Ken Jennings

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Ken is the author of Because I Said So!, Maphead, Brainiac, and Ken Jennings's Trivia Almanac.

Postby econgator » Sun Mar 16, 2008 12:44 pm

PhygLeGuy wrote:Over at the Hall’s web site, a search for Famers named “Winfield” (don’t forget to capitalize the ‘W’) returns a list that informs us that his Primary Team was the New York Yankees. They also show a color photograph of the man and a black and white photograph of his bronze plaque both sporting the “SD” logo. This would seem to provide book authors with a broad platform upon which to stand and be considered correct.


I don't quite get that.

If you look at the HOF website, they state that:

"The choice of which team’s logo appears on a player’s plaque is the Museum's decision, though we always consider the wishes of an inductee. As a history Museum, it's important that the logo be emblematic of the historical accomplishments of that player's career. A player's election to the Hall of Fame is a career achievement, and as such, every team for whom he played is listed on the plaque; however, the logo selection is based on where that player makes his most indelible mark."

So, Winfield wanted to go in as a Padre, the Museum must have on some level agreed with him and put the SD logo on his plaque, but for some reason they still consider him a Yankee primarily? I don't disagree with Ken calling him a Yankee HOF'er, I just disagree with the Hall calling him that.
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Re: Davie Winfield Question in Brainiac

Postby Monty » Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:16 pm

Guy Incognito wrote:What Cardinal running back is the all-time NFL rushing leader?
Emmit Smith
What Hall of Fame Seahawks running back won 4 Super Bowls and was the MVP of Super Bowl IX?
Franco Harris
What San Francisco 49er running back rushed for a record 2,003 yards back in 1973?
O.J. Simpson
What Hall of Fame San Diego Charger quarterback threw a record 47 straight games with a touchdown?
Johnny Unitas
What Los Angeles Rams quarterback famously guaranteed a win back in Super Bowl III?
Joe Namath


The only one of those I think is fair is the first one. The other ones ask about specific moments in players' histories, so they should have the team they were with at the time. It would be okay to say "What Hall of Fame San Diego Charger quarterback mentored Dan Fouts in 1973," for example. If you drastically rephrased them, they might be fair, like if you went with "What quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams had once guaranteed a win in Super Bowl III".

I'm a Padre fan, but I think most non-San Diegans probably think of Winfield's Yankee days first.

(EDIT: I believe the rule about who decides what cap a player's plaque will feature was enacted after Winfield was enshrined, largely because he was perceived to have chosen the Padre cap as payment for being made a vice president in the Padre organization. Then Wade Boggs started talking about going in as a Devil Ray and the Hall decided to step in and just make the decisions themselves.)
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Postby PhygLeGuy » Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:29 pm

econgator wrote: I don't disagree with Ken calling him a Yankee HOF'er, I just disagree with the Hall calling him that.
The Baseball Hall of Fame should never be anyone’s first choice for corroboration in any logical or rhetorical debate, but in this case, it’s their ball.
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Postby PhygLeGuy » Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:51 pm

Back to the Almanac:

I’ve been following the “don‘t flip to the answer section too quickly” advice, the result being that it’s mostly factoids -- or near-factoids -- that catch my attention.

===

February 23 - 2003 - In the present context, the phrase about Mario scoring “on a penalty” is meaningless. The other cute little problem here is that Mario Lemieux scored exactly one goal on 2/23/2003. The reference is probably to Mario’s five-goal game of 12/31/1988, when he scored goals with each of the five possible annotations found in standard newspaper-style scoring summaries, including one on a penalty shot. I prefer to call this a Wonkavator Hat Trick, but you’d get letters.

===

August 31 - 1965 - A nation mourns F Troop - This seemed too early for ABC to have been producing sitcoms IN COLOR. A quick check of Brooks and Marsh (mine says “1946-present” on the cover; what does yours say?) lists 8/31/1967 as the date the last prime-time rerun aired.

===

November 2 - 1949 - “WWOR-TV” - The station didn’t add the second ’W’ to its call letters until 1987. A slippery slope test might support the editorial decision to set names like Confucius and Mesopotamia in modern alphabets, but many folks alive today still remember when single-W-OR was carried on cable systems into many otherwise Benny-Hill-deprived regions of the country. Referring to “New York’s channel 9” would curtail this discussion altogether. Whatever we call it, the factoid gives me new respect for the station, whose only game show efforts heretofore known to me were What’s My Line during the Soupy Sales dynasty and several incarnations of Bowling for Dollars. (Sooner or later, you’ll own Generals.)

===

November 10 - 1928 - "Win One for the Gipper"

Caveat: This one’s personal. George Gipp’s page at Wikipedia says everything that needs to be said about the distinction between “win one” and “win just one” for the Gipper. As it turned out, the academic institution that ended the boys’ winning streak at just one also succeeded, many decades later, in separating me from seven semesters’ tuition. Ergo, if I pass up just one opportunity to rectify the quotation, I’ll never get my money’s worth.
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Postby Guy Incognito » Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:53 am

he was perceived to have chosen the Padre cap as payment for being made a vice president in the Padre organization.


Given that Winfield's relationship with Steinbrenner was as acrimonious as an owner/player relationship could ever possibly be - I am would have been shocked if he didn't go in as a Padre. Remember what Steinbrenner did:

The "Mr. May" Incident
Dave Winfield and Steinbrenner just never got along, and things got pretty ugly toward the end of Winfield's Yankee days. Things were already way on the downslide when the Yankees lost three straight games to the Blue Jays in the thick of a pennant race, and Steinbrenner called Winfield "Mr. May." Up in the press box, he said to reporters, "Where is Reggie Jackson? We need a Mr. October or a Mr. September.... Dave Winfield is Mr. May.''

The next day, Don Mattingly said, "To belittle players like he did, to me he's out of control." Winfield said, "You wonder why we're tentative on the field. All I can tell you is that with what he said, with the way he is, that's how the guys felt. Maybe some of the guys were too afraid to make a mistake."

Winfield finished the season with 26 HR and 114 RBI, playing much better in August and September than he had in April and May. The Yankees finished the season 97-64, two games behind the Blue Jays. On August 1, they had been 8 1/2 games back, but in August, September and October, went 42-20 to close the gap and finish with the second-best record in the AL.

The Winfield Dirt Incident
The Dave Winfield/Steinbrenner feud hit its low point in 1990, shortly after The Boss sent Winfield to the Angels in exchange for Mike Witt. In 1987, George, in a desperate attempt to dig up dirt on Winfield, hired gambler Howard Spira as his shovelmeister. Three years later, Spira, the Ken Starr of private baseball investigators, was still looking for nothing. But he was $40,000 richer, thanks to a payoff from Steinbrenner. In July 1990, commissioner Fay Vincent banned George from day-to-day operations of the Yankees for life.

http://espn.go.com/page2/s/list/steinbrenner.html

Plus, the Yankees were pretty bad for most of the 1980s
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Postby Guy Incognito » Wed Mar 19, 2008 6:24 am

Anyone who has made it past page 4 or 5 of A Child’s First Book of Baseball Trivia Questions is going to know the year of Thomson’s home run, and should be able to come up with a reasonable guess.


True, if you are thinking about Real Yankees of that era - Munson, Guidry, Randolph, Mattingly, Nettles, Dent, Murcer - not some guy who barely spent a third of his career with the Yankees, didn't leave a discernable mark on the club, and goes into the Hall of Fame being represented by a different team.

Sir, I served with the Yankees: I knew the Yankees; The Yankees were a friend of mine. Dave Winfield, you're no Yankee.

.
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Postby econgator » Thu Apr 03, 2008 6:31 am

On the April 2nd page, you mention the game Beaterator being released in 2003 for the Playstation. Actually, that game will not be released until 2009 and will be for the PSP.

http://www.rockstargames.com/beaterator/
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Postby Ken Jennings » Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:37 am

Sloppy work on those dates! On the NHL one, looks like I switched the date of Mario's 5-goal "hat trick" with a 4-goal effort by Jarome Iginla. F Troop must be a typo. Not sure what happened with Beaterator, since the only way I've ever heard of that game was an article about its forthcoming-ness. Must be another typo.

The Yankees mention in the Winfield question was to strengthen the coincidence (future NY baseball great born on one of the most memorable dates in NY baseball history). I know all about Hall of Fame issues with multi-team players and tried to word the question around that.

And maybe I should have been clearer in the book: "Plain Vanilla" and "Meaningless Coincidence" aren't criteria for BAD trivia questions, in my opinion. They're just common templates for questions, period. Coincidence questions can be done well, or not, like anything else.
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Nicole Kidman Movie

Postby tvmode » Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:29 pm

Ken, I love your book, I can't put it down! I did have a correction, though. I apologize if it is a repeat, I didn't want to sift through pages of forums to see if anyone else caught it. On page 52, (Feb 4th), you ask what Nicole Kidman film.... and the answer is "The Interpreter" Not "The Insider" (which is a Russell Crowe movie about big tobacco). Thanks for the great trivia!
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Postby econgator » Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:45 am

April 23: Fidel Castro is the answer to the "longest serving political leader". Are you going to change the question so that he's still the answer, or ... heck ... who even is the longest now?

Looks like it's Omar Bongo of Gabon
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Postby Ken Jennings » Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:23 pm

"Omar Bongo of Gabon."

That would be the most fun-to-say trivia answer ever.
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Correction - Home Plate in Team Logos

Postby gvonk » Wed May 07, 2008 8:03 am

I don't remember which date this is from since my book is at home (I think it's around April 9), but the question is:
5. Name the only Major League Baseball team whose official logo features…
[...]
Home Plate
[...]


Looking at the official logos on MLB.com, there appear to be three teams with primary logos featuring home plate.

Now, I don't keep up with team logos, so Ken, your answer may have been the only correct one when you wrote the book.

I used this as a question on a work trivia quiz and had a few protests related to this question. (And some who wanted me to consider the feather on the Cleveland Indian a "hat". Um, no.)
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Postby RingoOSU » Wed May 07, 2008 8:23 am

In my opinion, the Padres (which is what first came to my mind) if still the answer because the other 2 feature the diamond, the home plate isn't prominent at all. The key word to me is "features." The Rays recently changed their logo (this offseason) but I'm pretty sure that was the O's logo when the book was written.
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Postby Ken Jennings » Wed May 07, 2008 12:16 pm

Looks like I'm out of date. And not just with my hairstyle this time.

I think the correct answer in the book is Orioles, right? The Devil Rays and Padres logos both look new to me.
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Postby RingoOSU » Wed May 07, 2008 4:20 pm

Orioles logo 1998-present, Padres 2004-present. And of course, Rays 2008-present.
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Postby gvonk » Thu May 08, 2008 5:34 am

Ken Jennings wrote:I think the correct answer in the book is Orioles, right? The Devil Rays and Padres logos both look new to me.

Yes, the book gives Orioles as the correct answer.

Per RingoOSU, it appears that this was probably the only correct answer until relatively recently.
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Postby Ken Jennings » Thu May 08, 2008 10:22 am

That Padres logo really dates back to 2004? I know the reference I used still had that round logo. I thought it was someplace semi-official, mlb.com or something.
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Postby mobo85 » Thu May 08, 2008 1:54 pm

Three from the Trivia Almanac:

May 10, "(Spring)field Guide," "Yeah, Good Luck" question #3: should have two possible answers. Cletus's last name has been giving as both Delroy and Spuckler. (A later episode retconned this by having his wife Brandine refer to his full name as "Cletus Delroy Spuckler.")

May 26, "Bloc Party," question #6: Ireland should not be on the list. "Reland" is not a word.

July 3, "Well, That's Just Great," question #3: This question should not have two possible answers. The Wallace and Gromit film did not have a working title of "East Great Falls High."
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Postby Craig S. Cottingham » Thu May 08, 2008 3:39 pm

mobo85 wrote:May 26, "Bloc Party," question #6: Ireland should not be on the list. "Reland" is not a word.

Why not? I landed, I took off, I relanded.
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Postby mobo85 » Thu May 08, 2008 4:00 pm

I never thought of it that way, but there's no Google results for "reland" as a word and it's not in the OED, so I don't think it would be considered a "common word."
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Postby Ken Jennings » Fri May 09, 2008 3:31 pm

mobo85 wrote:Three from the Trivia Almanac:

May 10, "(Spring)field Guide," "Yeah, Good Luck" question #3: should have two possible answers. Cletus's last name has been giving as both Delroy and Spuckler. (A later episode retconned this by having his wife Brandine refer to his full name as "Cletus Delroy Spuckler.")

May 26, "Bloc Party," question #6: Ireland should not be on the list. "Reland" is not a word.

July 3, "Well, That's Just Great," question #3: This question should not have two possible answers. The Wallace and Gromit film did not have a working title of "East Great Falls High."


Ha! That's awesome. I think the question originally asked what two movies were originally titled "East Great Falls High" and "The Great Vegetable Plot."

I found "reland" in unabridged dictionaries, so I guess it depends on your definition of "common." "The pilot had to reland the plane" doesn't strike me as too weird-sounding--though it's probably better off with a hyphen.
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Postby econgator » Fri May 09, 2008 5:42 pm

I'm just not getting why you would ever use 'reland'. You just 'land' that's it. If you take-off and land, when you do it again, do you retake-off? Nope! You take-off and land ... :)
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Postby Craig S. Cottingham » Sat May 10, 2008 6:18 pm

econgator wrote:I'm just not getting why you would ever use 'reland'. You just 'land' that's it. If you take-off and land, when you do it again, do you retake-off? Nope! You take-off and land ... :)

I think it gets a little murkier if you're doing touch-and-gos. You land, then re-take-off without leaving the runway or even slowing down. Then you go around, reland, re-take-off....
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Postby PhygLeGuy » Sun May 11, 2008 7:26 pm

mobo85 wrote:I never thought of it that way, but there's no Google results for "reland" as a word and it's not in the OED, so I don't think it would be considered a "common word."

Try reland plane -"i reland" -ireland
A fair number of reasonably cogent speakers and typists of English seem to think it's a word.
(Why aren't they speakists and typers?)
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Postby econgator » Thu May 29, 2008 7:09 am

Minor typo

May 29th, SHORT AND SWEET, Q. 9 -- the answer is given as "I code is SUX". I'm guessing that should be "Its code ..."
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