Dan Patrick Needs To Chill With The Sexism On Sports Jeopardy
On a recent Sports Jeopardy! episode, Chrissy Teigan was brought in to record the video answers for the category "John, Legend." Each question would presumably be a legendary sports figure named John. When Jeopardy! or Sports Jeopardy! record a celebrity for a category of answers, they always include a video introduction during the listing of the category itself.
Of course they gave Teigan some cheesy line to read about "lovin' her some John Legend" which was super awkward. And if you thought that Dan Patrick would rise above the sexism and not do exactly what every other creepy older dude does when a younger and very attractive woman is speaking, then you were wrong.
COME ON, DAN. Listen I love Sports Jeopardy!. I was super pumped when it came out and whenever I want to treat myself to a little down time I throw on an episode and drive myself nuts wondering how people know all that crap. It's wonderful, except for Dan's sexist interviews.
Much of my frustration stems from the fact that this is not the first awkward reaction/interaction that Dan Patrick has had with a female on the show. In fact, there have been multiple times that I have been watching when he has asked a female player in their interview some version of the "how does it feel to talk sports with the guys" question. Despite constantly reminding the audience that thousands of people entered to be on the show and only the best made it on as a contestant, he reverts back to asking outdated, sexist questions of his female contestants.
Betsy Schroeder was the first female contestant on the show in Episode 4. She started her interview explaining her experience playing outside linebacker at Notre Dame Stadium in her women's flag football team. Every year the teams who made it to the championship got to play in the stadium. How awesome is that?!
Not awesome enough to stop our good ole' boy Dan.
Dan asked "Now when you go into a bar or you're in a group setting with guys, do you show off with your sports knowledge?"
Can someone please explain to our friend Dan Patrick that women who know sports don't walk around looking for guys to talk to so that they can show off about it? Anyway, Betsy responded with an articulate and thoughtful response to that terribly unimaginative question.
"I've been known to but I try not to be in your face about it, because nobody really likes, like a big show off. But I have shot down some gentlemen who thought they were going to explain to me the nuances of a Cover 2 defense."
That answer delighted Dan who finished up telling her that he liked that story, and to"feel free to be a know-it-all today." I'm glad you got such a kick out of that anecdote, buddy. She was the first woman on the show and you really knocked the institutionally sexist questioning out of the park on your very first try!
After that cringe-worthy interview was an equally sexist one in Episode 18 when he interviewed Lauren Bolivar from Carrollton, Texas.
Patrick asked, "When it comes to sports trivia...a lot of guys have been on this so far. Intimidated?"
Poor Lauren. How do you respond to that?
"Trying not to be. Holding my own, yeah..." Lauren replied.
But Patrick wasn't stopping there.
"How do guys react when they know you know sports?"
"These guys have been awesome today, here. They've been fantastic...Um, they're pretty good. Um..."
Dan also inexplicably managed to make an uncomfortable conversation worse by slipping in a "you know, because guys don't want to be told..." before Lauren - being put on the spot after figuring out what he was getting at - gave in and conceded with "yeah, they run away screaming a little bit."
What an absolute train wreck. If you have the patience or curiosity, watch the episodes and skip to just after the first commercial break when the mid-game interviews begin. Lauren is clearly a nice, polite girl who was thrown off by the line of questioning she was undergoing. I don't blame her. She probably went into it think that she might actually get treated like one of the other sports trivia buffs in the competition rather than get grilled on male intimidation and resentment for her sports knowledge.
There's more, and it doesn't get any better.
In Episode 23, Patrick is interview Kait Waits from Akron, Ohio. Here is the question he asks as soon as she finishes concisely explaining how her Washington DC lineage dates back to the Civil War:
"Now are you one of those, go into a bar, you're sneaky when there's a trivia question - when guys are asking questions - you can come up with the answer?"
To her credit, Kait responds with much more succinct grace than the question merited.
"Not my style. I'm out there in terms of what I know."
You go, Kait. Also...ARE YOU KIDDING ME, DAN?! Did you really just ask that "guys at a bar" question again? Once again, this woman is one of 122 contestants chosen out of 30 thousand applications to be on your SPORTS TRIVIA SHOW. I don't think she sits meekly around the bar with the guys at pub trivia night hoping to impress them. Jesus Christ.
Hold your horses though. It's not over.
Shelley Pederson from Wakefield, MA was a contestant on Episode 29, and Dan explained that she was a former basketball player who loves the game and shooting three-pointers. He couldn't just let it stop there though. It wouldn't be a complete Dan Patrick Sports Jeopardy! interview with a female if he didn't somehow find out how they measure up against dudes.
Dan asked, "Did you find guys...you know, that they wanted to take you on? Try to figure out if they could beat..."
"Oh definitely yes, I had some challengers" said Shelley.
"And you took great pride in beating the boys?"
Shelly responded with the line of the night.
"I did. I only played them if they were shorter than me though...nah I'm just kidding."
Shelley went on to win the game, racking up an impressive 35,000 points; the second-most accumulated by anyone all season up until that point. I'm sure the first thing she said to her friends and family was that she was just so grateful to have been good enough to play with the guys.
The men on this show don't get asked questions about being intimidated by other players or feeling inadequate or like they need to prove themselves. They don't get asked if they try to surprise people with their knowledge. This entire thing that Dan Patrick has going has turned me off in a big way, and I'm somebody who really loves the show. But it's embarrassing and infuriating to be sitting around watching with my friends while Dan acts like every woman on the show should get a goddamn participation badge.
Females like sports, we know sports and we don't spend all day thinking about ways to get guys to notice that. Please Dan, stop insinuating that we do or that we should.
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