On Saturday I was lucky enough to be one member of eight to represent ChicagoNow in the AJAA Trivia Bowl. I had a blast and here is why.
1. Meeting Fellow Bloggers
We don't get many chances to meet one another so it's always fun when we can. I knew Curtis and Exavier (both in the above video) from softball and football, but I hadn't met our other five teammates. I was relieved, but not surprised that I genuinely liked all of them instantly and knew they'd be good teammates.
Before the competition began, our hostess, CBS 2's Susanna Song asked Curtis how confident he was that ChicagoNow would win today and he quickly answered, "85%". It turned out to be a good answer, which I guess you'd expect from a ChicagoNow trivia team member.
3. Teaching the Newcomers
The three of us that had played softball and football for ChicagoNow quickly schooled our newbie ChicagoNow teammates (Margie "Swim Tri Sail" Sutherland, Melanie "Fitness At Home" Bolen, Joe "Going for Gusto" Grace,
Reggie "The Male Perspective" Nievera, and Mark "The Beeronaut" McDermott) to our chant: "Chicago when? ChicagoNOW!".
I like to think we both demonstrated and inspired. And by that I mean I'm pretty sure that our demonstration inspired other teams say, "Who are these chanting guys I've never heard of? What team with any kind of a chance at a trivia competition actually chants before it starts? There went any chance they had to win. Clearly they're excited to be out of their mom's basements.".
4. Realizing we Were Actually Good
The first round's topic was General Knowledge and we knew the first few answers easily enough then the next one after that, and then we all noticed the pattern. Mark McDermott is, trivia-ically speaking, a savant. A man among boys, a goose among goslings, a badger among kits, a boar among shoats, or a newt among efts. You get the point. Which other obscure names for young animals am I missing, Mark?
5. Outstanding Hosting
The Asian American Journalists Association puts on a great event for a great cause at an awesome venue, provided by Jenner and Block, with gorgeous panoramic views. Throw in an abundance of food and drink to go with outstanding trivia questions, complete with ridiculously clever (and helpful) visual clues, and top it off with a two great hosts and you have a can't-miss awesome event.
6. People can Still Disagree Civilly, Afterall
If you've heard anything about Congress in the last two years, watched any daytime political tv show in the last 5 years, or read anything about the NBA lockout recently you may be wondering if it's possible anymore for people to disagree respectfully and set aside their differences and compromise. On Saturday I was reassured that it is.
After hearing a brief audio clip of Eve 6's "Inside Out" we were told to name the artist and the song's title. What ensued was a refreshingly civil disagreement over the song title betwixt (sorry, but I like that word) two opposing parties that were both positive their answer was right. Since they were both certain of their correctness it took us a while to collevtively divine only one answer. Those of us non-positives laboriously played midwives to help birth our answer.
After a few tense minutes of waiting for the answer we found out which of the disputed answers was actually right. It was neither of them, naturally.
7. We Beat WBEZ. Twice.
I heard through the Chicago media grapevine last week that some people at WBEZ still hate ChicagoNow over a heated softball game this summer. Fair enough; But let the record show WBEZ entered two teams in the Trivia Bowl on Saturday and we beat them both.
- Did you think I was going to show a pic of Charlie Sheen instead?
We had an almost-comfortable lead heading in to the final round and suddenly a vibe (or perhaps it was an undercurrent) of, "Wait, can ChicagoNow actually win this thing?" began to loom ominously in the room. It was palpable. I overheard the host, Robert Feder, lean over ask someone what ChicagoNow even was [note: I heard him ask, "....what ChicagoNow is?" and assumed incorrectly he was asking what it was. Mr. Feder cleared that up in the comments section below]. He'd later announce to everyone that if ChicagoNow were to actually hold on and win it'd be one of the biggest upsets in the history of trivia. Capping off his trifecta of doubt, he asked us during the final round if we were going to choke. [note: Mr. Feder also denied making that comment. I trust him, but I'm certain I heard some adult male say that into the microphone during the last round while we compiled our answers.]
Actually, w increased our lead in final round.