A week ago, I was driving back from a photo shoot in Catskill, when I received a Facebook message from my trivia buddy Tim Rich. He asked me if I needed any assistance for the upcoming Summer Bowl.
I thought about it for a second. I helped Tim and the Stir Crazy trivia team dominate at the World Tavern Trivia Championships, winning back-to-back titles in Atlantic City. Tim had driven up before for trivia championships in Albany, but this time he offered to bring some of his trivia buddies with him.
“Sure,” I said. “Bring who you can.”
Sure enough, yesterday afternoon, Tim and several members of the POW Trivia All-Stars (POW standing for Putnam, Orange, Westchester Counties) were at the Pearl Street Pub for the tenth annual Summer Bowl trivia championship.
Man, how the time has flown. I remember the first Summer Bowl championship – my teammates were Jeremy and Alexis, with J-Mac staying on to help win at Summer Bowl III. Another good friend from the trivia world, Jeff Shubert, helped the Street Academy team claim Summer Bowl V … and now it’s a new group of friends ready to help take the Silver Shaker one more time.
But to win it, I’d have to get past 35 other teams. Several of whom were Summer Bowl and Trivia Bowl champions.
You know what?
Follow the rules here. You get points for correct answers, you lose points for incorrect answers, you can skip two questions, and you can use a “double chance” option by writing down two answers on one question – with a correct answer gaining you points, while an incorrect answer costs you twice the points.
First round. Ready? Here we go.
- (2 pts) Who is older, Justin Bieber or Ed Sheeran?
- (4 pts) What legend of pro wrestling died this week at the age of 76?
- (6 pts) What CBs sitcom character had crossover appearances on four other sitcoms, including “The King of Queens,” “The Nanny” and “Becker”?
- (8 pts) Which Disney film was the first movie in America to release a soundtrack album?
- (10 pts) What 20th century president is credited with making Columbus Day a national holiday?
We ran the table on the first three questions – Ed Sheeran has a three-year age advantage over the Beebs, Harley Race took the three-count earlier this week, and Ray from “Everybody Loves Raymond” is in a shared universe with the King of Queens, the Nanny and Becker. But we got the Disney movie wrong – thought it was Fantasia, it was actually Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – and we skipped the President who declared Columbus Day a national holiday. That was FDR, in case you were checking.
First quarter done – we have four points out of a possible 30, and are 26 points behind the leading team, A Few Cards Short of a Deck.
- (2 pts) What network aired the Super Bowl back in February?
- (4 pts) What color is also the name of an online mattress company?
- (6 pts) Tracy McConnell would be considered the “Title Character” in what TV sitcom?
- (8 pts – double bonus) In what year did Friends air its last episode, and which character received a spinoff sitcom that ran for nearly two years?
- (10 pts) What professional sports Hall of Fame opened its doors on August 26, 1961?
Another comeback. After flubbing the 2-pointer – it was CBS, not NBC – we knew the answers of Purple and How I Met Your Mother and 2004 followed by the sitcom Joey.
But the 10-pointer was a toughie. We immediately eliminated the Baseball Hall of Fame as an option, knowing that the museum opened in the 1930’s. But what about the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton? What about the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield? What about the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto?
We need this.
We can use our double chance – but we could only put down two of the three Halls of Fame. And if we were wrong – it would cost us 20 points. And if someone else got it right – we would have a 30-point swing between us and them.
I made a decision. If I had to guess, I could say that one of the Halls had to be the Hockey Hall of Fame. But what was the other one? Football or Basketball?
I decided to go NBL Canada on this one – I said basketball and hockey. And to my teammates, I said … “If I’m wrong on this guys, it’s on me.”
Pressure like crazy.
I handed in my slip.
And sure enough, trivia host Kevin Baker knows how to milk things. He mentioned that three teams used the double chance option. Only one got it right.
I wanted to bury my face in my chicken riggies. I messed this up.
“The Hall of Fame that opened in 1961 was the Hockey Hall of Fame!” he said.
Only one team got that right.
Which would be evident from hearing one team cheer and 35 other teams boo like Snidely Whiplash tying Nell Fenwick to the railroad tracks.
Okay. Halftime. The Street Academy trivia team is now in second place – with 38 points, 8 points behind A Few Cards Short of a Deck.
So let’s take a few minutes and resurface the floor.
By the way, I should note that the trivia event was held at Pearl Street Pub in downtown Albany. Nice venue, very attentive waitstaff – but for some forking reason, we kept receiving our forking meals, and all the meals were bereft of a specific forking utensil. Heck, we had to go to the forking bar to pick up some forking forks to forking eat our forking food. I mean, we’re not forking neanderthals, we don’t forking eat with our forking fingers and hands. Especially not forking chicken riggies. Tasty stuff.
All right. Third period – er – third quarter. Sorry, I’ve still got some hockey in me.
- (2 pts) How many World Series have the Boston Red Sox won in the 21st Century?
- (4 pts) What president preceded Susan B. Anthony on the dollar coin?
- (6 pts) What 20th century musician sang a song called “On My Way” in a Disney movie called “Brother Bear”?
- (8 pts – quadruple bonus) What four men were Vice Presidents of the United States during the 1970’s?
- (10 pts) What female pop star, at the age of 17, became the youngest ever to write,perform and produce a number one hit song, doing so in the 1980’s?
Okay. Time to move those chains. The Red Sox won four championships in the 21st century, Eisenhower was the president on the dollar coin, the British musician was Phil Collins (apparently he also did the soundtrack for the Disney version of Tarzan), the four Vice Presidents were Spiro Agnew, Gerald Ford, Nelson Rockefeller and Walter Mondale – and the pop singer who had that #1 hit at the age of 17?
Yes, Debbie Gibson. The Taylor Swift of her generation. But then again, I don’t think Taylor Swift would be caught singing songs like “Shake Your Love” or “Only In My Dreams,” but that’s another story for another time.
And … after three rounds … the Street Academy has pulled into the lead, passing the Cards with an 8-point advantage.
Four questions before the final.
- (4 pts) Dick Clark, Marv Albert and Bob Costas all are graduates of what university?
- (6 pts) While the original Jetsons series was set in 2062, what 1970’s Hanna-Barbera cartoon was set even later in the 21st century, the year 2076?
- (8 pts – triple bonus) What letters appear at the beginning of the names of exactly four states each?
- (10 pts) Before Mariano Rivera, who was the last “first ballot” Hall of Famer to spend his entire career with the New York Yankees?
By the way, it’s Syracuse University, “A” “I” and “W”, and Mickey Mantle.
But that cartoon?
Only one team got it, and it wasn’t us. And nobody should have gotten it, because it’s one of the STUPIDEST Hanna-Barbera cartoons ever crafted. STOO PEED.
The fact that I’m even putting this godawful Curly Howard impersonation on my blog means I should have Moe Howard gouge my eyes out.
Okay. After 19 questions, we’re at 114 points, an 8-point lead over the Cards. Woo Hoo a Go Go (92) and Tap This (88) are also in the fight.
The final question – the category is Comedians.
This could be anything. In what year did (comedian) die? What comedian got his/her start on (TV show)? Who played The Comedian in the Watchmen movie?
Okay. We gotta bet enough to lock out the second place opponent – and hope we get the answer right. No safe one-point, “no balls” bets here. Go big or go home.
The final question.
“Andrew Dice Clay was the first comedian to sell out Madison Square Garden’s big arena in 1990, and Chris Rock became the third in 2007 … who was the second to pull off that feat, just a few months before Rock did?”
I got nothing.
Tim had nothing.
Our other teammates – who had helped out in nailing answers to some of the questions today – were unsure.
Now it’s at this point that I must mention Will Negron.
Will was part of our Stir Crazy national championship team. But throughout the day, he hadn’t been able to nail down any of the answers.
And he simply said to us, “I believe it’s Dane Cook.”
“It’s not Robin Williams?” I asked.
“No, I believe it’s Dane Cook.”
Tim asked if it could be Dave Chappelle. Nope, Will was certain it was Dane Cook.
Guys … I’ve learned over the years that if a teammate is dead sure of an answer … go with it. It’s won championships in the past.
I wrote down Dane Cook on the answer slip.
I handed it to the host.
After much scoring and calculating … Baker decided to only read the top five teams’ answers, in that one of the teams had snagged the correct answer.
In fifth place, Tap This bet a sizeable amount and said Dane Cook.
Woo Hoo a Go Go, in fourth place, wrote down Robin Williams.
Gaelic Storm, in third place, wrote down Dave Chappelle.
The Cards were in second place, and they put their chips on Robin Williams.
And we said Dane Cook.
There was a serious amount of cheers and groans throughout the Pearl Street Pub.
Will had his head in his hands. “I’m sorry, guys,” he said. “He said one team had it, and it must have been the team that said Dave Chappelle.”
Well … what trivia host Kevin Baker should have said was … “at least” one team had it correct.
It was indeed Dane Cook.
And for the first time in five years … and for the fourth time in Summer Bowl lore … the Silver Shaker is returning back to the Street Academy!!!!!!
Right now, let me give all the love and thanks to my trivia teammates Tim Rich, Will Negron, Jeffrey Seguritan, Andrew Lin and Andrew’s support dog Ricochet, who all helped the Street Academy claim the trophy.
Also, great thanks and appreciation to Kevin Baker and the staff of Trivia Nights Live, as well as the waitstaff and workers at Pearl Street Pub, for a great game and great atmosphere.
It’s also important to thank the other 35 teams in the trivia tournament. All of you are amazing and wonderful trivia teams, and on any given day you would hoist this trophy. Heck, in some cases you have.
All in all … it’s a fantastic day.
Yeah, I’m still feeling on cloud nine right now.
Next time I play a major tournament, I should hire Big E Langston to give the introduction.
AWWWWWWWWWWW TRIVIA BO-O-O-WL!! DON’T YOU DARE BE SOUR! CLAP FOR YOUR FOUR TIME SUMMER BOWL AND TWO TIME TRIVIA BOWL CHAMPIONS – AND FEEEEEEEEEEL DA POOOOWAAAAHHH!!
Hmm … wonder if the New Day will be in the Capital District around the time of Trivia Bowl. We shall see…