Holy Crap, Summer Bowl just snuck up on me!
And I already had a full day planned. … it just meant adjusting my schedule as necessary.
I was scheduled to drop off my artworks and photos at the New York State Fair, which is a three-hour drive to Syracuse and a three-hour drive back. I simply re-adjusted my travel time and left at about 5:30 in the morning for Syracuse. Of course, it’s rainy and cold and wet at 5:30 in the morning … and as I leave my home, there’s a neighborhood cat on my porch, he’s wet and shivering and cold.
Probably hungry, too.
I went back inside, opened up a can of tuna, and brought it out so that the cat could eat a morning breakfast and stay dry on my porch. A quick pat on the cat’s head for good luck, and off to Syracuse I go.
No time to return home after the drop-off, I immediately scooted over to the Pearl Street Pub for Summer Bowl 9, the ninth iteration of the Capital District’s major trivia championships. Almost thirty different teams were in attendance, and my friend Tim Rich (he captains the Stir Crazy team I play on at national tournaments) drove up from downstate to join me for the competition.
Are you ready to play along?
You know the rules. You get points for correct answers, you LOSE points for incorrect answers, and you can skip two questions – and there’s the double chance option, where you can write down two answers to a question; if you get it right, you win the points, if you’re wrong, you lose TWICE the points.
Ready? Set? Here’s the first round.
- (2 pts) – is former Beatles drummer Pete Best dead or alive?
- (4 pts) – Matt Murdock of the Daredevil tv show has what white-collar day job?
- (6 pts) – Who was the last U.S. President who did not nominate a judge for the U.S. Supreme Court?
- (8 pts) – What restaurant chain opened its first location in Georgia in 1980, with the initials “T.J.” attached to its name?
- (10 pts) – Born in North Carolina in 1963, what female musician was given a full scholarship to a Johns Hopkins music prep school at the age of five, the youngest ever to receive that honor?
Tim and I got the first two right – Pete Best is alive, and Matt Murdock is a lawyer when he’s not running around fighting crime. We sussed that the last President who did not submit a judge to the Supreme Court was a one-term President, but we said it was George HW Bush. The correct answer was Jimmy Carter. Oof. I figured out that the “T.J.” was actually the early name of Applebees, which was correct. And we skipped the 10-pointer, which killed a lot of people – apparently the musician was Tori Amos.
So we finished the first round with eight points, Woo Hoo a Go Go was in the lead with a perfect 30.
Second round. Ready?
- (2 pts) What New York Yankees slugger had a candy bar named after him in the 1970’s?
- (4 pts) Cartoon character Norville Rogers and rapper Orville Burrell go by what nickname?
- (6 pts) Airing from 1985 to 1992, what sitcom recently received its own Trivial Pursuit edition?
- (8 pts – double bonus) – What two elements on the Periodic Table of Elements are liquid at room temperature?
- (10 pts) – Donald Trump has 24, Ronald Reagan has 10, and John Tyler has the most at 30. The most what?
We clawed our way back in this category with the first four questions correct – Reggie Jackson, Shaggy, The Golden Girls, mercury and bromine.
We almost messed up on the Golden Girls, and this was my fault. I handed in the answer – and at the last moment, realized there could have been another sitcom that would have fit that bill. I went back and told the host I wanted to change my answer to a double-bonus question – and added Saved by the Bell as my second answer.
This is ballsy. If I was wrong, I would have cost our team twelve points and, if other teams ahead of us got the answer right, we would have seen an 18-point swing in our disfavor.
However … the Golden Girls answer was right, and all I did was toss our double chance away. No harm, no foul…
The final question of that round was a head-scratcher. Tim and I thought of every possibility – Executive Orders, Presidential vetos, whether their names added up to decent scores in a game of Scrabble – and we decided to skip the question and burn our final skip.
The answer – which was greeted with a chorus of boos and jeers and “Come on, man!” chants – was “That’s the number of the age difference between the President and his First Lady.”
That’s right folks, Donald Trump loves immigrants – so long as they pose in skin magazines and he can sleep with them.
Remember in the first quarter that Woo Hoo a Go Go had 30 points and the lead? Well, after halftime they had 30 points and were in seventh place, the Street Academy was only two points off the lead, to a team named Star Force Command. Never heard of them before.
The third quarter was brutal. There’s always one brutal quarter. But here’s the questions.
- (2 pts) The children in the movie A Christmas Story attend what elementary school?
- (4 pts) From what Ivy League university did Jeff Bezos of Amazon fame graduate?
- (6 pts) In what 80’s movie was there a prom scene with the group Marvin and the Starlighters?
- (8 pts – quadruple bonus) Name the last four Division I men’s college football championship teams that were NOT named Alabama.
- (10 pts – In its 5th season in 2008, Ali Vincent because the first female winner of what reality competition series?
We whiffed on the first two questions – it was Warren G. Harding Elementary School in A Christmas Story, and Jeff Bezos was a Princeton man. We regained those six points, when Tim remembered that the movie was Back to the Future.
The quadruple bonus … we earned sixteen points by getting two answers right – Ohio State and Auburn – but we narrowly missed on the other two – we had the correct states but not the correct colleges. We said South Carolina and Florida, when it was actually Clemson and Florida State. Guess it’s true that “close” only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades and birth control.
We’re now tied for seventh place, but still looking good.
Final questions. Get your thinking caps on.
- (6 pts) Seth Rogen and James Franco got their starts on what short-lived TV series?
- (6 pts) Former Vice President Dan Quayle was born in and served from what State?
- (8 pts – triple bonus) – Name the three Def Leppard albums from 1983 to 1992 with one-word titles.
- (10 pts) Claiming he “hated them,” what rock legend opened for The Monkees on tour for about a month?
We held our own. I mean ,look at the opening credits for this TV show that we got correct.
And I knew where Dan Quayle came from only because of a Mark Russell parody song. You remember Mark Russell, don’t you? He used to play these godawful ragtime songs in front of a star spangled piano every so often on PBS. Well, Mark Russell sang one of those parodies, based on the melody of “Back Home Again In Indiana,” with the Quayle-influenced words, “He Fought The War In Indiana,” alluding to Quayle’s less-than-stellar military service.
I knew two of the Def Leppard albums, Hysteria and Pyromania, but couldn’t think of the third one. That’s okay, we still got sixteen points from it, even if we didn’t know the third one was “Adrenalize.” Some team wrote “Animalize,” which would have been correct if the host had requested Kiss albums.
We also nailed the ten pointer, which showcased Jimi Hendrix opening for the Monkees. That seemed rather incongruous.
Okay, we’re going into the final round tied for seventh place. The category is “Comic Actors and Academy Awards.”
We got no choice. But everything and hope for the best. Heck, that’s how Street Academy won the Summer Bowl six years ago. But that was six years ago. This is today.
“What 2006 film, nominated for the Oscar for Best Makeup, was the only Adam Sandler film to ever be nominated for an Oscar?”
Okay, I think I know this one. There was this godawful film Jack and Jill, where Sandler plays dual roles as both “Jack” and “Jill,” while he wears heavy prosthetic makeup as Jill. That’s how a lot of these films get Oscars – heck, Suicide Squad has two Oscars, one was for makeup. Think about that when you’re watching some Merchant-Ivory sweeping vista Oscar-bait epic, that film lost out on Best Makeup to someone dressed up as the Joker.
We wrote down Jack and Jill. So did several other teams, including a couple ahead of us, which meant that we could not win.
And we wouldn’t have won anyway … because Jack and Jill was not the right answer.
The correct answer was another Adam Sandler stinker called Click.
And your new Summer Bowl championship team is a squad from Chatham called “We Thought This Was Karaoke Night.”
So congratulations to the new Summer Bowl champions, take care of the Silver Shaker and display it with pride.
And much thanks to my friend Tim Rich for coming up to join me on Summer Bowl. I’ll see him and the rest of the Stir Crazy team in about a month to defend our title at the World Tavern Trivia championships.
Oh, and one final footnote.
After my long journey throughout the day – from Syracuse to downtown and back – I arrived home. On my front porch stoop was an empty tuna can, all licked clean.
So no matter what happened today – I at least did a good deed, a random act of kindness. And I’ll take that.