Last night, ESPN televised the sporting theater that is the Scripps National Spelling Bee. While I used to watch the bee just for a laugh or two, it actually has become a nice retreat from the neverending loop of sports news, debate, and opinion that never ends. Plus, I can think back to one of my few athletic endeavors in life - a failed entry into the world of competitive spelling.
Snigdha Nandipati from San Diego spelled "guetapens" to best Stuti Mishra of West Melbourne, Fla in the final two. After the bee was over, ESPN's Samantha Steele was on hand to present the trophy to Snigdha with the confetti still falling. Seems rather simple, right? Well, not so much...
"Yes, I am with the champion, congratulations, and Snigdha come on over, get closer... OH SORRY I'M LOOKING AT THE WRONG GIRL!""
After a night displaying brilliant young prodigies and future Mensa members, that wasn't the smoothest way to end the evening. While some took Steele's flub out of context, it really seems like just an innocent mistake there in the moment as she tried to explain on Twitter.
@bismarchiavelli I didn't even see her, just assumed when I turned the winner would be next to me. I knew it wasnt her when I saw her.— Samantha Steele (@Samantha_Steele) June 1, 2012
I know both girls. My mistake was not making sure they were in the right positions b4 I turned from the CEO. I apologize! Congrats Snigdha!— Samantha Steele (@Samantha_Steele) June 1, 2012
Seems like a harmless, if not slightly embarrassing flub and she tried to handle it as best as she could. Next year though, she should make sure to double check who she's supposed to interview by looking at those giant signs that have the speller's names on them. That's a helpful resource.