Why I like the show Sports Jeopardy! on the Crackle network

One of the minor, if not allusive delights of 'cutting the chord'––an act which I am proudly on ~Year 5 or 6 of––has been the discovery of odd, poorly designed content aggregators, or apps, or channels, or networks, if you will. Crackle is borderline one of these delights, though––as they are owned by Sony––can hardly be considered an underdog like some of the other weirder, more mysterious yet equally trashed with bad advertisements ones, like Tubi TV. (S/O Tubi TV btw.)

In fact, in practice, Crackle more closely resembles something akin to new-age TBS. If you ever felt the need to watch Shutter Island but also wanted it to be consistently interrupted with commercials, Crackle is your spot bro.

But Crackle is home to one of the best shows going imo, and that's Sports Jeopardy!. I like this show for two, very specific and very different reasons.

Reason #1. I just love trivia. And I love sports. Voilà. Simple as that. This is the reason that regular J! is and shall forever be the best gameshow of all-time. The pacing, breadth of topics, scoring strategy (risk/reward), is unparalleled in the televised gameshow world. The fact that SJ! uses a points-based system as opposed to the cash-based one of its grandfather, is a big detriment. There's no getting around that. But not enough for me to stop tuning in when I am bored beyond belief, and overwhelmed with dread and apathy (my constant state of being).

Reason #2. The queasy interactions. For being a sports-based trivia program, SJ! still brings out the absolute nerds as contestants like you wouldn't believe. But what Dan Patrick's lacks in Alex Trebek's social cluelessness and general robotics, he more than makes up for with his over-the-top and doomed-to-fail desire to make the show… comedic? Dan Patrick, in general, is an off-putting presence. I find something about his demeanor truly upsetting. At times, he plays with the contestants' nervousness in a way that can only be viewed as downright mean. But it makes for fascinating TV, this dance. (NOTE: I'm currently catching up on Season 2, and he's significantly toned down this ribbing of the nervous, though this could also be due to just casting more comfortable players.)

The show, overall, is largely a hot mess, but at its core it really is about the gameplay and the questions (clues) which are consistently top-notch, thanks in part to Stump the Schwab legend Howie Schwab, who serves as a consultant and writer. But I love a good hot mess. When all the moving pieces are turning the messed-up machines' vastly different gears, it can truly be a thing of beauty.

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