Under the category of ``Famous Ironies,'' Trebek would declare:
Although this athlete capped his Olympic appearance with a gold medal, his name will always be associated with a flop.
And the question is:
Who is Dick Fosbury?
Yes, in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, America's own Dick Fosbury revolutionized the high jump with a new technique that an armchair physicist would have considered impossible.
Abandoning both the classic Scissor Kick and the modified Western Roll, Fosbury loped in on his approach and executed a quick turn that left him facing away from the pit.
Following through in the same fluid motion, he then thrust his body up and over the crossbar backwards at a new record height of 7 feet, 4 1/4 inches!
Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, high jumpers have flattered the innovator ever since by employing the so-called ``Fosbury Flop.''
But according to New York patent attorney Robert Kunstadt, therein lies the rub.
Merv Griffin, creator of ``Jeopardy,'' will be earning big bucks well into the next century for coming up with the simple idea of inverting the traditional order of questions and answers for a cockamamie TV quiz.
Meanwhile, high jumpers will be executing the ``Fosbury Flop'' wherever track meets are held, including corners of the earth that game shows never reach.
But the athlete who came up with that not-so-simple idea won't have a dime to show for it.
``I have no regrets,'' Fosbury was telling ABC sportscaster Dick Schaap the other day. ``I just don't feel that possessive about it.''
Attorney Kunstadt has other ideas on the subject, however. He believes an athlete who creates a new move in competition is just as deserving of royalties as a songwriter, an author or someone who builds a better mousetrap.
Kunstadt, who practices law for the high-profile firm of Pennie & Edmonds, presented his case in the May 20 issue of National Law Review, arguing that athletes who introduce unique sports moves should be granted patents under the same legal principle that protects the intellectual property rights of other original thinkers.
``Intellectual property [law] is there to encourage innovation and creativity,'' says Kunstadt. ``We see no reason why it should not be beneficial for sports . . .
``At least three forms of intellectual property protection might be used to secure rights in sports moves,'' he claims: ``Copyright, patent and trademark.''
On first examination, that might seem fair and square, and properly in keeping with the American ideal of free enterprise.
But on reflection, wouldn't it give the sports talk guys on WIP an almost limitless verbal picnic?
Remember Wilt Chamberlain's Dipper Dunk? It was so uniquely Chamberlain's that sportswriters used to refer to it as Wilt's ``patent shot.''
But if the move really had been patented, how long do you think Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's Sky Hook would have been in litigation?
In boxing, Bob Fitzsimmons took the heavyweight title from Jim Corbett with the first solar plexus punch ever seen. If all the fighters who've used it since had paid royalties, the Fitzsimmons estate would exceed the GNP.
And just imagine that Clark Shaughnessy had been granted a patent when he devised the T-formation for Sid Luckman and the Chicago Bears?
The way Eagles owner Jeff Lurie squeezes nickels, we might be watching the single-wing.