Monday, November 26, 2007

Alex Trebek's double jeopardy

It's so rare I get home in time to watch Jeopardy these days but for some reason I was able to catch it several times last week. And in those few times I heard host Alex Trebek make two questionable comments about gender and sport.
The first came when he was interviewing one of the contestants (does anyone else hate these things as much as I do? I usually mute them). The contestant reported that he is both a high school swim coach for the girl's team and an ice hockey coach. Alex, apropos of nothing, said something like "and I assume the hockey team is boys." Why he would assume that is curious. Women play ice hockey--most people know that even if they don't watch or even support. And, hello, Alex Trebek is Canadian. Canada has the best national team in the world right now. Women's hockey has been around in Canada just as long as men have been playing the sport.
So I thought it was a little bit of poetic justice when, later in the week, the defending champion was a woman who had played college hockey. He didn't ask her whether women played hockey. But he did make another remark when the Final Jeopardy category appeared. It was "professional sports team names." He read it aloud and then said (again not a direct quote) "this is a very male category." Right, because all men have a wealth of knowledge about sports teams and women know nothing.

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