Week 11 of the $2,000 2012-13 Elbo Room Trivia Tournament

Can we wrap the tournament up right now, please?

Let’s be honest.  There are really only five teams that come to Elbo Room with any reasonable frequency.  Four of those five teams are locked in for all intents and purposes, and the fifth team (the Haterzz) are all but mathematically assured of a spot in the finals.  The other two qualifying teams haven’t played since the one day they showed up and took two points apiece for tying for second place.

That’s been it.  There are opportunities for new teams to come in and snag a win and get themselves in the finals, but that hasn’t happened.  We’re talking a good $1,500 to split among your team if you win the finals.  We’re talking $500 if you came in second place in the finals.

I mean, I could stop promoting the Elbo Room Tournament in this blog.  It doesn’t seem to make a difference whether teams show up or they don’t.  Fewer teams, more of a chance for the regular squads to win in the finals.

But that isn’t the point.  That isn’t what I want.  I want to compete against the best of the best.  I want the finals to be a legitimate 8-team tournament of top teams.  Right now it’s my Street Academy team versus Team Fist, Sighed Bush and Woo Hoo a Go Go.  And granted, any one of those four teams could win the big bucks when this tournament ends.  But there’s a different strategy when playing in a four-team final than there is for an eight-team final.  And I want a legit eight-team finals.

The options for the next time an Elbo Room tournament is played?

1. Make the tournament shorter.  Ten weeks.  Five weeks.  Teams will play hard for a five-week tournament where they’re not spending all year to win a prize.  I’m thinking that a five week tournament to name the top five teams, then a one-week final, would bring in more competition and more excitement.

2. Change the playoff points format.  Last summer, I played in a Tuesday night tournament at Uno Chicago Grill in Crossgates Mall.  Instead of winning points for the top three finalists each week, teams earned playoff points for their skills in the game itself.  One playoff point for showing up.  Two playoff points for a perfect first quarter.  Other playoff points for being the first team to correctly answer the triple bonus or quadruple bonus.  That kind of thing.

3. Fix the freakin’ microphone.  Or at least keep a stash of AA batteries nearby; it seems as if every time we get three-quarters of the way through the game, the AA batteries conk out of the wireless microphone, then the host has to scrounge up a new set of batteries before we can hear the next question.  No freakin’ fair.

Okay, I’ve finished venting.  At least for now.

It was a very competitive battle at Elbo Room last night – after the first quarter, the Fist had an early lead, as they knew which celebrity announced the birth of her second son Angus via the star’s website (Elizabeth Banks).  By halftime, though, all three teams – Fist, Woo Hoo and Street Academy – were tied.  It kinda helped that the double-bonus question involved knowing the superheroes whose girlfriends were Sweet Polly Purebread and Pearl Pureheart (there’s no need to fear, here I come to save the day).  As we reached the three-quarter mark, Woo Hoo a Go Go pulled slightly head, and had a four-point lead going into the final question.

I should mention that my friend and teammate Jeremy has been critical of late regarding my final bet wagers.  “We’re already locked in,” he told me.  “We should be playing for the $25 gift card, something tangible, something we can use right now.  We shouldn’t be playing for points.  Go big or go home.”

All right… we’re in second place.  We’ll wager the lion’s share of our points.  Go big or go home.

The category was sports magazines.  Well, at least it wasn’t that nebulous category of “Before They Were Famous,” which invariably ends up as a murder question.

Go big or go home.  Okay, we go big.

“A decade before Sports Illustrated debuted, Sport magazine had what athlete on its first front cover in 1946?”

Caramba.  Okay, let’s figure this out.  Logically, it’s 1946 and it’s probably a baseball player, or maybe a boxer or a jockey.  So if it were a baseball player, it would have to be one that could help sell a first issue.

We went with Joe DiMaggio.  So did Woo Hoo a Go Go, while Team Fist chose Ted Williams.  A fourth team, whose name currently slips my mind, wrote down that the first athlete to appear on the cover in 1946 was O.J. Simpson.  What, they put his baby picture there?  Dimbulbs…

Well… look who appeared on the front cover of Sport magazine’s first issue.

And although Ted Williams was mentioned on the cover, it was Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio whose picture appeared on the cover.  Street Academy and Woo Hoo a Go Go got it right.  And because we didn’t go with my previous strategy of a safe bet, we actually vaulted over Woo Hoo and took first place for the night, five playoff points, and the $25 gift card.  Tangible results.  Woo Hoo’s two-game win streak ended, and they took second place.  Team Fist snagged third place and a single playoff point.

We’re past the halfway mark  So here’s the standings after eleven weeks of qualifying. The top eight teams after 20 weeks will appear in the final game for all the money.

Elbo Room Trivia Standings – Week 11 of 20
Trivia Team Points Totals FINALS
1 Street Academy 5 39
2 Woo Hoo a Go Go 3 20
3 Team Fist 1 17
4 Sighed, Bush! 15
5 The Haterzz 3
6 Team Longhammer 2
7 The Little White Monkey 2

Eleven weeks down, nine to go.  The tournament will take a one-week break for Thanksgiving, and resume in two weeks.  See you then.