Oh, the Scripp's Howard National Spelling Bee. Aired every year, on ESPN and on primetime ABC, spelling is a sport, DAMN YOU ALL. As a past national finalist, let me shed some light on the elusive beast: THE SPELLING BEE.
*note: We are not nerds.
Just The Facts
- The spelling bee happens when a bunch of kids get on stage and spell words, which gets them more media coverage than you will probably get in your whole miserable life.
- Guillermo (from Jimmy Kimmel) is an *almost* better pronouncer than Jacques Bailly(who is the head pronouncer for the spelling bee).
- The champion gets about $42,000 in cash and prizes. They also get the recognition, the appearances on shows, and become regional celebrities.
- There are fucking CHEERING SECTIONS on Facebook for some of the "favorites" to win. And it's not just the kids' mom and dad.....some have 70+ fans. And these kids don't even have Facebook accounts themselves.
- If you are the National Champion, you are set for life.
- Your 15 minutes of fame will literally be 15 minutes. Then you might be recognized as the kid who could spell better than their grandnephew.
The Ugly Truth
Spelling Bees are the equivalent of Toddlers and Tiaras: Middle aged stay-at-home moms that are trying to live out their dreams through their kids.
In this case, however, the kids are likely to become successful, unlike the the kids in the pageants, who are likely to follow the same path as your mother. The spelling champions are going to grow up to be people like CEOs of their own company, astrophsyicists, or Grammar Nazis. All are rewarding in their own special way.