Deeper into Jeopardy! II: Obama-Rama – $600

Jeopardy! category: OBAMA-RAMA (21-01-2014)

$600 clue: Obama threw out the first pitch of the 2009 all-star game wearing the jersey of this, his favorite major league team.

Correct response (highlight to see): CHICAGO WHITE SOX

The gist: After finishing up his undergrad at Columbia, Obama moved to Chicago where he got a job as a “community organizer,” a position that would raise the ire and ridicule of the Republicans throughout the election season. After three years he left Chicago to attend Harvard Law School, but returned to the city as a Fellow at the University of Chicago in 1991, where he would continue to teach until 2004, including during his tenure as Illinois senator, until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004. Obama’s connection to Chicago, and his love for his Chicago White Sox, has been well-documented.

The President repping his (American League) not-quite-hometown boys.

The clue: This one’s fairly trashy, to be honest. It’s something of a you-know-it-or-you-don’t. The argument could be made that if you know Obama’s connection to Chicago you could come up with the answer, but let us not forget that Chicago is one of three cities that has two baseball teams (along with New York and L.A.), the White Sox in the American League and the Cubs in the National League, so even knowing that only gets you to a coin toss without some more info. I’m not really sure either if following sports or following politics would help you with this one more, and while I’m generally a fan of cross-disciplinary clues, this one isn’t the best I’ve ever seen. Oh well. Trash can be fun too, and I’m sure the producers like to appeal to the (recently) 5th largest city in North America.

In Jeopardy!: The White Sox only come up in 25 clues in the J!Archive, less than half that of the NY Yankees and a quarter of the Dodgers (Brooklyn and L.A., that is). Many of the clues are about the thrown 1919 World Series and that year’s team dubbed the “Black Sox,” and a fair number are your usual sports fare of naming naming players (“Shoeless” Joe Jackson comes up a few times) or stadiums (formerly Comiskey Park, currently U.S. Cellular Field) and looking for the team. If you want to study up on your baseball, the White Sox are are somewhere above the middle of the pack in importance, but better to start with the bigger fish.

2 thoughts on “Deeper into Jeopardy! II: Obama-Rama – $600

  1. Agreed that this is kind of a trashy question, but there is one more subtle clue to decipher whether the answer is the White Sox or the Cubs. Obama was well known as a community organizer in Chicago’s South Side, historically known as a working-class and underprivileged area of the city (and indeed, of the entire US). The White Sox have always had their home stadium on the South Side, compared to the Cubs who play on the North Side. Occasionally, the White Sox are referred to by the nickname “South Siders” and the Cubs are sometimes the “North Siders,” reflecting this distinction.

    Jeopardy watchers with a fairly in-depth baseball and politics knowledge could have sussed this answer out, but it’s a long to remember and think through in the few seconds you have to decide whether to buzz in and guess.

    • Definitely interesting additional info, but I agree that it’s a bit much to go through in the middle of the show. If you know that much about sports and/or politics and/or Obama, I’d guess you already know that Obama likes the White Sox.

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