The last time there was a Summer Bowl trivia championship was three years ago. Pre-COVID-19. My Street Academy trivia team had won the championship for the fourth time in ten tournaments, and since there were no Summer Bowl championships in 2020 or in 2021, the trophy stayed safe and protected in my living room.
Yesterday … for the first time in three years … Summer Bowl happened. Live. 25 teams from all over the Capital District. All fighting for the glorious Silver Shaker trophy in battles of useless knowledge and minutiae.
After playing Trivia Bowl earlier as a one-man team (I wasn’t comfortable with bringing people to the tournament with the Omicron COVID-19 variant running around), this time my POW Trivia All-Stars team from downstate drove up to help me out.
So we were ready. And if you want to play along, here are the questions and point values.
- What U.S. State has its three largest cities begin with the letter “C”? (2 pts)
- Who threw for 47 touchdown passes in the 2021 NFL season? (4 pts)
- Whose voice was sampled in Kanye West’s hit “Gold Digger”? (6 pts)
- In what U.S. city is the crookedest street in America? (8 pts)
- In the first post-911 baseball game in New York, who sang “God Bless America”? (10 pts)
We started off okay, knowing that the state was Ohio, the sampled singer was Ray Charles, and that Lombard Street in San Francisco was crooked. Heck, I still remember Amy Schumer giving me grief over it.
So after one round, we were 10 points behind two teams in a tie for third place.
Let’s keep going.
- What TV morning show personality had their final broadcast on May 25, 2011? (2 pts)
- Who once wrote a book about bullfighting called “Death in the Afternoon”? (4 pts)
- What Midwestern city takes its name from the French word for “strait”? (6 pts)
- What two films earned Anthony Hopkins Oscar nominations for playing the role of a President? (double bonus, 8 points each)
- The Han river flows through what Asian country’s capital city? (10 pts)
Again, we bungled two low-pointer questions (It’s not Des Moines, it’s Detroit) and apparently it’s not Regis Philbin, it’s Oprah Winfrey. But we nailed the author (Ernest Hemingway), we got the two Presidents played by Sir Anthony Hopkins (Richard Nixon in Nixon and John Quincy Adams in Amistad), and after discussions back and forth between China, Vietnam and South Korea, we went with South Korea – which was correct.
We were now only eight points off the lead. Let’s go.
The music round featured five songs, and teams received two points for correctly identifying each song and two points for correctly identifying each band. We ran the table on that, picked up 20 points, and stayed in second place going into the half.
Next round. People who died in 2022. And for the next 15 minutes, all I could think of was the Jim Carroll Band song. Earworm. 😀
- The actor playing what original Star Trek character passed away? (2 pts)
- What actor played Nelson Mandela in a 1980’s TV movie? (4 pts)
- What NFL star had a role in the Sopranos? (6 pts)
- What two actors, dying within days of each other, appeared in the film Mickey Blue Eyes? (double bonus, 8 pts)
- What actress played the teacher in the Rodney Dangerfield comedy Back to School? (10 pts)
We did pretty well on this round. Uhura was an easy answer, we also knew of Sidney Poitier and Tony Siragusa and Sally Kellerman. We got one of the two eight-point questions correct, knowing James Caan – but not being sure of the second actor. We argued between Ray Liotta and Paul Sorvino and a couple of others … completely forgetting it was Tony Sirico in that role.
Damn. Two questions so far with Sopranos references. I gotta watch that show at some point in my life.
Still, we did well enough to actually creep into the lead, holding on to two-point advantage.
- Who received twerks from Miley Cyrus at the MTV Video Music Awards? (2 pts)
- What is the name of the mascot dog from Target? (4 pts)
- How many inches wide is a hockey puck? (6 pts)
- For which three NBA teams did Bill Russell Coach? (triple bonus, 8 points each)
- What R&B singer had a cameo as a 7-year-old in the film Honeymoon in Vegas? (10 pts)
Another naer-perfect round. Robin Thicke. Bullseye. Bruno Mars. We were one-inch short on the hockey puck diameter (it’s 3 inches, not 4) and we got two of Bill Russell’s NBA coaching stints (Celtics and SuperSonics, but we missed that he also coached the Kings).
Final round. Let’s do this.
- In what Pennsylvania town is the Little League World Series held? (2 pts)
- What was Dorothy’s husband’s name on Golden Girls? (4 pts)
- What kind of animal is Dora the Explorer’s friend Swiper? (6 pts)
- Name the four members of People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” list who have 3 or more syllables in their last name. (quadruple bonus, 8 points each)
- President Pro Tempore Pat Leahy represents what U.S. State? (10 pts)
We stumbled a bit. Although we knew Williamsport, and we knew Leahy was from Vermont, for the life of us we couldn’t remember Dorothy’s husband (Stanley), and having never willingly watched Dora the Explorer, we did not know that Swiper was a fox. We did, however, get three of the People Magazine 3+ syllable sexiest men alive (Denzel Washington, Sean Connery, Matthew McConaghey) but wrote down Jake Gyllenhall instead of John F. Kennedy Jr.
That little slip cost us first place. We were now in third place, looking up a two teams – Lynch’s Mob (who had won Trivia Bowl earlier and could become only the second team to claim both local trivia championships in a calendar year, a feat only achieved by – well – my team) and Nacho Punch (a team that I played against for a long time at the old Graney’s on Broadway – before that place lost its liquor license, became Molly McBrides or something, and now is the Copper Crow).
Final question. We had to put in all our chips.
“Only three U.S. Presidents were inaugurated while their parents were alive – John F. Kennedy, George W. Bush, and which one from the 19th Century?”
Immediately the consensus on our team was John Quincy Adams. And we went with it.
And so did other teams. Many other teams.
The top two teams, however, went with Ulysses S. Grant.
And I’d love to say that Street Academy claimed its fifth Summer Bowl title …
But the answer was Ulysses S. Grant.
And the winning team – and new Summer Bowl champions – are the Nacho Punch. Congratulations to them. They played hard and they won big. And they’ve been a mainstay in competitive team trivia in this area for a very long time.
And now they get their name on the Silver Shaker and possession of the championship chalice.
My sincere thanks to my friends from the POW All-Stars for coming upstate and joining me for this game, we had a great time. Also, much thanks to Kevin Baker and the crew of Trivia Nights Live for a fun and fair game.
That was fun. Gotta do this trivia thing again sometime. It’s been too long.
Way too long.