Week 18 of the $2,500 Elbo Room Trivia Tournament

While five teams are locked into the tournament finals (Stern Fans, Team Schooled, the Sneaky Petes, Street Academy and the Flabbies), there are still six teams fighting for the available three playoff spots.  (NOTE: After further review, the Flabbies are not locked in after all; although it would take a perfect storm to knock them out at this point).

Because as play begins, there’s a three-way tie for seventh place between Get That Poison Out, Da Bears and Just the Tips.  And the Skidmarks are still fighting for that playoff berth as well.

Since there were really only about a couple of weeks left before the other major trivia tournament – Trivia Bowl 7 – I wanted to make sure that the Trivia Bowl, which was in my possession, was returned to Trivia Nights Live host Kevin Baker prior to the contest.  See, when Street Academy won Trivia Bowl 6, our team name and roster was engraved on the last available spot on the bowl’s trophy base.  So, like the Stanley Cup, it’s probably going to need a new additional base for future champions.

So for one last night, I took the Trivia Bowl out for another showing at Elbo Room.

Of course, trivia host General James noticed the trophy and commented on it during the game.  “Chuck brought the Trivia Bowl here tonight,” he said.  “What are you now, Chuck, a three-time Trivia Bowl champion?”

“I will be in a couple of weeks,” I responded – which garnered a new round of boos and hisses and jeers.  Hee.

We didn’t start off well in trivia – we didn’t know which pop singer was older, Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera (we said Britney), and we didn’t know which essential vitamin is produced by cod liver oil and eggs (we said E, it was A).  We also whiffed on which Biblical name, after God and Jesus, appears the most in the Bible (we said Moses, it was David).

We did, however, know which Robert Mitchum film shares its name with a Bruce Springsteen song (Thunder Road); we knew what two states border on the Hoover Dam (Nevada and Arizona); Jeremy knew the late night talk show host who had a short-lived morning show in the early 1980’s (David Letterman), and thanks to Alexis being born in September, we knew the birthstone for that month (sapphire).

As we got close to the final question, I watched as Alexis started folding some scrap paper on the table into some sort of origami creature.  “What are you making?” I asked.

“I’m making a paper crane,” she said.  “If I make a thousand of them, I get a wish.”

Ah.  Just like Sadako.

But that gave me an idea.

The final question was in the category of “Epitaphs.”

We were tied for third place with Get That Poison Out; Stern Fans and Woo Hoo a Go Go had higher point totals.  We bet almost all our points.

“What comedian’s gravestone epitaph reads, ‘There Goes the Neighborhood?'”

Oh we had the answer.  Quickly I scribbled the correct response on the answer slip – then I handed the slip to Alexis. “I think General James needs a crane,” I joked.

Alexis quickly started folding the answer slip into a paper origami crane – and just as time was about to expire, she brought up the little paper bird to General James.

Several teams put down the answer as Rodney Dangerfield; while others wrote down George Carlin.  Woo Hoo a Go Go thought it was W.C. Fields, while the Skidmarks had Richard Pryor as an answer – crossed it out – and went with Redd Foxx.

A few minutes later, after General James unfolded our paper creation, he announced that we did indeed have the correct answer – which was Rodney Dangerfield.  Street Academy for the win!!

Another big win for the Street Academy, and five more playoff points.  Team Schooled took second place and three playoff points, and a new team – the Pumps – came over from the Stone Crow bar in Pine Hills and earned third place and one playoff point.

So here’s the standings after eighteen 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 18
Trivia Team Points Totals FINALS
1 Stern Fans 36
2 Schooled 3 31
3 Street Academy 5 24
4 Sneaky Pete’s 19
5 Flabbies 12
6 Skidmarks 10
T-7 Get That Poison Out 8
T-7 Just the Tips 8
T-7 Da Bears 8
10 Woo Hoo a Go Go 4
T-11 The Pumps 1 1
T-11 Crabcakes 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.

Eighteen weeks down. Only four more weeks to go.