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And Another Thing

Associated Press
Arvind Mahankali, 13, won the National Spelling Bee by spelling the word "knaidel."

I'm baaaack

So I'm back, a little punchy but intact, after four days in Washington D.C. with my son's 8th-grade class. I bet ya didn't even miss me.

I'm also still in an educational sort of mode, considering, so instead of droning on and on about the Red Wings' fold-a-rama vs. the Blackhawks or the fact that the Pacers and Heat seem destined -- destined, I tell you -- to go the full seven, I have a few thoughts about this.

Yes, that's right, a spelling bee. Don't tell me it's not sports, because ESPN carries it, and we all know that if the Worldwide Leader says it's a sport, it must be a sport. That's why poker is now considered a sport, even though it's not.

And so, congratulations to Arvind Mahankali, a 13-year-old from Bayside Hills, N.Y. He won with the word "knaidel," which, I'm sorry, sounds totally made up, like approximately 78 percent of all words in the spelling bee. Words like "greffier," "cyanophycean" and "melacoton," which took out three of Mahankali's competitors and which, come on now, aren't real words and everyone knows it.

To win, Mahankali even had to spell a couple of German words, which hardly seems fair. It's an American spelling bee, after all. You think they make German kids spell English words in German spelling bees?

Of course they don't. Instead, they make German kids spell words like "schadenfreude."

Which, as we all know, is undoubtedly what Blackhawks fans are feeling right now.

Ben Smith's blog.