Today I logged onto the ESPN website and found coverage of Jeopardy! Champion Ken Jennings losing after being the show’s champion for 74 episodes. I’ve been a fan of the show for years and love the idea of Jeopardy! getting main coverage from sports media. I don’t think of it as being a game show getting covered, which sounds inherently silly, so much as a case where a test of knowledge is treated as importantly as, say, putting a ball through a hoop. Granted, this Jeopardy! story is an exceptional case. Since doing away with the limit on being champion of the show for only five episodes, Alex Trebek’s game show has seen its ratings increase 22 percent over the same time last year thanks to Jennings’ impressive streak. This baby-faced little Mormon software engineer from Utah actually became a damn celebrity. (And yes, he is donating 10 percent of his $2,520,700 winnings – or about $34,000 per day – to the church.) But still to me the interesting thing has been the attention the Jennings juggernaut has received. I’ve already read about the streak in newspapers and online. And there have been fans and foes of Jennings develop during his time as champion, just like a sporting event. And yet it’s because of his big, geeky brain. I love it that such an innocent dork has been given his fifteen minutes of fame, and by earning it through more than 2,700 correct trivia answers. That’s always been the genius of Jeopardy! to me, that on one hand it has this sort of kitsch-by-association by virtue of being a TV game show. I mean, debonair as he may seem, Alex’s peers are guys like Wink Martindale and Bob Barker. But on the other hand, Jeopardy! is a celebration of being smart—or at least very well informed. (There's a difference there that people forget.) And to think that the man behind this is no other than Merv Griffin, that chubby lounge singer and talk show host whose face is branded on my brain in the form of childhood memory. Back in the grade school days, seeing Merv meant my dad had co-opted the family television and I couldn’t watch cartoons.