Front Game Rules
|Three players compete. In the first round, each player has a total of two minutes to answer a series of sports questions. On the panel are four sports personalities and celebrities, each supervising a category of five questions. Every right answer a player gives is worth 1 point, and a bonus point is awarded for answering every question in a category correctly. If a player passes or misses a question, he must go to another available panelist. The two players with the highest scores advance to the second round.|
|In the second round, both players are once again grilled with sports questions. Unlike the first round, however, host Kenny Mayne gets in on the questioning as well, there are no specific categories, and the player does not pick who asks each question; the panel just fires their questions out randomly. Correct answers are again worth 1 point. The player with the highest score at the end of two rounds wins the game and advances to the bonus round.|
End Game Rules
|In the bonus round, the contestant must answer a question on his specialty category (a particular team or player). If the contestant can correctly answer the question (often a multi-parter), he doubles his winnings from the front game.|
|At the outset of the season, there are 51 contestants who take part in the preliminary matches. The winners of each match win $5000 (with a chance to double it to $10,000 in the bonus round) and an ESPN "Experience" (A trip behind the scenes to a sporting event). Those 17 winners, plus a wild card entrant who had the highest non-winner score, advance to the quarterfinals. Winners there get another ESPN Experience and $15,000 (and the opportunity to make it $30,000). The 6 semifinalists play for $30,000 (and the chance at $60,000) and a third Experience. The Finals are played among the two winners of the semifinal matches, along with a Wild Card entrant. The winner receives a fourth Experience and $50,000, with a chance to double it to $100,000. All told, the Champion is guaranteed four ESPN Experiences and at least $100,000, and chances along the way to make it a possible $200,000.|
An excellently made sports game. Kenny Mayne should have a job as an emcee locked up should he ever decide to leave ESPN; he uses the same deadpan mannerisms to host the show as he does on SportsCenter, and it fits into the show perfectly. The $200,000 grand prize was the most money ever offered by a cable game show (though soon to be eclipsed by History IQ's $250,000 tournament purse). My only real gripe is the choice of people to read questions. Some of the guests, particularly the athletes, seem to have trouble reading the questions quickly and clearly, and it may have cost some players a few points. I don't think it was enough to throw a game, though.
Gameplay: 3 pts.
Host: 3 pts.
Presentation: 2 pts.
Execution: 1 pt.
Total Score: 9 pts.