I cannot stop watching James Holzhauer. I cannot stop thinking about James Holzhauer. I cannot stop dreaming of James Holzhauer.
Originally, I planned on writing about the NBA Finals today. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? This will be my only mention of Warriors-Raptors this week:
Holzhauer has changed the game of “Jeopardy!” like Stephen Curry has changed the game of basketball.
His numbers are staggering. Through last week, he had won 32 straight games, almost all runaways. The previous one-day earnings record was Roger Craig’s $77,000 in 2010; Holzhauer is averaging $76,944 per outing, with a high of $131,127 in the 10th game of his streak.
He has $2,462,216 in winnings. The all-time “Jeopardy!” record holder, Ken Jennings, accumulated $2,520,700 over his 74-game winning streak in 2004.
Holzhauer’s response accuracy is 97 percent. He has thrown 11 perfect games — in which he never gave a wrong answer — including three in a row in Games 22 to 24; he also had back-to-back games of 44 for 44 and 43 for 43. He is 71 for 75 on Daily Doubles and 31 for 32 on Final Jeopardy.
I implore the rest of you to tune in to “Jeopardy!” while Holzhauer is still pursuing game-show immortality. It’s a Monday-to-Friday delight.
What, you expect me to watch Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz instead?
Sure, I know it’s not sports; it’s better than sports, and every game is over in 30 minutes.
It’s amazing how Holzhauer always brings his “A” game. He’s like a pitcher throwing all heat, no change-ups — 105 mph on the black, again and again.
Holzhauer, a 34-year-old sports bettor from Las Vegas, apparently has no weaknesses. He is unstoppable on sports, pop culture, world geography, singers, planetary stuff, U.S. history, potpourri and art from any century. And he is virtually unstoppable on everything else.
Remember when they decided to “Tiger-proof” the Masters by lengthening Augusta National to make it harder on Tiger Woods? I’m not sure how you could “James-proof” “Jeopardy!” — maybe, just maybe, if the clues were all in pig Latin, it would slow him down.
They threw two lawyers up against him one day — I thought one of them was going to serve a court order barring him from the “Jeopardy!” lot — but it turns out they were just a couple of middling ambulance chasers run over by Holzhauer’s brilliance.
Another day, one of his opponents was Jim Bob Williams, a therapeutic humorist from Saint Albans, W.Va. I’m sorry — and he seemed like a smart fella — some guy named Jim Bob is going to beat the Jonas Salk of “Jeopardy!”? I think not. He actually took the early lead, but then it was over in a blink of Alex Trebek’s eye.
Indeed, once in a while, you think, “Oh my, he’s met his match today.” And then 10 minutes later, Holzhauer’s would-be slayer is game-show roadkill.
Some people, particularly longtime “Jeopardy!” viewers, are now rooting against Holzhauer. This is preposterous. We’re supposed to begrudge him because he plays the game at the highest level ever? You want to see his genius disappear?
Would you root against Einstein en route to him figuring out e = mc²?
Would you root against Ponce de Leon when he was sailing toward the Fountain of Youth?
Would you root against Ben or Jerry when they were endeavoring to concoct New York Super Fudge Chunk ice cream?
“Jeopardy!” is taped in Los Angeles, so I considered going by the studio to get a glimpse of greatness. But I decided that’s a bad idea — better to gaze at our big-screen stars from afar than know too much about them.
Yeah, I’m talking about you, Charlie Sheen.
Holzhauer lost a little luster last week when he missed a question about Babe Ruth, and it was an easy one.
The clue: “Babe had this player leadership position for only six days before being stripped of it for going after a fan in the stands.”
Holzhauer: “What is manager?” No!!!!! What is captain? Jeez.
Boy, if I run into Holzhauer and Sheen together, I am going to be really worried.
Q. Re: The Astros’ Carlos Correa. How does one fracture a rib from a massage? (Lawrence Russell; Salt Lake City)
A. Reminds me that I once got fired from my job as a massage therapist — they said I rubbed people the wrong way.
Q. If the NFL allows marijuana use, will the stadium food vendors be allowed on the sidelines during games? (Roger Strauss; Silver Spring, Md.)
A. I just feel bad for Adam “Pacman” Jones — I don’t think he retires if he anticipated this.
Q. Your writing has been dramatically stronger recently. Are you taking performance-enhancing drugs? (Jack Leininger; Spokane, Wash.)
A. No — just Fresca.
Q. If President Trump isn’t worried about Kim Jong Un firing missiles off in all directions, should I not be worried about the Washington Nationals’ bullpen? (Jeff Covel; Arlington, Va.)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.