If I were to sit down and make a comprehensive list of fanbases that I actually respect, the Jeopardy! heads would be near the top. They are a savvy group that loves to learn and is generally extremely supportive of the contestants. That's why it's a bit of a bummer to see a certain portion of that group fall victim to a really stupid Unwritten Rules saga involving Aaron Craig, who won Friday's edition of the Champions Wildcard tournament.
Craig had made worm's meat of his fellow competitors and was in the driver's seat to offer an extremely eff-around Final Jeopardy wager of $32 on the topic of British history. No one knew the answer to whatever Ken Jennings was going on and on about with the Archbishop of Canterbury, so Craig was able to coast to victory.
The problem came when he had the audacity to clap for himself, and say "let's go, Chad" in the direction of the studio audience.
Online pundits with nothing better to do ripped him from being classless and unsportsmanlike in hissy fits previously only seen when an old, problematic catcher doesn't care for a hotshot slugger's home-run trot.
And honestly, it just seems like he was excited — which he should be after winning a nice chunk of change. But it turns out that he's even more vindicated because his kids were in the audience and he was just trying to share the excitement with them. Things got to the point where Craig felt compelled to address the situation.
A user claiming to be Craig weighed in on the controversy over on the show’s Reddit page, where his behavior was a hot topic for that episode’s discussion.
He wrote, “I’m sorry if I got overly excited. I certainly didn’t mean to show anybody up, but my kids were there and I couldn’t believe that they got to watch me not just play in a semifinal, but win! Anyone who thinks I was over the top, that’s 1000% fair. No argument here.”
He also praised his opponents, who he said were “amazing and lovely and brilliant.”
“Either one would have been a great and deserving winner today,” he wrote.
Let the man live a little. I'd take a little emotion and joy over some dead-eyed winner with no social skills awkwardly trying to figure out how humans smile after winning 100 times out of 100. Just like the unwritten rules in baseball, Jeopardy! needs to do whatever it can to make things slightly more exciting or they'll lose the younger generations completely to moronic social media influencers.
I stand with this man, a real family man, who was just trying to be authentic in the moment.