This weekend, I’ll participate in The World’s Largest Trivia ContestTM. I’m a little preoccupied with preparations for that, including some significant travel. To provide some sense of the madness of minutiae that dominates my mind this week, I’ll return to a bit of a tradition around these parts and share a few personally memorable answers from the twenty-five years or so that I’ve been involved with this contest, in one way or another. In this instance, I’ve reminded myself of the answers by flipping through our team’s old answer sheets.
One of the requirements of being a competitive team in our contest is building up a stockpile of self-compiled information. Especially back in the day before the superhighway started loading up with information, books and magazines and other outside sources can only provide so much. There were going to be questions that were nearly impossible to answer without sitting through whatever the source material with pen and paper in hand. That wasn’t something our team exactly spent a lot doing in the earliest years (part of team lore maintains that the only references in our inaugural season were an issue of Penthouse and an outdated Milwaukee Brewers media guide). Eventually, some half-hearted efforts took place, yielding the odd answer netting us major points, such as when they asked about the school mascot of the university that employed John Lithgow’s character in the then new sitcom Third Rock From the Sun. Flipping wildly through the three-ring binder that contained our meager efforts yielded us seventy-five points, a sizable number in the contest. In the changing dynamics of the contest, that same question (or even same sort of question) would be comparatively minuscule given that it could be found on the internet in a matter of seconds. Back then, though, it helped cement a truism that still holds: the answers worth major point come out of notes. To be competitive was going to take plenty of work.
More info about 90FM’s Trivia can be found at its official website or at the radio station’s online home. There’s also a feature documentary about the contest, but it’s fairly hard to come by these days. To see how my team is faring over the weekend, Twitter is probably the best bet.