Week 16 of the $2,500 Elbo Room Trivia Tournament

I got a message from one of the Elbo Room trivia teams last week.  Essentially they read the blog, and they thought I had their name inaccurately listed on the score sheet.  It wasn’t that I had their name inaccurately listed.  Well… actually, it was intentionally inaccurately listed.

See, as much as I would love to list every trivia team’s nickname verbatim, there’s a little clause in my Times Union blogging contract that essentially forbids me from using profanities, vulgarities or blatant innuendo in my blog posts.  Yeah, I know there are some bloggers on the TU that can get away with that – but I’m not one of them.  I can’t vouch for their blogging contracts any more than than I want them vouching for mine.

So last year, when TU blog boss Michael Huber commented that some of the trivia team names I had listed in the blog couldn’t be reproduced if my blog was ever listed as part of the TU’s “Best of Our Blogs” print feature, he and I came to an agreement.  If a team name involved one of the seven words you can’t say on regular broadcast television, I would add a green graphic that looks something like this.

And if it was a team name that could be construed as something that might offend the  genteel readers, I needed to slightly change the team name.  Hey, your trivia team name might be funny in the bar, but if I can’t reproduce it in the blog, then I gotta modify it somehow.  Heck, I can’t even print the official team name of the squad that won Trivia Bowl 5 (think “Manure Load,” only a more colloquial barnyard term for manure).

But now, back to our regularly scheduled trivia matchup.

We were actually at or near the lead throughout the night, which was a special “Best of 2010” trivia lineup, with all the questions having something to do with events that occurred in 2010.  We knew the rock singer from Cortland, New York who passed away (Ronnie James Dio), we knew People’s Sexiest Man Alive (Ryan Reynolds), and if I didn’t know who won the WNBA title this year, my daughter Cassaundra might come back to Albany and clobber me (it was her favorite team, the Seattle Storm).

With nineteen questions out of the way, we were actually tied with the Stern Fans and the Skidmarks for second place; while another team, Crabcake (no, I never heard of them either) had the lead with 134 points.

The final category was American Idol.

A show that I gave up on about three years ago.

We thought about going with a couple of points on our bet, but we instead went and bet every point we had.

“In the first round of this year’s American Idol competition, the contestants sang songs from what rock band?”

Now why were the Beatles suddenly popping in my head?  I wrote down the Beatles.

So did seven other teams.

The Crabcakes and the Skidmarks went with Queen.

And the answer was – – – the Rolling Stones.  Nobody got it right.  And only safe bets prevailed – including another 5-point win by the Stern Fans, who bet their customary two points.  Woo Hoo a Go Go picked up three playoff points, and the Crabcakes notched a single playoff point to put them on the board.

So here’s the standings after sixteen weeks. The top eight teams are listed above the “CUT LINE”; if the tournament ended today, those would be the eight teams that can play in the championship round. Any team with a star in the box marked “Finals” has mathematically qualified for the money round, no matter how they do for the rest of the tournament.

Elbo Room Trivia Standings – Week 16
Trivia Team Points Totals FINALS
1 Stern Fans 5 36
2 Schooled 23
3 Street Academy 19
4 Sneaky Pete’s 18
5 Flabbies 12
6 Skidmarks 10
T-7 Just the Tips 8
T-7 Da Bears 8
9 Get That Poison Out 5
10 Woo Hoo a Go Go 3 4
11 Crabcakes 1 1

And only the top eight teams will make it into the final tournament round on February 17, 2011. Any team in ninth place or below will not make the cut. So teams now have to keep playing and avoid the dreaded cut line.

Sixteen weeks down. Only six more weeks to go.