I Lost on Jeopardy (Not Exactly)…

For many trivia players across the country, the month of April might be better known as “Trivia Month,” where several huge trivia events occur nationwide. This past weekend in Cincinnati, Last Call hosted its annual Ludimentis Tournament where teams from across the nation take their shot at winning some of over $10,000 in cash and prizes. Best of luck to everyone involved with Ludimentis. My local team can’t seem to get past the semi-finals!

The past several weekends, at cities across Last Call Nation, the Winter League Semi-Final and Final Tournaments were completed with each city crowning a champion. Congratulations are definitely in order for:

Team Susan – Phoenix
Nerds of a Feather – Portland
Southwest Idaho Temperance League – Boise
Torgo – Columbus
The Little Engine – Louisville
Tyrannosaurus Sex – Cincinnati
Chick Fil Atio – Cleveland
Queens Full of Treys – Pittsburgh

In the words of Ricky Bobby, each of these teams “piss excellence,” but what about the also-rans, runner-ups, the bridesmaids? History rarely remembers second place…

Last weekend, in another part of the country, I was remotely participating in the 47th “World’s Largest Trivia Contest,” a 54-hour trivia marathon held annually in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. The event is a primary fundraiser for WWSP, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s campus radio station, that features over 300 teams and nearly 10,000 players who arrive in central Wisconsin to compete in the festivities, which include a trivia movie, parade, scavenger hunts, insanely difficult visual trivia, music snippets, and, of course, 54 consecutive hours of the most random minutia in the universe.

Dad’s Computers, my trivia team and three-time defending champions, entered Trivia 47 confident and prepared, with many team members completing their year-long assigned homework duties of taking notes on old TV shows and movies. After Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild” kick started the contest (as it does every year), Dad’s jumped out to a quick 200+ point lead a few hours into the contest and extended that lead to over 400 points as we finished the 46th hour…

Looking back, the symbolism of my Dad’s Computers team losing Trivia 47, inconveniently dubbed “Not Your Father’s Contest,” during the 47th hour, is almost too much to write about. We missed two massive questions that hour and instantly our 400-point lead turned into a 300-point deficit that we were unable to erase as the clocks in Stevens Point struck midnight. Dad’s Computers finished in 2nd place…again…our 4th runner-up finish overall, and 12th consecutive top-10 finish. Obviously we’ll be fine. We’ve already regrouped and found new old movies to watch…we may have lost this year, but we’re already getting back to work for next.

My point? Trivia isn’t as much about winning and losing, it’s about the process and the search for knowledge, but most importantly it’s about joining a community of fellow beings who are passionate about the same (possibly trivial) things the rest of us are.

Has your team suffered an epic collapse? Coug’d it? Snatched defeat from the jaws of victory? We all have… Leave a comment about your team’s most legendary “never speak of this again” moment!

Today’s Playlist:
I Lost on Jeopardy” – Weird Al Yankovic
Working For The Weekend” – Loverboy
Misunderstood” – Better Than Ezra
We Can Work It Out” – The Beatles
Workin’ My Way Back To You” – The Four Seasons
Lose Yourself” – Eminem
Even The Losers” – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers