The Soundtrack to Defending the AAJA Trivia Bowl Crown: Memories of Ass Kicking set to Music

The Soundtrack to Defending the AAJA Trivia Bowl Crown: Memories of Ass Kicking set to Music

“..people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.

Since we humiliated them, I wouldn’t expect anyone from WBEZ to know that quotation was said by Maya Angelou, but it was, and I’ve always enjoyed it (both the quotation and humiliating WBEZ). And it’s true. I can’t recall every question that was asked on Saturday’s AAJA (Asian American Journalism Association) Trivia Bowl, but I vividly remember the spectrum of emotion I felt while I was at Jenner and Block’s impressive law office, which they generously donated.

So I thought maybe a soundtrack to my emotions could better convey what winning back-to-back titles felt like for this member of the ChicagoNow team. Much like they were then, some emotions/songs are NSFW.

1. I arrived with fully-functional adrenal glands, I was ready for (metaphorical) combat and after we shut it down last year, we had to open up shop again this year to defend it.


2. I knew if we weren’t on our game, we’d soon be somebody’s lunch. But as the returning champ, I figured it wasn’t me that should be fearful. It was them. I woulda liked to pull over an unassuming-looking opponent and scream, “DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOU ARE????? YOU’RE IN THE JUNGLE BABY!!! YOU’RE GONNA DIE!!!”

3. I wondered if WBEZ was gonna trot out some also-rans again this year. After they soundly beat us twice this year in softball (once in the playoffs, and also in the playoffs last year), I was eager to lock horns with them. Then I spotted them, and if they want it, they can get it right now.

4. Well, they didn’t look that scary. Nor did anyone else. Looking around I rhetorically wondered- Who gon stop me, huh?

5. Eventually we took our seats and teams were announced. Continuing the (winning) tradition from last year, we were a little loud during our introduction when @ExavierPope led us in our cheer of: “Chicago When? ChicagoNOW!!!”. Sure we were a little loud, but the tables next to us knew who the hell we were. I bet the neighbors know my name.

6. The introductions are over. Come on, let’s get down.

7. Machismo aside, the competition was solid and I don’t think we led at any point other than the end. Based on that, I’ll grant you that we were knee-deep in the competitive mire that is the AAJA Trivia Bowl. But our competition? They were not just knee-deep, they were totally deep when they did the freak with us.

8. Rounds went by, and we were right in the thick of it with the final round approaching and we were still expecting to celebrate afterward. We were in the cut, in the cut, rollin’ doobies up (metaphorically).

9. The final round was approaching, and it was gonna be between Crain’s Chicago, WBEZ and us, and we still hadn’t used our ability yet to double our point total for the round (each team can double twice, we had one left) but they had. With a minor point deficit, all we had to do was hold serve for the Sports category (since our points would count double, and there’s would not) and we’d justify our thug.

10. Well, it turned out that category was CRAZY hard and we shrugged more than thugged and our congrulatory thug-hugging would have to wait until later.  We did so poorly, in fact, that I thought there was about a 50/50 chance we just lost the trivia bowl with that lousy last round. The announcers were excitedly saying the results were EXTREMELY close. How they were speaking was giving me butterflies.

11. There was a three-way tie at the end of the competition!The tie-breaking format was this: There was one question with 50 correct answers and each team would would put as many of them as they could (up to 30) on their score sheet and whichever team listed the most correct answers won. That one question would determine who won the entire trivia bowl. It had come to this.

12. We figured it was time we finally took control of this competition.

13. We handed in our score cards and waited. The hosts were all excitedly poring over the score sheets and made a preliminary assessment: all teams did well. Two teams did pretty well and scored about the same, but one team had considerably more answers and won going away.

That’s when Exavier, who handed in our score sheet, told us that we were the only team that filled in all 30 spots- the other teams left about half the lines blank.

The announcer began reading.

“Crains Chicago……had 6 answers correct….. WBEZ……….had 7 correct answers……”

That was two teams who had about the same point total! I think we just won…Then the nail in the coffin from the emcee, “But the winning team, with 14 correct answers: Chicago WHEN?????”.

I’m not sure if the others teams were surprised or not. But if they woulda asked me before the competition began, I coulda saved them the surprise from this Thriller and told them: No one’s gonna save you from the beast that’s about to strike.

14. We got our softball payback against WBEZ

15. We won it again and that was gangsta. But we also won it last year, and that was pretty gangsta too. So the one “gangsta” moniker doesn’t seem to do us justice. I guess we’re just Gangsta Gangsta.

Damn it feels good to be a gangsta.



And lastly, big shout out to the talent at @BrainSportz (same name on Facebook, and he is the bearded gentleman in the picture above) for the great questions. If it weren’t for his great questions, this competition wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun. The song I was hoping to embed here isn’t available on YouTube, but since the guy from BrainSportz who made and read all the questions was sitting up front behind a computer and led the ceremonies, he was kinda like the DJ of the room.

A 30 second clip of  the song I wanted to play can be found here and is track 10- Damn that DJ Made My Day.



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  • Who's the blonde in the photo? New blogger who joined during my 8 month absence? Damn wish I was that table. If I could be an inanimate object for 5 minutes, it would be that table in the photo. I'd be all, "hey blondie, you need a seat?" And she's like, "wow you're a talking table?!" And I'm like, "hell yeah woman, come take a seat and relax while some dude takes a group photo." ..........Wait, is that Andy's butt on the table too?

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