Every Thursday evening during the NFL season (except Thanksgiving), local sports station 1500 ESPN hosts Thursday Night Football trivia. Tonight was the second consecutive Thursday I was able to attend. Last week, I was one of the 16 finalists (seeded #7) after successfully answering 13 of 16 questions in round one (you can cheat by using a mobile device, so it wasn't too tough). However, the next round entailed a Family Feud style face-off at a podium where the first person to buzz in at any point of the question has 15 seconds to answer. Last week, I buzzed in first but I incorrectly guessed that Kerry Collins was the QB the last time the Oakland Raiders had a winning season. Since I was wrong, my opponent had the allotted 15 seconds to answer and correctly came up with Rich Gannon.
This week (week number eleven of this series), I made the trek out to Cadillac Ranch Bar & Grill at the Mall of America (only 15 minutes from my work place) in an attempt to redeem myself.
This time I had my "A" game as I breezed through the first few rounds and got all the way to the finals. The winner would receive ONE HUNDRED BUCKS!!!
The finals are by far the most difficult, as its best three of five, and you only get a point if you win a category. Each category has multiple answers and it alternates between the two finalists until someone answers incorrectly. My task was even more daunting due to the fact I was taking on Brendan Byrne, who had won seven of the ten weeks, including six in a row from week four thru week nine.
The first category had to do with a more prominent Raiders-Vikings matchup, which was Super Bowl XI in January 1977. The question: There were nine Vikings players which tallied at least one yard of offense in that game. Can you name them?
Brad (buzzing in first): Bob Lee (correct)
Brendan: Tarkenton (correct)
Brad: Brent McClanahan (correct)
Brendan: Sammy White (correct)
Brad: Stu Voight (correct)
Brendan: Foreman (correct)
Brad (using up nearly all 15 seconds): Ahmad Rashad (correct)
Brendan: NO GUESS
Next up: The '99 playoffs. In Jacksonville's 62-7 rout of the Miami Dolphins in the AFC divisional round, four QBs threw a pass in that game. Name them.
Brendan (buzzing in first): Dan Marino (correct).
Brad: Mark Brunell (correct)
Brendan: Fiedler (correct)
Brad: No GUESS (correct answer - Damon Huard; I would've NEVER got that).
For the life of me, I don't recall the next question. All I know is I lost.
Next: Sid Luckman is the all-time leader in percentage of pass attempts thrown for touchdowns at 7.9%. There are 56 others with at least 5%. Name them.
Brad (buzzing in first): Tom Brady (correct)
Brendan: Norm Snead (INCORRECT)
Then it came down to the final category. Whomever took this one would win the hundred bucks. Carson Palmer, who will face the Vikings Sunday, was the top overall pick in the 2003 NFL draft. Name the other 31 first round draft choices that year.
Brendan (buzzing in first): Kyle Boller (correct)
Brad: Kevin Williams (correct)
Brendan: Byron Leftwich (correct)
Brad: Terrell Suggs (correct)
Brendan: Mike Williams (INCORRECT)
Brad (FOR THE WIN): Gerard Warren (INCORRECT)
Brendan (FOR THE WIN): Boldin (INCORRECT)
Brad (FOR THE WIN): Roy Williams (INCORRECT)
Brendan (FOR THE WIN): W. Green (INCORRECT)
Brad (FOR THE WIN): Drew Brees (INCORRECT)
Here's the kicker. Had I just said "Warren" earlier, I would have won. That's because Ty Warren was a first round pick in '03, not Gerard.
Since three incorrect answers is the maximum in an alternating question, we had to move on.
Still tied 2-2, emcees Tom Pelissero and Phil Mackey turned to "The Book," which is a thick almanac with a myriad of stats. They came up with the following: Name any of the players who led the NFL in interceptions in a season since 1950. (NO SHOT we would run the table on that one).
Brendan (buzzing in first): Night Train Lane (correct)
Brad (thinking a Hall of Fame DB would be an obvious choice): Mike Haynes.
Mackey vehemently searched the record book. "Mike Haynes.......is......INCORRECT. Brendan wins again!!!"
Yes, Brendan took home yet another "Benjamin Franklin." Second place (me) won a Coors Light t-shirt.
All I could think of as I came so perilously to victory was a slogan I could affix to the back of the aforementioned t-shirt: "I drank Diet Pepsi to the point of getting the jitters, felt my heart rate increase rapidly as I stood at the podium, scraped my knuckle when hitting said podium in disgust and all I got was this lousy t-shirt". Or something along those lines.