Stefan Fatsis is the author of Word Freak: Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in the World of Competitive Scrabble Players and A Few Seconds of Panic: A Sportswriter Plays in the NFL, out in paperback this summer. He talks about sports on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” writes a column for Sports and contributes to The New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate and other publications.

Lights! Cameras! Fainting 13-year-olds! Millions will watch tonight’s National Spelling Bee finals but, asks Word Freak author Stefan Fatsis, is this entertainment, education—or exploitation? PLUS: Video clips of the most bizarre Bee moments.