a Landon admirer and a years-long "Jeopardy" watcher
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Date Posted: Friday, April 26, 12:06:04pm
Cleaning out my den I found a 27 and a half year old issue of Life Magazine, dated June 1991. On the cover was legendary actor Michael Landon and the words "If I'm Gonna Die. Death's Gonna Have to Fight To Get Me." Sadly Death did not have to fight long. Landon passed away not quite three months following his dianosis with pancreatic cancer.
As described in Wikipedia:
On April 2, 1991, Landon began to suffer from severe headache while he was on a skiing vacation in Utah On April 5, 1991, he learned that he had been diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of pancreatic cancer known as exocrine adenocarcinoma, which had begun to impact the tissues and blood vessels around the pancreas. The cancer was inoperable and terminal. On May 9, 1991, he appeared on The Tonight Show to speak about the cancer and condemn the tabloid press for its sensational headlines and inaccurate stories, including the claim that he and his wife were trying to have another child. During his appearance, Landon pledged to fight the disease and asked his fans to pray for him. On May 21, 1991, he underwent successful surgery for a near-fatal blood clot in his left leg. In June 1991, he appeared on the cover of Life Magazine after granting the periodical an exclusive private interview about his life, his family, and his struggle to live. On July 1, 1991, at age 54, Landon died in Malibu, California.
Sadly Alex Trebek is in a similar situation and early last month announced it and made a similar statement about fighting the disease. I and millions of others wish him the best.
Which brings me to current "Jeopardy" Super Champ James Holzhauer. To some he represents one of the best things to ever happen to the show; to others he represents one of the worst things.
While not suggesting anything is "ethically" wrong or, heaven forbid, even phony (as some conspiracy theorists on the web have done), I must admit that I've thought a lot about some "interesting" things which I shall now state.
James, born in 1984, is either 34 or 35. I would assume that someone this gifted would have tried out for "Jeopardy" YEARS AGO. True, he did win a lot of money on "The Chase" but I would have thought we definitely should have seen him shortly after Ken Jennings.
James's first appearance on "Jeopardy" was taped in February. Trebek announced his own health diagnoses. Did knowledge of that have anything to do with the "seemingly unstoppable" trivia machine being on at this time? Trebek announced it early in April but I assume he and the show staff knew about it sooner.
Could Holzhauer's buzzer be more sensitive than the other two buzzers? There are times that I feel he is "too good" at buzzing in.
Yes, he is a professional gambler. But he is constantly risking everything (or almost everything) on Daily Doubles. His objective is not to win. His object is to annihilate his two opponents. Without implying anything is underhanded, I do admit to thinking that this individual is "too good to be true."
In my view, he has very little personality. But that of course should have nothing to do with this, right?
I have read on the web (this may be a rumor but I suppose it could be true) that Holzhauer shows (most or all) have been taped without a live audience and what you hear on TV is canned applause. Consider that if the shows were taped with a live audience, that would mean that hundreds of people know "the rest of the story" and there would be a strong possibility that "spoilers" would appear on social media. That, to my knowledge, has not happened. Is that strange? Or is possible that hundreds know the truth but ALL are nice enough to reveal NOTHING?
With the recent death of Charles Van Doren, I assume that many people are wondering if ..... well I need not fill in the blanks here!
I wonder if Twenty-One "loser" to Van Doren, Herb Stempel (now in his 90s) thinks that anything is "not right." But then, IF that were truly the case and the "truth revealed" snd it was devastating, then the fabled fantastic reputation of "Jeopardy" would be flushed down the toilet. And the fallout would extent to other game shows as well.
Just my two cents. Or maybe a buck and a quarter!
I wonder if anyone here shares my thoughts here, particularly about the champion "Jeopardy Machine."
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