The Sports Page

Season 9, Episode 5

There are no bunches again this week, as teams headed from Munich to Sicily in a desperate battle for last place. The mental errors start to pile up, giving us some of the worst racing we've seen all season. A search-or-carry Detour through Sicilian alleyways does little to shake things up, while a puzzle Roadblock turns downright evil with the addition of a few spare parts. In the end, poor navigation puts Ray & Yolanda into a head-to-head struggle against a tired and Yielded Danielle & Dani. In the end, fatigue wins and Danielle & Dani lose. Don't worry, ladies; I hear the Mai Tais are better in Sesquesterville anyway.

There's precious little to choose from for the Play of the Week. For sheer effectiveness, the nod has to go to BJ & Tyler for snagging the first flight into Palermo by going that extra step past finding a flight online and actually, you know, booking it. That step ensured that, unlike other teams I could mention (Lake), they actually got seats on it. BJ & Tyler maintained their lead for the rest of the leg and earned their second first-place finish of the Race.
It's tempting to mirror that award with a Smooth Move for Lake & Michelle, but, really, fish in a barrel, people. And that would be to overlook the achievements of Fran & Barry, who missed the clue box yet again. Or Lori, who finished the Roadblock puzzle, but just couldn't believe it-two extra pieces!-until the third time she did it. Or Ray & Yolanda, who appeared to circumnavigate Sicily on their way from one clue to the next. Or Dani, who actually fit those two extra pieces into the (then presumably over-endowed) statue. Or our eventual winners, who, when searching for something called a Teatro, abruptly turned around and ran uphill to something that was obviously a Tempio, not realizing their error until they saw Phil, who was undoubtedly making little shooing gestures with his hands. See Lake & Michelle? You knew I'd get back to you eventually.

For Danielle & Dani, this was one long and dismal leg that never saw them more than one team ahead of the Reaper. Mind you, they haven't cracked the top half of the Race since São Paulo, so that's hardly a surprise. In many ways, for them, it was never a question of Where the Wheels Came off the Bus, but simply of when it was going to happen. I'm not convinced that they would have beaten Ray & Yolanda through the Roadblock, but it was clearly the Yield from Lake & Michelle that put the nail in Danielle & Dani's coffin.

Lies, Damn Lies, and...

Five legs in, it's numbers time again. I'm giving you two sets of stats this time: a straight-up average finish position, which is actually a pretty accurate representation of how well teams are doing overall, and a weighted average calculated using arcane mathematical means which I won't explain for fear of driving away my twelve remaining readers. Just trust me when I say that I've run the stats for seven previous Races, and this number is the best predictor of which teams you'll be watching in the finale.
Team Final Average Weighted Average
Eric and JeremyN/A1.4.0325
BJ and TylerN/A2.2.0492
Lake and MichelleN/A4.4.0986
Joseph and MonicaN/A5.2.1165
Fran and BarryN/A5.8.1257
Dave and LoriN/A5.6.1298
Ray and YolandaN/A5.8.1338
Wanda and Desiree96.0.1665
Danielle and Dani88.0.1816

Of course, it’s not foolproof. The next table shows you the top ten all-time Racers after five legs. You’ll note the presence of precisely one winner and of two teams that didn’t make top four.

Rank Team TAR Final Average Weighted Average
1Eric and Jeremy9N/A1.4.0325
2Ken and Gerard332.2.0426
3Kris and Jon622.0.0452
4BJ and Tyler9N/A2.2.0492
5Bill and Joe132.2.0495
6Tara and Wil222.4.0567
7Hayden and Aaron642.6.0591
8Jonathan and Victoria663.0.0640
9Flo and Zach313.2.0657
10Millie and Chuck453.4.0663

It’s still early in the Race, and a lot of things can happen. I won’t call the final four right now, but I will say that three of those teams will come from the following: Eric & Jeremy, BJ & Tyler, Lake & Michelle, and Joseph & Monica.

Next Week

This week really separated the leaders of the pack from the also-rans. Barring catastrophe, fans of waxed chests or wacky beards can rest easy. Not so for fans of Ray & Yolanda, who really have been bottom feeders for a couple of legs, or of former stars Dave & Lori, who may be finding that love doesn’t do a whole lot to make up for sleep deprivation. Expect either one of these teams to hit the road in the next leg.


Leg 9-5 At a Glance

Start pointSiegestor, Munich, Germany
End pointTempio di Segesta, Segesta, Italy
Distance traveled1210 km
Distance to date25160 km


Start OrderTimeFinish OrderTime
1Eric and Jeremy0215BJ and Tyler0229
2BJ and Tyler0304Eric and Jeremy0411
3Lake and Michelle0309Joseph and Monica0500
4Fran and Barry0503Fran and Barry0518
5David and Lori0528Lake and Michelle0606
6Joseph and Monica0552David and Lori0625
7Ray and Yolanda0648Ray and Yolanda0634
8Danielle and Dani0728Danielle and DaniTBD


Drive and then carry a church bell from a foundry to a church.Find a marked item of clothing from among 2400 pieces of laundry on lines.
Joseph and Monica33BJ and Tyler14
Ray and Yolanda65Eric and Jeremy26
   Fran and Barry44
   Dave and Lori56
   Lake and Michelle77
   Danielle and Dani88


Piece Together
Assemble a statue from the pieces provided.
TeamTaken byRecordInOut
BJ and TylerTyler(2/4)11
Eric and JeremyEric(2/4)22
Joseph and MonicaMonica(2/4)33
Fran and BarryFran(2/4)44
Dave and LoriLori(2/4)56
Lake and MichelleLake(4/4)65
Danielle and DaniDani(2/4)78
Ray and YolandaYolanda(2/4)87


BJ and Tyler21421        
Eric and Jeremy12112        
Joseph and Monica63863        
Fran and Barry 89544        
Lake and Michelle57235        
David and Lori44956        
Ray and Yolanda75377        
Danielle and Dani98688        
Wanda and Desiree3679         
Lisa and Joni1010           
John and Scott11