The spelling bee might be the dorkiest event in the history of the world; these parents deserve public punishment, for things like rewarding their children for reading the dictionary. Yet, I am glued to ESPN*. There are five kids left, and they've gone two straight rounds with no one going down. One of them keeps bantering with the guy who says the word. She's actually quite funny.
On a programming note, this is infinitely better than the Little League World Series. In the LLWS, we still learn things about the kids, like their favorite foods or what they want to be when they grow up. The Spelling Bee (I've taken to capitalizing it, for no apparent reason) also gives that information, but instead of things like 'New York Yankee Third Baseman,' we get things like Physicist. Role Model: Albert Einstein. These kids are the counter-argument to the line of reasoning that claims that sports stars as role models are bad. Good news: some kids out there still just want to be smart.
While there are many ridiculous things about this entire competition, my personal favorite is the questions they ask the announcer. Use it in a sentence. Define it (that one is reasonable, as is language of origin). They stand and pronounce words from languages I've never heard of (papuan? I would have guessed that is a delicious, soft food filled with cheese).
Some girl just spelled zwischenspeil. No idea if I got that right. But that was worth the break in flow. That's impressive, considering I once spelled Bermuda incorrectly, backwards, in an intense game of Cranium.
Long story short, it's amazing that this has not yet been turned in to a drinking game by college students. One every time the kid repeats the word, after that first time. One every time the sentence used makes you laugh. Three if a kid cries if they get it wrong. One every time there is a voice crack. One every time the language of origin is something you never heard of. Everyone drinks if you can spell the word before it comes up on the screen.
Thanks for reading. Expect more this summer.
*These kids are on ESPN. I never will be. This saddens me.