2014 NSC Trivia Contest

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Hi, Scrabble folks:

This is a message from John Robertson.

For those of you attending the upcoming NSC, I will again be organizing and running a team trivia contest for your amusement and entertainment as I have for the past two NSCs. It is open to everyone--not just NSC entrants. It will begin at 8 p.m. on Saturday, August 9 in Room 106BC. It will last for approximately two fun-filled hours. Please start arriving by 7:45 so we can begin on time.

Thanks to some improvements in the scheduling of the NSC’s after-hours activities this year, the trivia contest won’t be slotted against any other NSC activities this time. (Thank you, Dallas!)

Here’s how the trivia quiz works:

Participants compete in teams with a maximum of seven players per team. You may form a team in advance or you can show up on your own and I will assign you to a team. The cost to enter is a measly $5 per person. About 90% of the money I collect will be distributed as prizes to the top-finishing teams. The remaining 10% goes to offset my photocopying expenses. (If I make a couple of bucks, I’ll be happy.) In order to sit at a table with a team, you must be a paid participant—no exceptions! It is helpful to bring a pen. Everything else is provided for you.

It will be a multi-part trivia quiz on a multitude of subjects: television, movies, history, geography, words, music, pop culture, literature, art, sports, current events. There’s pretty much a bit of everything—except for post-1985 music, science, and technology because I know squat about those subjects. The quiz will be presented with my usual brand of irrepressible wit, charm and humor with occasional personal commentary tossed in for good measure.

Preliminary rounds will be a combination of oral questions and handouts. The finale is comprised of two “wagering rounds” similar to, but not exactly like, Final Jeopardy.

Here is what you will get:

• Three oral rounds of 20 questions on a variety of subjects.

• Four specialized “themed rounds” on these topics: Keeping Up with the Joneses, Disasters, Trivia By the Numbers, and Match the Question to its Answer

• Three “identity crisis” rounds in which five clues are given to identify a single subject. The faster the subject is correctly identified, the more points your team gets.

• Two wagering rounds to conclude the fun and frivolity.

I am hoping for a large and enthusiastic turnout. Andy Saunders, who hosts similar trivia gigs for a living, will be providing many of the materials. (Thank you, Andy!)

One more thing: Andy and I are the world’s foremost authorities on the 1916 Philadelphia Athletics—which is roughly akin to being the two best hockey players in Guatemala. Be that as it may, we recently co-authored a baseball history book punnily titled A’s Bad As It Gets. It’s about those pitiful 1916 A’s—a team that won just 37 of 154 games that season. It is a game-by-game account of the A’s horrendous season. It contains many humorous anecdotes. It’s gotten very positive reviews so far (and not just from our relatives, although they like it too). Andy and I will have a limited number copies for sale at $23US. Autographs are free! If you absolutely want to buy a copy for yourself or that baseball fan on your Christmas list—and you definitely should! —let Andy or me know in advance so we can set copies aside for you. If you won’t be in Buffalo for the NSC you can always order copies from our publisher (McFarland) or purchase copies online from Amazon.com.

I hope to see you on August 9 at the trivia gig!

John Robertson Division #1 Leader, Trivia Host, Author, Unabashed Pedant; jgrobertson@sympatico.ca