Saturday, February 14, 2015

THE SEASON ENDING BIG QUIZ:  So, I spent last weekend in Albuquerque, NM, at Geeks Who Drink's annual Geek Bowl event, which they advertise as being America's largest pub quiz, with my team (5, rather than the maximum 6, who'd never played together as a single unit before), finishing tied for 15th out of  134 teams (the winning team was fronted by Philly Quizzo kingpin Johnny Goodtimes).  And while they call it a "pub quiz," I was deeply impressed with the presentation.  A fuller recap after the break.
Round 1 was pretty standard--8 questions tied to "Duke" after Albuquerque's "Duke City" nickname, including "How many Z's in the Duke basketball coach's name," "What renaissance was Duke Ellington associated with?," and our one miss in the round, "What hip-hop group sampled 'Duke of Earl' on the track following 'How I Could Just Kill A Man' on their debut record?"

Round 2 is typically a song/artist round at Geeks events, and the twist that evening is that 8 songs were presented by The Dan Band live, with their standard "covering songs by female artists" schtick--1 point for the title, 1 point for the artist.  Our one miss?  Failing to get the exact title of this Melissa Etheridge song, which we argued about, shooting down the right title because we thought that they wouldn't have the song title/answer sung word for word.  (We may also have missed the artist on "Do You Want To Build A Snowman?" for providing too much--we gave the artists, the composers, and the character names since we weren't sure what they were looking for.)

Round 3 is often an "either/or" round, and this time, it was themed around New Mexico's official state question--"Red Or Green?"  We nailed such questions as "Which book does the Red Wedding take place in--Clash of Kings, or Storm of Swords?" and "Who bought Reddit a few years ago?"

Round 4 was allegedly about LARPing, but was basically an excuse for elaborate presentation--each question was presented by a costumed LARPer/Cosplayer who "killed" the prior questioner, including a Klingon (whose question, about birds of prey, naturally, was asked in Klingon, and then helpfully translated into English), a Brony, and the Hulk (whose question, of course, was about Smash).  The round ended with "mother" coming out to shut things down, and demand that we (in two minutes) name 8 of the 9 non-Barbara Walters individuals who've hosted The View for a full season.

Halftime!  And a scoring break--the scores slowly scroll up the screen, with teams cheering as they show up.  We know we've done pretty well, but turns out we're tied for 3rd, just behind two teams tied for 1st.

Naturally, then, Round 5 was our comeuppance. It was a visual round made up of "before and after" puns of celebrities in world geographic locations.  While we nailed "Notre Dame Edna" and "Westminster Abbey Hoffman," we were felled by "Kanye West Point," "UluRuPaul," "Mount Vernon Davis," and "Sagrada FAmelia Earhart."

Round 6, a more standard round, was better for us, with a round about incest and inheritances.  We managed to name the title shared by a Hasbro family board game and a Adult Video News certified "classic," and the family money that ultimately owns the Colorado Rockies. Miss in this round?  "Charles II was the last Hapsburg king of what country?"

Round 7 was definitely the high point of the quiz from a presentation standpoint.  On an ordinary night for Geeks, Round 7 is either a video round or a second audio round revolving around film and television clips. This was the first ever live dance round.  A local dance troupe was brought in to recreate famous dance scenes from film, and we had to name the film. The video is up, and I suspect most ThingThrowers will have little problem equalling our perfect score in the round.

Another scoring break.  Sadly, our misses in Round 5 have taken us down a few notches--we're now tied for 11th, but there's still a final round to go, and it's general knowledge, normally a strength, but the final round is designed to be the hardest.

Unfortunately, Round 8 was not helpful for us--while we nailed questions about music theory (courtesy of a teammate who knows her music) and the last two shows to be repeat winners of the Best Drama Emmy, we were felled by questions about astronomy, the Bhavagad Gita, and other science-y stuff, making us drop a few more slots rather than gaining, as we'd hoped.

They have a Parks & Rec theme quiz coming up in many markets in a few weeks, and early reports are next year's Geek Bowl will be in Denver.  ThingThrowers would seem likely to have a good time at either, and while both have entry fees, there are (substantial) cash prizes--the Philly team took home over $12,000 for first place, provided they didn't drop it all at the roulette wheel on the way out.

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