The “everybody gets a trophy generation” scored a big win last week at the 92nd Scripps National Spelling Bee.
On day two of the annual Bee, which was broadcast on ESPN, there was an unprecedented eight-way tie for first place. The first in world history.
The two-day competition ended on Friday, May 31, when the final 16 competitors went back and forth spelling words that nobody else had ever heard before and that nobody uses in real life.
After a couple of hours of spelling, the pronouncer made a decision that would rock the core of competitive spelling forever. While there were plenty of words left in the bank, he decided that none of the remaining words were hard enough and that they’d be at it all night if they kept up the charade. As if these kids can’t stay up a few hours past their precious bedtimes to chase glory.
The pronouncer, who apparently has dictator-like powers over the Bee, decided they would go for three more rounds. If after three rounds, there wasn’t a champion, whoever was left standing would split the title.
There were eight kids left when the pronouncer made this ludicrous decision (and I mean “ludicrous” as in ridiculous; I’m not comparing this chump to the rapper and star of the Fast and the Furious franchise), and after three rounds, eight kids remained.
That meant all eight kids got a share of the trophy. They all huddled together and got their picture taken as co-champions. All eight of them.
The decision was received with applause by the parents and spelling fans in the stands but was rightfully ripped apart by the people who really matter — random internet users, which included myself.
“This is literally the dumbest things of all time,” said one person on Twitter.
“Trash. Let them duke it out,” said another.
No matter how hard Scripps and ESPN tried to force the eight-way tie down America’s throat, America wouldn’t accept it. And rightfully so. If World War II ended in an eight-way tie, there is a 12.5 percent chance we would all be speaking Italian. Think about it.
Why is there not a tiebreaker for when the Bee takes too long? You can’t make the final eight do a speed round or something? Maybe all sit at a table and play boggle? Or how about pulling out some words from the Urban Dictionary?
Has the pronouncer ever heard of Scrabble? That would take maybe an hour, and it would be thrilling television. Or even better, bring the kids out to NBC Studios and have them play Wheel of Fortune.
Could you imagine watching that whole competition, sitting on the edge of your couch for TWO DAYS and then with eight left, they just end it with a draw? (SPOILER) At least “Game of Thrones” crowned a king, even if it was that weird kid who got stiff-armed out the window in the third episode.
In my book, nobody is a winner. That’s real life, kids. You don’t get a Superbowl ring for getting Top 10.
What the Bee needs to do is just give nobody the trophy. They should lock that trophy up and bring it back next year. Then, whoever wins next year just gets both trophies. How cool would that be? It would be like in boxing when Floyd Mayweather is carrying around like four championship belts.
The real loser here is Webster. You know, that guy who invented the dictionary. Where was he in all this? You can’t come up with harder words so kids get knocked out? What, are you getting soft?
Also, what’s with it being so quiet at these spelling bees? I think after the 10th round, they should start letting the kids play a little defense. Maybe fake cough when the kid spelling is midway through the word. Maybe yell out a bunch of letters to confuse the one under the spotlight. Spice it up a little. Next year’s spelling bee needs a bad boy. That’ll spice up the ratings.
Also, I would have really respected one of those kids if they refused to touch the trophy. Just like when McKayla Maroney didn’t win gold at the Olympics and pouted on the medal stand. If a kid would have stepped off to the side with a disappointed smirk on his face, he would have become a legend for life.
Also, what even happens to the trophy? Do they rock-paper-scissors to see who gets it? Or just keep sending it back and forth like the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants?” I’m pretty sure the pronouncer just assumed they all lived in the same commune or something.
Maybe the pronouncer just keeps it since there wasn’t a true winner? Maybe he just takes the trophy back to his car, drives his car to a local dance club and tries to use the trophy to pick up chicks? I know it would be a wild move, but this dude has already shown he’s a wild card.
America is disappointed in you, Scripps National Spelling Bee. This was your time to shine, and instead, you faded into the night.
Spelling bee? More like spelling “F.” Because this whole thing was a huge failure.