ERMAGERD. (Photo: @kellymw89)
There’s a Caps game on Thursday, but if you watch Jeopardy instead we’d understand. Caps fan Kelly Wright will be appearing on a pre-taped episode of the show.
Wright, who lives on a farm in Rocky Ridge, Maryland (between Thurmont and Emmitsburg), grew up in Frederick County. She went to Catoctin High School and graduated from McDaniel. She now works downtown for a company called PropertyRoom as a cataloging specialist.
As a kid, Wright learned to skate and play hockey at SkateFrederick. She says she fell in love with the Caps as a seven-year-old during the team’s Stanley Cup Final run in 1998. Her earliest memory was crying on the floor in her jersey when they got swept (hey, me too!).
Wright was kind enough to share her Jeopardy/Alex Trebek experience with us exclusively. It’s amazing.
This Thursday, December 3rd, I’ll be a challenger on the greatest game show ever (sorry, Kuzy): Jeopardy! and I’ll be subtly rocking the RMNB red while doing so.
My journey to the Jeopardy! podium started back in April, when they offered the online test for adults. While I normally put off taking the test because the idea of actually appearing on television terrified me, my grandfather, who I frequently watch the show with, kept after me until I signed up. Apparently I did okay on it because less than a month after I took the test, I received an email back saying I had been selected for an audition in early June in Boston.
When the day of the audition came, I put on my Ovi shirsey under my audition clothes and got on a plane, hoping that the hockey gods had a little luck left over for a Caps fan in enemy territory. The audition was pretty simple: it’s another fifty question test, a mini practice game and a short interview with the contestant coordinators. After everything is done, you’re told that you are now in the contestant pool and you may or may not hear back from the show for the next eighteen months. Well, it turns out that Joel Ward hadn’t used up all the good luck in Boston because less than three months after the audition, I had a call from the show. (Actually, I had a missed call from the show because I like wandering away from my phone at inopportune times.) From the time I got the call, it would be less than one month until I was out in Los Angeles, standing on a stage, pushing a buzzer and gawking at Alex Trebek. I wish I could say that I buckled down, studied my brains out and really prepped for the show but all I did was watch more Jeopardy! and play Sporcle. Don’t fix what’s not broken, right?
Fast forward to the day of the taping (September 29th): since wearing Caps gear had gotten me this far, it was time to bust out the big guns: the RMNB 8-Bit Ovi shirt. However, since there is a dress code for the show, it would have to stay hidden under my shirt. After getting to the studio and going through all the paperwork, makeup and pre-game warmups, the taping began. They tape a week’s worth of shows in a day, three before lunch and two after. My number was called for the first game after we came back from the lunch break and it was on like Donkey Kong. The actual game goes by incredibly fast (the game occurs in real time, basically) and I honestly don’t remember half of it.
I can’t divulge any results of the game but I can talk about getting to chat with Alex Trebek after the game. You don’t get to meet him until you’ve actually started the game so the only times you talk with him are during the contestant interviews and when all the contestants are standing around while the credits are rolling. Well, I figured this was probably my only opportunity to chat hockey with a Canadian legend so I asked if he was ready for the NHL season to start. (Fun fact: Alex is exactly like he seems on the show: an incredibly dry and self-deprecating sense of humor with the perfect amount of sarcasm.) He talked a little about his Habs and then mentioned the recent slump of the LA Kings, particularly the issues with Mike Richards. He then did one of the greatest things I could have ever hoped for and told us that “all these young players think ‘me snort this, shoot faster!'” while pantomiming snorting cocaine and shooting a puck. We were all laughing; it was hilarious and amazing and I really hope that at least part of it makes it to what you see while the credits are playing.
Overall, just the opportunity to play on the show and hopefully not make a complete fool of myself (like this guy), was one of the greatest things I’ve been able to do in my life. Did I go on a Ken Jennings-esque tear, win 50 games in a row, and proceed to reenact Ovi’s hot stick celebration on the podium? No, I can safely say that I did not but I hope people will consider tuning in regardless and maybe even root for a fellow Caps fan!
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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