I rarely turn on my television; about once a year is the norm. This week is that week, and the excitement is escalating.
It’s National Spelling Bee week. Even though I never spelled a single word in the biggest and best-known bee (my closest shot was five places away, only to be ruined by a word I knew how to spell even then), my love of the spelling bee hasn’t diminished, and it’s the only thing on television I actively watch.
The bee itself isn’t just what you see on TV. Those rounds are the championship rounds, the intense rounds of tossing words to a speller and watching the speller turn the pronunciation into letters within two and a half minutes. Most of the spellers (273 this year) have been eliminated by this point thanks to preliminary rounds, both written and oral. Those who remain duke it out for the championship, and if they don’t succeed in their quest, the comfort room is there for them.
What most people don’t know is that rounds three through the very last round are aired on television, provided you have the right channel. Here’s the schedule.
* The Preliminaries: Round Three airs live on ESPN3 from 1:15 to 5:15 p.m. EDT on Thursday, June 3.
* The Semifinals air live on ESPN from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, June 4.
* The Championship Finals air live on ABC from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, June 4.
ESPN3? I didn’t know that existed. Time to get familiar with my channel listing.