THIS is Earl Holland, Sports Jeopardy! champion

  • Wednesday, October 5, 2016

    UMES alum Earl Holland competes on Sports Jeopardy! - and wins!

    2005 UMES alum Earl Holland competed on Sports Jeopardy, an online quiz showPRINCESS ANNE, MD  - (Oct. 5, 2016) - Earl Holland, UMES class of 2005, apparently has high-stakes quiz competition in his blood, and now some extra cash in his pocket.

    A sports journalist for the News-Journal newspaper, Holland won $5,000 as a contestant on  the web series Sports Jeopardy!  in an episode posted today (Oct. 5). His win entitles him to compete in another round that will appear online in a week. 

    Holland traveled this past July to Culver City, Calif., where the show is taped, along with other top qualifiers who took an online qualifying test that attracted 30,000 people seeking a spot to compete on the program.

    Sports Jeopardy!, patterned after the long-running syndicated quiz show that airs on broadcast TV, appears on Crackle, a video streaming site. He was not allowed to disclose the outcome of the episode until it appeared online.

    Holland got off to a quick start, correctly linking clues about a 1926 basketball team originally from Chicago called the “Savoy 5” (now the Harlem Globetrotters) and the name of the Milwaukee Braves third baseman who had 135 RBIs in 1953 (Hall of Famer Eddie Matthews).

    Holland got a chance to rub elbows with national sportscaster Dan Patrick, the show's host.

    “He spends more time talking to contestants during the interview portion of the show,” Holland said. “If you watch regular 'Jeopardy,' Alex (Trebek) goes through one thing and then moves on. Dan asks follow up questions.”

    Holland also came away with a keepsake photo of himself and Patrick.

    As an undergraduate at UMES, Holland was a four-year participant in the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge, an academic and pop culture quiz competition created specifically for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

    In Holland's junior year, the UMES team was national runner-up to Morehouse College and brought home $25,000 as its reward. He was team captain his senior year.

    Long-time UMES employees remember fondly the “Holland era” as a heady period when the university fielded highly competitive teams.

    After graduation, Holland worked as a sports reporter for The (Salisbury) Daily Times before moving on to its sister publication in Wilmington, Del. Both are owned by Gannett.

    "I had been watching (Sports Jeopardy!) since it debuted in the fall of 2014," he told The Times. "I had good ideas about answers, but I never knew about the online tryout until a friend told me."

    He missed the online tryout for the current season, but caught a break when it was repeated because of a testing snafu.

    "I guess it's good luck," he said. "Not everybody gets a second chance."

    While in the Los Angeles area for the taping, Holland saw the Baltimore Orioles play the Dodgers. (The O's won.)  


    Did you know just-retired Dodgers' broadcaster Vin Scully broke into the profession doing college football? His first game Nov. 12, 1949 pitted the University of Maryland against Boston University at Fenway Park. The Terps won 14-13.