Addicted to Competition

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.


My job allows me to watch competition every single week. I have always loved to compete myself and my family has, at times, accused me of being somewhat ruthless in any game I play. I do not like to lose.

In my career, I have probably worked, conservatively speaking, 5000+ sporting events. It never gets old. There was no better example than the  ParklandNazareth football game on Friday night for the District XI championship. It took overtime to decide the champion.

I was treated to another great competitor this past week – James Holzhauer. If you do not recognize the name, you must be under 50 and would never watch a television game show (I get it –you’re probably texting or tweeting). This past week, Holzhauer appeared on the Jeopardy Tournament of Champions, which pits the past year’s best players against one another in a two-week competition (there’s that word again).

I am a regular Jeopardy watcher. I TiVo the show every night and manage to find the twenty minutes necessary to watch it. What is great about the show is you can sit in the recliner and compete yourself by offering up correct or, in many cases, incorrect answers. Some nights, I feel pretty good about my cache of pretty useless knowledge. Other times, I don’t do well – you know on the “Lakes of Europe” or “Architectural Design” type categories.

I had a good laugh this year when the category was The NFL. None of the contestants offered up a correct answer – they were 0-5 (those nerds!) I could have won that night (but probably not since there were other categories – “French Artists”, for example).

Back to James Holzhauer. When he was on in the spring, he captured the Top-16 money totals of all time. On April 9, he won $131,127 in one night, the highest ever. His total winnings in the spring were $2,462,216. During that time on the show, he became a cult hero and Jeopardy garnered their highest ratings ever.

For his latest victory this past week (yes, he won again), he got the top prize of $250,000 bringing his total winnings to $2,712,216. It is the third highest total in show history.

I guess it is appropriate that he lives in Las Vegas. They gave him the key to the city after his initial appearance. And it is also appropriate that he is a professional gambler. He often would bet his entire pot on the Double Jeopardy questions. Now he says he is very busy making bets on the NFL.

I’m sure Jeopardy will find a way to bring him back on the show again. After all, who doesn’t like high ratings and, in my case, a great competitor?

P.S. It was just announced after I finished writing the blog that “Jeopardy James” will face Ken Jennings, who won the most games, and Brad Rutter, who has won the most money, in a Greatest of All Time Jeopardy tournament in January in prime time. I know I will watch.


1. I hope you saw the Nazareth- Parkland game on Friday night. Two very different teams – one, a strong, physical, in-your-face squad (Parkland); the other, loaded with skill position talent, speed, and creative plays (Nazareth). It was tied in regulation and that was appropriate. Parkland led by seven in overtime. Nazareth scored; they went for two; got it and won by one! It was high school football at its best. Congratulations to both schools.

2. It seems like every week, I have a “what are you thinking” segment directed towards athletes who make millions of dollars and risk it all acting like idiots.


Should Myles Garrett be allowed to play in the NFL again? I vote “no”.

3. If you had to bet on a Super Bowl winner today, would you take New England (way to go out on a limb), San Francisco (great offense), Green Bay (Aaron Rodgers), the Seahawks (Russell Wilson), the Vikings (Cousins looks good) or might it just be the Ravens (beat New England)? Notice I did not list the Eagles – no wide receivers.

4. There appears to be at least nine teams better than the 76ers right now. They are not consistent and their coach says it may take them until December to jell. He better make sure they do jell or he might be looking for a job.

5. The PIAA 6A quarterfinals start this Friday on RCN-TV at 7:00pm. The game features Philadelphia powerhouse, St. Joe’s Prep, taking on the Nazareth Blue Eagles. Saturday afternoon at 12:30pm, it’s Lafayette Lehigh on RCN-TV. This is college football’s most played rivalry – game number 155. As always, you are invited to join us.

GARY’S GUESSES (LAST WEEK – 10-3) (YEAR-TO-DATE) – 109-51-1 (68%)





Gary Laubach About Gary Laubach

Gary began his broadcasting career with Twin County in 1972. Twin County eventually became C-TEC and then RCN. Gary holds the dual role of Director of Media Services and Sports Director/Broadcaster. He currently broadcasts about 140 sports and entertainment broadcasts a year, and oversees the scheduling of all sporting events for RCN.

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