I’m watching the National Spelling Bee right now, and every time I see this competition, I always think the same thing: televised Science Bowl would be so much better.
In fact, I wrote about this in my GameDaily blog almost a full 2 years ago. I have a Word document saving every single post I ever made (a monster 420 pages) so it was easy to dig it up.
For the first time ever, the National Spelling Bee Finals is being broadcast live on primetime broadcast TV (ABC). I’m currently watching it now and eh, it’s kind of dull. I was reading an article on ESPN the other day — apparently, it’s now legal to bet on the Spelling Bee? Wonder what the odds at the Vegas Sportsbook are…
Still, with the continuously rising popularity of this academic competition, I can’t help but feel that National Science Bowl would make for a much more exciting spectator sport. Obviously I’m biased since I was in the program for three years in high school, but Science Bowl sounds better even on paper. Spelling Bee has snooty officials, long wait times as contestants ask the same half a dozen clarification questions, and droning definitions from the judges. It just makes for plain boring television when the contestants stare blankly off into the distance while standing in front of the microphone. In any random five second interval, you can hear coughing from the audience. Guaranteed. Everybody’s restless sitting in that auditorium.
Science Bowl, on the other hand, is frenetic, fast-paced, and thrilling. 4 members are on a team, and two teams face off against each other with buzzers somewhat similar to the type on Jeopardy. Questions are drawn from all arenas of science, from the core subjects (math, biology, physics, chemistry) to some of the more specific fields such as computer science, astronomy, and environmental science. Questions are asked rapidly, and you can buzz in anytime, even interrupting the judge mid-stream if you think you know the answer. There’s crazy scribbling on paper for math problems, penalties for wrong answers, and scoreboards. Even bonus rounds! What’s not to like? It would make MUCH better TV than this drab spelling bee.