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Posted at 11:46 AM ET, 05/31/2007

Some Spelling Bee Controversy

This isn't news if you're glued to the TV, but the Spelling Bee almost had its Tuck Rule Moment today. It was crazy. ESPN person Mike Greenberg, who, for whatever reason, I'm following around, was in the make-up room on the sixth floor. Claire Zhang was spelling some word I've never heard of. She got it right. There was a pause. The bell rang. That means someone thought she got it wrong. I began ranting. Greenberg began ranting. They went to replay. Golic showed up.

Greenberg: "Mike, we've got controversy. I don't know what..."
Golic: "Can they go to tape?"
Greenberg: "Yeah, they are."
Golic: "Did you do your makeup?"
Greenberg: "No, not yet."
Me [Already planning to beat this to death, but failing to come up with a great analogy: "It's like the tuck rule."
Greenberg: "It is, it's like the tuck rule."
Golic: "Did somebody protest it, or did they just..."
Greenberg: "The judges, immediately."
TV Color Person: "...very experienced panel of judges, they take this job verrrry seriously...."
Greenberg: "C'mon, they've got to put her back out there."

[Replay is shown. She clearly got it right.]

Golic: "That's the word."
Greenberg: "That's correct."
Golic: "Oh yeah, there's no doubt."

Still, the replay was endless. Paul Tagliabue was seen cackling in a corner. Columnists prepared to set ink to paper. Justice was finally meted out, correctly.

"Thank you," Michele, the make-up lady, said.
"Good for her," Greenberg said.
"In football, you'd be like, 'She's extra fired up now'," Golic said.

Claire went back to the other kids, relieved. Her prize was an interview with Stuart Scott.

"I was confused and freaked out a little bit," she told him. There was a follow-up, about what she was thinking.

"Um, I was hoping they'd let me go and sit down and continue the competition," Claire told him.

"Worried at all?" Stu asked.

"Um, yeah, a little bit," Claire said.

"A little bit worried, but she said that the word that she got on her oral test earlier was really easy, so stop standing here next to me, go back and get in your position," Stu said to a confused Claire.

By  |  11:46 AM ET, 05/31/2007

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