messages, and I had given up hope when last week I got a response from one of many Neil Ls I had contacted:
“Sorry for the delay, but I just saw the message. Yes, that was me. And that was you too. Strangely, yesterday I stumbled across a flash drive with recording of the game. We were young. Hope you are well.”
Success! We exchanged a few more messages, and by the end of the day Neil L of El Cerrito had come through with a WMV file of our episode. And transfixed, I watched my (much) younger self “perform.”
A few observations:
- I made a poor choice of sportcoats
- I never was much of a speller–no wonder I misspelled Dan “Akroyd.”
- It was nice having a full head of hair.
- Were Harry Caray size eyeglasses really in style?
- The technology, with banks of CRT monitors, was light years behind what we witness on Jeopardy! now.
- Eugene Finnerman, where are you now?
- Alex was young, healthy, and helped me out when he pushed Linda M to overbid on a Daily Double she was sure to get wrong.
- Despite the claims of my son, at no point did Alex say “Wrong again, Les.” However, he did appear amazed that I got Final Jeopardy correct–just after he had chastised me for “not making it a closer game.”
For those of you wondering, the final score had Neil at $12,100, while I rode my Final Jeopardy success to a grand total of $2,100. But it was $2,100 of fun. I am looking forward to sharing the whole experience with my family.
And to never again be taunted “Wrong again, Les.”
Like what you read here? Add your name to our subscription list below. No spam, I promise! ___ ———————————–