The morning of Trivia Bowl XVI, my friend Ed – he plays on the team A Few Cards Short of a Deck – contacted me and asked if I wanted to join them, as they had an open slot. Ed knew that I wasn’t going in this year due to my broken ankle, but he still offered me a chance to participate. That’s Ed. Nice guy.
Unfortunately, I had to decline. Because not only couldn’t I participate … I also wrote many of the questions for Trivia Bowl XVI, as an assist to quizmaster Kevin Baker. So technically I “participated” in Trivia Bowl … even if I was 20 miles away from the game.
At around 4:30 Saturday afternoon … I received a text message on my cell phone.
It was from Ed.
And at that moment, I realized that something fantastic had occurred for Ed and his friends.
See, I first became friends with Ed in two different locations – he was playing trivia WAAAAY back in time, with a squad called Uncalled 4 – and he was also making a few dollars as the Albany Patroons’ costumed mascot Lido the Panda (no, I don’t know why they used a panda, and no, I don’t know why he was named after a Boz Scaggs song, that’s a question you gotta ask Jim Coyne).
Ed and I became good friends from that moment on. He eventually formed his own trivia team, A Few Cards Short of a Deck, with members of his friends and family. He had to miss a couple of major tournaments – I mean, if your choice is Summer Bowl or your honeymoon in Disney World, you gotta pick your priorities, I guess – but he always enjoyed a good game of team trivia.
When his daughter Giovanna was born a few years ago, I gave him and his wife Melissa one of my handmade soda crate hope chests, with the understanding that they could use it as a toybox for the young treasure. And when it came time for me to move to the Town and Village, he ad his friends were among the several who helped relocate my goods and possessions. He’s a good guy.
And after what seemed like nearly two decades of trying and trying and trying …
Ed and A Few Cards Short of a Deck can now call themselves trivia champions. It’s a long run, but it’s a deserved run.
It’s been said that it takes a champion to recognize a champion, so let me take this moment now and recognize Ed, Melissa, Jean, George, Loretta, Karen, Mary, Charlotte, Papa Diff in heaven and everybody else who played for or who currently plays on A Few Cards Short of a Deck – the Trivia Bowl Champions of 2020.
Like Andy Reid winning the Super Bowl this year, I know that it’s been a long journey, but you never ever ever gave up. You played hard and you played fair and you did your best each and every night, whether it was a major tournament or a Monday night friendly game. You now get possession of the championship trophy, to hold onto it for the next twelve months.
Just know this. Come the day for Trivia Bowl XVII …
The Street Academy will return, complete with bionic ankle and a hunger to get that championship back.
Champion recognizes champion.
See you next year, champions. 😀