What is … an unspoken legacy for this Long Island family?
West Islip cousins Dan and Sean McShane have made their clan quite proud as they’ve both competed on “Jeopardy!” — but it’s something they dare not talk about with one another.
Dan, 35, reached the show’s “Tournament of Champions” in 2013 — raking in more than $62,000 in the process — and Sean, a 25-year-old recent history grad from Boston College competed Monday night for the very first time. He comfortably won a cool $20,600 in his debut.
“I purposely didn’t even tell Dan I was going on the show until after we taped,” Sean told The Post, adding that he wanted to cement his own legacy and avoid any potential conflicts of interest.
“I told the show’s production team I hadn’t mentioned it to him at all and they all gasped in shock.”
But there’s no bad blood running in the McShane family as both cousins get along superbly, according to Sean.
Dan — who, like Sean, was Quiz Bowl captain at St. Anthony’s High School in Huntington — actually couldn’t be more proud to hear his little cousin would be answering in the form of a question to host Ken Jennings.
“When I finally told him after taping the show, he said ‘oh that’s great, I’ll be sure to never speak to you about it,’ ” Sean said. “Dan said to me ‘it’s the only thing you’re going to hear about for the next year of your life so I’ll spare you from that.’ ”
Dan remembered his own daily double dose of fame. “That’s all anyone wanted to talk to me about or ask about for at least a year after my episodes,” Dan, who does communication work for Columbia University now, told The Post. “‘What was the show like? What was Alex Trebek like?’ There were questions like that non-stop. I wanted to save Sean at least one conversation like that.”
As Sean recalls, Dan’s big “Jeopardy!” run was the toast of the island nearly a decade ago.
“Everyone and their mom was talking about it on LI, he was a local celebrity,” Sean said. “Our high school made an announcement mid-day telling students to watch him and it was the ‘big thing’ during our Christmas and Thanksgiving.”
Since Sean taped in October, he’s already gotten a taste of the sudden celebrity status.
“People are sending me screenshots of their family group chats, it’s all over Facebook, and I’m hearing ‘my mom is rooting for you, my grandma is going to watch your show!’ ” Sean recalled. “‘All of that is great, but I don’t even know your grandma.”
He described the fandom “bombardment” as being “cool but an annoyance” and sees Dan’s rationale more and more each day.
“I appreciate that we’re keeping it unspoken,” Sean said. “He just knows what it’s like and what I’m in store for during the next couple of years.”
This story originally appeared on NY Post