Funny quizbowl moments

There are three I can think of right now. I’m sure, as there are several of us who are, or were, quizbowl/college bowl/scholars’ bowl/other bowl people, that more will surface.

My favorites:

  1. At PennBowl Nein, back in January 2000, the head dude guy was going over rules for when you give more information than is required. “If you buzz in with Fred Nixon (when Nixon is all that’s required), you’d be … well, you’d be an idiot, but you’d also be wrong.”

  2. At same PennBowl, roll call was taken. After a long string of teams being there, some were … not. “Prestige University?” Not there. Captain of my team shouts out “Yeah! 1-0!” “Not-so-prestige University?” Silence. Captain and I shout out “2-0!” “Prestigious University?” Nothing. Entire team: “3-0!” “Ivy League University?” Blank. Entire team, plus one or two funnyguys: “4-0!”

  3. Carlos Viscerra Memorial Tournament, 2001: The bonus is on temperatures, or something. The first part is: “What is the coldest place on earth?” The team has no idea, so one of its members takes a guess.

“Chapaqua, New York.”

Boy did THAT get the room going:D

uh…give me a minute!


At a previous PennBowl (1994 I believe), one of the bonus questions was “Dead, city in Tanzania or OJ Prosecution Witness?”

At the same PennBowl I went six-for-six on a bonus question on '80’s one-hit wonders, whereupon the moderator pointed at me and said, “You should be ashamed for knowing all those!” I responded, “I can sing them too…” Everyone in the room simultaneously: “NO!!!

PennBowl moment of shame: After we answered a 10-point question to level to scores on the last question, we missed all six parts of the bonus question (match the impossibly obscure historical event to the contemporary president) to force overtime. Fortunately we won after a question was asked about a teammate’s favourite football team. Nothing like PennBowl to go from the sublime to the ridiculous in record time.

Two words: Dueling Samirs.

At an Oklahoma TRASH tourney last year, I hit 40 points in a 40-30-20-10-1 bonus. The Moderator was all “40-30-20-10-1 name the movie soundtrack. For 40, this soundtrack contains several songs,” and I was all “I’m thinking City of Angels here, guys.” And it was.

For those of you not in the Order of the Buzzer, in a 30-20-10, you get a hard clue after which you can answer for 30 points. Silence or a wrong answer bumps you down to a slightly easier 20 point clue, which can then be followed by the usually very easy 10 point clue. A trash tournament usually adds the 40 point stage, which will be something like “Name this actor” with no other information and the 1 point stage, which will be “This actor, whose name is Tom Cruise, is the subject of ‘Tom Cruise: the Unauthorized Biography.’”

This was the same tournament where I took all three parts of a Straight Dope bonus. Loved that tournament.

tsarina will be along in a bit to tell of our high school exploits on the hit public access cable program “Mega Red League Quiz Bowl.” Beefcake!

For a BYU invitational, we intentionally made up the “Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll” question set. The organizers chopped about a quarter of the questions, including my personal favorite bonus set – “Name the animals used in the Kama Sutra to describe penis and vagina sizes.”
In that same tournament, the bonus question topic was “Gay Literature.” I, the ROTC-taking straight male non-humanities-major oppressor troglodyte of the team, leaned back in my chair and threw up my hands. Do I even need to tell you how many of those questions I ended up answering?
The last question for one of our matches, which would have either won or lost us the game, was the author of Neuromancer. I looked at the rest of my team and said, "Look, knowing that Armistead Maupin wrote Tales of the City was bad enough. I categorically refuse to win a match because I’m the only damn person on our team who knows that Neuromancer was written by that hack William Gibson!" The judges took a minute to decide that it was a valid response.

A San Francisco tournament was triple-elimination, and the brackets were absolutely impossible to understand. The Brainiac who made them up actually told me, “It’s easier to figure them out if you think in three dimensions.” I just looked at him and said, “Dude, yer pissin’ me off.”
At the same tournament, I got zoinked for not waiting for my name to be called before answering, and we ended up losing the match by exactly the number of points the other team got on that question. I was so mad I pounded my forehead on the wall outside. By the end of the tournament, the story had grown so much that people were actually afraid of the psycho who pulled a switchblade on the judge.

And, an oddly appropriate quote from tonight’s tele-visionary device:
“Kiss my quiztastic ass!” – Ed, Ed

Well, it’s not MY moment, but it amused me when I heard it.

Heck, I don’t even remember if I heard it from a coworker or a public message board; it was one of the two. (Yeah, I have a lousy memory, so sue me. :))

Anyway, the bonus question the person was asked (and which he got right, to my amazement) was on this bit of Simpsons trivia: give Ranier Wolfcastle’s real name and spell the name of the sausage brand he did a commercial for as a little boy.

Can anyone get it? :slight_smile:

Wheeeee, I get to talk about the Vomit incident!

The scene: CBI regionals in Wichita (in 1999, I think). We’re playing the final round against Wichita. Our high scorer and all around knows everything guy (who has posted here under the name El Cheapo) has apparently consumed some bad mayo at Applebee’s. He’s not feeling well. I’m sitting just to his right. We had a trash can strategically placed between him and I.

He’s got his head down on the table, but he’s still answering the questions. He was also the team captain.

We knew beforehand that if we chose to stop gameplay because he got sick, we’d have to play without him.

So of course, he vomits. The moderator doesn’t seem to know what to do, and I’m trying to get someone in the crowd to run to the bathroom for some wet paper towels (because we weren’t totally prepared). The moderator ended up stopping the game.

The whole situation had to be resolved by calling the CBI headquarters.

Since we didn’t go to nationals, I think we ended up losing the game. Maybe they made us replay.

I only went to PennBowl once (1997), but two things stand out: members of the Colgate team passing around a bottle of Jack Daniel’s at the roll call meeting and a bizarre, surreal moment during the same meeting where the guy running the event, in response to a question about teams arriving late because of inclement weather, stated, “We don’t know how to control the weather. At least not this year.” The strange thing was that the whole room (minus our team) erupted in laughter in response to this. Jeez…

Middle school quizbowl tournament. “Words Beginning with the Letter V” lightning round.

Question: “Word for a person who performs a service for someone else.” They were looking for ‘volunteer,’ of course.

Guy on my team: “VIRGIN!”

Played quizbowl with that guy for four more years, and no, we never did quite let him live it down.

Oh, PennBowl, TRASHionals, and New England and East Coast competitions for years …

“For five points each or thirty for all five, what happened to each of these baseball players in the Simpsons softball episode?”

I need forgiveness. I started singing the song. Well, Mister Burns had done it, the power plant had won it, with Roger Clemens clucking all the while… Mike Scosia’s tragic illness made us smile… while Wade Boggs lay unconscious on the bar-room tile!

What stands out in my memory are the traditions, actually. After winning a round as the underdogs with the answer of ‘David Hasselhoff’, we started joining hands before each round and saying “God bless Mommy, God bless Daddy, God bless our buzzers, and God bless David Hasselhoff”.

TRASHionals, 2000. Site: Boston, Mass (I think; I wasn’t there). There has already been a 40 on Jennifer Love Hewitt, which I believe my team (only year we appeared at TRASHionals, and we finished second. Can you really beat that kind of a record?) 30ed. Then they get another 40-30-20-10-1. “For 40, she’s an actress”. My friend Rob Mee, who is a big Sarah Michelle Gellar fan, says something like “Well, we’ve already had JLH, why not try Sarah Michelle Gellar?”

The moderator had this look of utter bewilderment, because of course this 19-year-old freshman (when you have 40-year-old men playing and losing to each other, not being old enough to drink is really something) has just 40ed a bonus.

Or there was the time when I beat our African-American (I say because A) it’s relevant and B) he was also white) team member to a Kwanzaa tossup. Or the time I think I let the moderator speak five words before instinct jumped in: “This five ounce, 9 inch ball” or something like that. I didn’t even wait to be recognized. That many years around baseball and it was second nature. I think that was Baby Hen 2001.

Best I ever did on a bonus was 30 a Monet bonus off the first painting (in practice). You don’t get between me and my man Monet:)

You promised to tell me that story like a year ago! And it’s not nearly as exciting as you said it’d be.


[sub]Or was that ANOTHER vomit story?[/sub]

Well, it’s very exciting when you’ve got a very sick captain throwing up lovely pink stuff into the trashcan right next to you, while the moderator (Ben Lea if you know him) keeps reading the question, and I’m silently (so as not to get called on for collaboration) trying to get somebody to run to the bathroom for paper towels.

And then waiting for over an hour while the TD calls CBI headquarters to figure out what to do.

It was a close game.

We never ate at an Applebee’s again. Especially not the one in Wichita.

The other vomit story involves me and tequila. Not too appropriate for this thread. :stuck_out_tongue:

I was on my high school team in central Wisconsin back in the late '70s. Games were televised on good old channel 7, hosted by the guy that does the Meynard’s Lumber Yard commercials. We taped on a school night, getting a free meal at a steak joint in Wausau. Trust me, it was a big deal.

The best game ever, and one of my fondest high school memories, was against a team from a little town called Manawa. We were on the top deck of a cheap plywood set, looking down on Manawa, coaches and alternates standing stiffly to the side as the opening theme and intro rolled.

And then, out of the rafters of the studio, a huge water beetle dropped into the Manawa coach’s hair. Our team was having suppressed hysterics, but holding it in until the commercial break.

We go to commercial. They used to run real time and not stop tape, God knows why. The Manawa coach turned on us, breathing fire. “Somebody threw something.”

Our head geek snorted out, “Lady, there’s a bug in your hair.”

She was about to argue, when the alternate saw the bug and began screaming hysterically. I’m sure to this day they believe that we brought the bug.

Alternates and coaches calm down and take seats out of camara range. Play begins. Manawa is rattled, and we are hot. Even the coaches daughter, who was normally too slow or two quiet, was buzzing in regularly. the final score was 360 to -10.

Their coach turned to ours glaring and said, “Well, WE play for the fun of it.”

So did we. But 360 was more fun then -10.

Well, the only real stories I got in this category are from our high school’s tour of duty on Granite State Challenge - something probably only our NH contingent will recognize.

Question came up in our third-round game: “What, to collectors, is the most valuable stamp in the world today?”

Having been an amateur philatelist, I buzzed in and belted out “British Guiana” - and froze. Couldn’t remember the rest of it to save my life. Head down on the console in resignation… and the judges gave it to me. The expression on my face sent the room into fits. (British Guiana one-penny magenta, for those who care.)

The other one was for the live-on-TV state championship, in which we pulled off a come-from-way-behind victory in the last 45 seconds of the game. Buzzer goes off, crowd erupts, and over it all you hear our team captain shout “Holy SHIT!” right into his lapel microphone.

Oh, and the fact that the “school spirit” picture used as part of our inter-round presentation clearly features someone flipping the bird at the photographer, yet it never seems to have gotten noticed and was broadcast for every game we played.

I have that season on tape, so I get to relive the magic whenever I feel like it.

iampunha, what league are you playing in where they got 40-year-olds?

Olentzero, in TRASH (Testing Recall About Strange Happenings), you don’t actually have to be a member of a school to participate. Rick Grimes, for one, was not a member of the GMU student body when he played for GMU the year we were second in the nation.

And for that matter, the rules about people who can play are pretty lax. I can’t remember his name now, but there’s a guy who’s been playing ACF for longer than I’ve been alive. He started playing when he was in his early teens, and he’s … well, a bit older now;)

And of course, Dwight Kidder … well, 'nuff said about him:D


My vomit has been resurrected!

I mean… my vomit story has been resurrected!

Actually, we won the vomit match and then lost the next two games (as the first seed in the double elim) in the final to keep us from going to CBI Nationals in Gainesville, FL. So, we went to TRASHionals at Penn State instead. From that there’s the “Dead Whoretel story”, but I should leave that one to Juniper200 to tell.

I used to play for Auburn Univ. One year we fielded two teams to a tourney. I played on the “B” team, the lesser players, most of us in our first year of team play.

We went up against Georgia Tech. They’ve been Regional Champion and National placers (5th & 7th) at least. Needless to say, they’re pretty good. They’re the kind that actually study and prepare if you can believe that. :slight_smile:

We, on the other hand, are the lousy “B” team from Auburn, playing for fun and practice.

We lost every game that day - except for Georgia Tech. We gave them their only loss for the day. We were playing for fun - beating GT was very fun.
There was also the time that my now-ex-wife read a question about the 80’s band INXS (pronounced In-Excess) but pronounced it as “inkses”. Every player on every team did a double take trying to figure it out.