College Bowl

This afternoon, the four of us who live in our apartment – Benji, Adam, Dave, and me – teamed up for College Bowl, one of those quiz-style trivia competetion things.

Why did we participate? Because I called Adam’s bluff about forming a team, and Benji and Dave didn’t care either way. We turned our entry form in on the very last day, after arguing for a good 45 minutes about who was going to walk to campus to do so.

I got to be the team captain, since Adam was too lazy to take the job. Thus I was able to name our team The Crazy Utahraptors. (Other team names seen amongst the 20 competing: Team Chuck Norris, Team Macguyver, and Dead Last.)

Naturally, since our team wasn’t terribly serious about winning and just had nothing better to do, our first match was against last year’s campus champions (who had then went on to regionals). Needless to say, they took things much more seriously than we did, rules lawyering and everything. We did fairly well but still lost against them, and thus fell into the double-elimination tournament’s losers’ bracket.

Nevertheless, the loss did help to identify a few things we hadn’t known about or taken into consideration:

  • Hitting the buzzer Ken Jennings style is essential.
  • The person in charge of recognizing you has to recognize you before you answer; it doesn’t count if the MC recognizes you. Thanks, rules lawyers.
  • The toss-up questions liked to be garden pathy, dropping a few clues about the answer before revealing the actual question.
  • The bonus follow-up questions for correctly answering a toss-up had absolutely nothing to do with the question that led into it.

Also following our defeat, a new plan was hatched: win all our remaining matches so that we’d face last year’s winners again and beat them. We had drive, we had motivation, and we had a chance to grab lunch before our next round.

We won our next match handily and, due to the organizers’ odd scheduling decisions, went immediately into our next match in the losers’ bracket. In that match, we were able to drop the secret weapon we had been planning. We won a toss-up but, for the first time, had absolutely no clue what the answer the the bonus question was. So we answered, “Dare.”

The room was almost silent for the next few seconds before people realized what we just said and started laughing. The MC quipped, “I think the other team will Double Dare.” Alas, the rules didn’t specify any Physical Challenge, so no points for us.

Even though we were moderately ahead in the first round of that third match, in the second round the other team pulled far ahead, dealing our team the coup de grâce.

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