Samuel Deutsch, a junior majoring in political economy, has become the first Trojan to win the Jeopardy! College Championship since the tournament began in 1988.Deutsch competed against Sarah Dubnik and Niki Peters, students at the University of Pittsburgh and UC Berkeley respectively, in the final round Friday.The show, which is an offshoot of the regular Jeopardy! game show that has been on air since 1964, brings together full-time undergraduate college students from around the country, who have to face a series of challenging rounds of trivia before competing in the finals.“It was really cool meeting students from all over the U.S. who were not only incredibly smart but funny and interesting as well,” Deutsch said in an email to the Daily Trojan. “Though we were competing against each other, at the end of the day I think we felt more like teammates than competitors; the producers did a great job at helping everyone loosen up and be friendly.”The Jeopardy! College Championship has hundreds of in-person auditions, and only a select few make the final cut.“I was kind of shocked. Finding out that I was one of the lucky 15 was surreal,” Deutsch said.Going over history and geography, playing Sporcle (an online trivia game), watching old episodes and using a pen as a mock buzzer helped Deutsch prepare for the show and claim the grand prize of $100,000.But Deutsch felt that he couldn’t prepare for being quizzed by Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, one of television’s most recognizable figures, despite having practice rounds beforehand.“I felt like a deer in the headlights, to be honest. The lights were bright,” Deutsch said. “I felt lucky to be even on the show and didn’t think about whether I could win.”Deutsch subsequently qualifies for a place in the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions.Deutsch, who grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, was especially thankful that his friends and family were there to support him at the taping.“The best moment had to be hearing my family and friends cheering me on. Since the show tapes in Culver City, a bunch of my friends were able to make it to the taping and root for me,” Deutsch said.Deutsch noted how the interdisciplinary nature of his major helped him succeed.“I like taking economics classes of course, and the political economy major allowed me to combine that with a bunch of fascinating international relations courses as well, and that unique combination of perspectives has helped me synthesize and build on what I learn,” Deutsch said.Apart from being a political economy major, Deutsch’s versatility and love for music led him to DJing with his roommate Max.“I’m into all sorts of stuff from hip-hop to indie to electronic, and L.A. is great because I’m able to go to concerts all the time here. Max and I enjoy doing parties on the Row and clubs in Hollywood,” he said.His drive for constant learning is making him consider going to law school after graduation. His business law classes have also played a role in this decision.Deutsch plans to invest a part of the prize money and use it in the future to help pay for law school. He is also willing to set aside some of it to go to Tokyo for a post-graduation trip. Deutsch is a travel enthusiast currently studying abroad in the Netherlands and hopes to find work that allows him to travel.“I also plan on donating some of my winnings to the Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research at Georgetown University,” Deutsch said. “I chose this charity, as it is one I have a personal connection to. My mom is a survivor and a huge inspiration. Every year she has run in fundraisers for breast cancer research, and I look forward to supporting her this year.”This post was updated at 7:27 p.m. on Feb. 12.
Oh yeah, something’s definitely different.The past five seasons of Los Angeles Dodgers baseball have reaped five divisional titles and three trips to the NLCS. But in each of those postseason runs, something was undoubtedly missing from those teams, hindering their pursuit of World Series glory. Dodger squads of postseasons past lacked something — something you couldn’t quite put your finger on — a playoff magic of sorts that would lead to ultimate failure come October.Over the past decade, Angelenos have witnessed the Dodgers strand runners in scoring position when a big hit was needed. When a strong inning of relief pitching was required of the bullpen, a Dodgers hurler would be sure to serve up a game-winning run to the opposition in devastating fashion. There’s been no shortage of postseason disappointment for L.A. fans over the past three decades.But at the exact moment when Justin Turner launched a 3-run homer past the outfield wall in the bottom of the ninth on Sunday night, I concluded that this year’s Dodgers team is in fact, different. Turner’s walk-off blast, which gave his team a 2-0 lead in the NLCS against the reigning champion Chicago Cubs, came on the exact 29-year anniversary of Kirk Gibson’s legendary World Series home run in Game 1 of the 1988 Fall Classic. It doesn’t get more Hollywood than that. The Dodgers’ bullpen also performed heroically in Game 2, completely shutting down the Cubs lineup from the sixth inning on after starting pitcher Rich Hill delivered five frames of one-run baseball. Dodgers relievers combined for four innings of shutout, no-hit baseball: The only Cub to reach base was Anthony Rizzo, who was hit by a Kenley Jansen pitch in the top of the ninth inning. Through the opening two games of the NLCS, the L.A. bullpen has retired 24 of the 25 hitters faced. Chicago has yet to record a hit or walk against Dodger relievers in this series.Jansen, in particular, has been automatic for the Dodgers, recording a save in Game 1 and a win in Game 2. Through 2.1 innings pitched against Chicago in the series, Jansen has struck out six and allowed only one hitter to reach base. Jansen is the finishing move that opposing teams never want to see the Dodgers resort to. “[The bullpen is] just executing pitches, and they’re ready when called upon and competing,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told the media following Game 2. Considering the Dodgers have been victim to bullpen meltdowns in past postseasons, it has been a refreshing sight to see Dodgers relievers locking things down in the early stages of the NLCS. Moving forward, Los Angeles must keep dialing up strong outings from the back end of its bullpen. Timely hitting and heroic pitching efforts are twomust-have elements for any team looking to make a title run in October. In their 5-0 start to this postseason, the Dodgers have put both aspects on display. And now, following Sunday’s magical win, Los Angeles is believing that the Commissioner’s Trophy could be coming to the southland for the first time in 29 years. The Dodgers’ postseason slogan in 2017 has been “This Team.” The slogan is appropriate, as it appears that this team could be the one to finally solve the championship puzzle for the Dodgers. It appeared so during the regular season, but through five games of postseason play, the Dodgers have confirmed that they have the championship attributes necessary to win a World Series title. “What’s different about this team?” Jansen said. “We all care about each other. It’s not about that one guy or this … every night it’s been someone [different] stepping up for us.”Jansen’s sentiments about this Dodgerg team ring true. It’s been a different hero every night for Los Angeles all season long. The Dodgers have had 10 walk-off wins in 2017, coming from nine different players. The Dodgers’ collective efforts have brought them to the gates of baseball’s promised land. Two wins from a World Series berth and six wins away from ending a nearly three-decade title drought. This team will look to make another advance toward the Fall Classic Tuesday night in Chicago for Game 3. The Dodgers now leave the friendly confines of Chavez Ravine for those of Wrigley Field. Behind Yu Darvish, Los Angeles will look to take a stranglehold on this series and return home by the end of the week with the franchise’s first National League pennant since 1988. This team. This team is the one with all the potential to return World Series prosperity to the Dodger faithful. Angel Viscarra is a junior studying broadcast and digital journalism. His column, Viscarra’s Vice, runs Tuesdays.