SpellboundDid anyone happen to catch the Scripps National Spelling Bee the other day on ESPN? The only reason my channel surfing finger didn’t skip right by was because we rented SPELLBOUND not too long ago. It’s an amazing documentary on the National Spelling Bee. Anyhoo (not an official word, I’m sure), this 13 year old kid from Colorado, Akshay Buddiga, concentrated for a long time on the word he drew, ALOPECOID. He exhausted the allowable time and went into Bonus Time. A single minute given to the contestant to start spelling the word or suffer the harsh, humiliating walk of shame. Once the bell rang, signifying the beginning of Bonus Time, young Akshay fainted. He bit it hard, stumbling back and to the left before falling like a ton of bricks. There was an audible gasp from both fellow contestants and audience members. A cute, young blonde girl in the front row kneeled down besides him and within 10 seconds of hitting carpet he bounced back up, walked straight to the microphone and spelled the word correctly. He seemed possessed. As if in that 10 seconds of blackness he went on a trip around the world. Maybe he floated to the top of Mt. Fuji where an old man with a long pointy beard leaned over and whispered in young Akshay’s ear the correct spelling of ALOPECOID before sending him back to Washington DC with a jolt. It was possibly the second-most amazing thing I’ve ever seen on live TV (with 9/11 forever taking that prize). Better than any sports comeback I’ve ever witnessed.

Poor Akshay ended up coming in second place when it was all said and done, but man, he earned that silver trophy. Do they even get trophies?