I have a guilty pleasure to confess. One known by only my nearest and dearest.
Every year, I block out a Saturday morning/afternoon to sit down and watch the Scripps National Spelling Bee on television. I love watching those young kids work their way through words that would stump a Ph.D. in Literature.
I was especially looking forward to this year's broadcast tonight on ABC. Probably because of the popularity of the movie Akeelah & the Bee last year, the event was switched from Saturday morning to prime time tonight.
Why was I so excited?
Because my spelling hero and the favorite to win, Samir Patel, was going for his fifth and final try at the championship. Samir is a Texan and lives only thirty miles from my home.
I first saw Samir when he tied for third place at age nine in 2003. The word "boudin" stumped him. He was an audience favorite and received a thunderous applause.
At age ten, "corposant" left him tied for 27th place in 2004.
At age eleven, "Roscian" left him in second place in 2005, his best showing.
Last year, Samir tied for 14th place when he couldn't spell "eremacausis."
I was so looking forward to him taking the prize tonight. Instead, he was knocked out of competition in the fifth round in this year's biggest upset. He cannot compete again because of his age.
Samir's downfall? The word "clevis."
Tonight just won't be the same.
Read on. This is a three-post day.