Friday, September 12, 2014

Football Trivia: Livin' La Vida Loca

It's back!!! After taking a hiatus during the 2013 NFL season, Twin Cities station 1500 ESPN is back this year hosting Thursday night football trivia live at various locations. Last evening the festivities took place at Burrito Loco in Dinkytown with ESPN Twin Cities personalities Judd Zulgad and Phil Mackey acting as MCs.

The preliminary round entailed a written portion of 10 questions (some having multiple answers). This week's opening portion was worth 23 points. This was to determine how the teams were to be seeded. 

Having achieved 21 points out of a possible 23, I earned a #3 seed and a first round bye. Since trivia savant Brendan Byrne (who was a 10-time winner in 2011 and 6-time champ in 2012) was the #1 seed, I wouldn't have to face him until the finals, if indeed we both got that far. 

In the quarterfinals, I faced a team called the "Step Dads." This was a best 2 out of 3, with each question requiring only one answer. 

Question one: Name one Vikings player who attended college at USC. 

Brad (buzzing in first): Everson Griffen. Correct. 

1-0, Brad

Question two: Name one Vikings player who attended college at Notre Dame. 

Brad (buzzing in first): Kyle Rudolph. Correct.

Brad wins, 2-0!

The final four is also a best 2 of 3, but the questions are in category format, meaning there are multiple answers. This year has an interesting twist. The rule now is if each player gets one correct answer, it moves to sudden death. That means the first person to give a wrong answer loses the point. 

In this the semifinal round, I faced the "Floor Eaterz." 

Question one: Name the 10 RBs in U of M Gophers football history who rushed for at least 2,000 yards in their collegiate careers. 

Brad (buzzing in first): Laurence Maroney. Correct.
Floor Eaterz: Darrell Thompson. Correct.
Brad: Marion Barber III. Correct.
Floor Eaterz: Amir Pinnix. Correct.
Brad: Marion Barber, Jr. Correct.
Floor Eaterz: (No guess).

1-0, Brad

Question two: Name the ten teams in college football's Big 12 conference. 

Floor Eaterz (buzzing in first): Oklahoma. Correct.
Brad: Oklahoma State. Correct.
Floor Eaterz: Texas. Correct.
Brad: Kansas. Correct.
Floor Eaterz: Iowa State. Correct.
Brad: Kansas State. Correct.
Floor Eaterz: TCU. Correct.
Brad: Baylor. Correct.
Floor Eaterz (taking nearly all the allotted 15 seconds): UTEP. Incorrect.

Brad wins, 2-0!!!

So it's on to the finals!! As we've heard so often in regards to a competitive venue: You have to beat the best to be the best. With that in mind, Brendan breezed through his first couple of rounds and was awaiting me in the finals. Again, this is a guy who captured a whopping sixteen wins in a two season span. I personally have gone head-to-head with him at least 5-6 times with nary a victory. 

The finals are the same categorical, sudden-death format for each question, though it's now a best 3 out of 5. 

Question one: On the Vikings current roster, nine different players have played in a Pro Bowl at some point in their career. Name them. 

Brendan (buzzing in first): Adrian Peterson. Correct. 
Brad: Chad Greenway. Correct.
Brendan: John Sullivan. Incorrect. 

Brad leads, 1-0.

Question two: Seven different QBs have thrown for at least 40 touchdowns in a single season. Name them. 

Brad (buzzing in first): Dan Marino. Correct.
Brendan: Peyton Manning. Correct. 
Brad: Drew Brees. Correct.
Brendan: Kurt Warner. Correct. 
Brad: Tom Brady. Correct.
Brendan (taking the entire 15 seconds) Bledsoe? Incorrect

Brad leads, 2-0. 

WOW!!! Could it be happening?!?! Clearly Brendan seemed somewhat flustered by the new "sudden death" format. I guarantee you I wasn't feeling the least bit cocky at this point. As such, I wasn't going to let up. Going for the jugular here. 

Question three: In the 45-year history of Monday Night Football, there have been 11 play-by-play announcers (between ABC & ESPN, including playoffs). Name them. 

Brad (buzzing in first): Al Michaels. Correct.
Brendan: Mike Tirico. Correct. 
Brad: Frank Gifford. Correct.
Brendan: Chris Berman. Correct
Brad: Keith Jackson. Correct
Brendan (taking the entire allotted 15 seconds; No guess).

To quote the aforemetioned Mr. Michaels: Do you believe in miracles? YESSSSSS!!!!!!

Brad prevails, 3-0. It was my first time defeating Brendan and, more importantly, my first trivia championship!!!

On top of that, I received a $50 gift card for fine dining at the host establishment (in this case, Burrito Loco) as well as a $50 Visa gift card. 

After several miserable failures in Super Bowls in the late 1980s (losing by an average of 32 points in three appearances), the Denver Broncos finally prevailed in Super Bowl XXXII in January 1998. They would go on to win another title the very next year. Is my situation analogous to the '80s and '90s Broncos? I guess we'll find out at Lord Fletcher's next week.



Mr. D said...

Mazel tov! And you didn't have to break out Keith Jackson on the MNF question.

Mr. D said...

I was thinking about the 11 guys. That's a great question. I can come up with the following:

Chris Berman
Mike Greenberg
Mike Patrick

I'm guessing that Brad Nessler probably did it, too. I'll have to look up the others....

Mr. D said...

So I looked it up. I was right about Nessler. Throw in Gary Bender and you're up to 9. The last two are from ESPN Deportes -- Alvaro Martin and Eduardo Varela.

That's a great question.

Brad Carlson said...

Actually, they were referring to ESPN only, none of the foreign affiliates. Therefore, the other two were Brent Musburger and Howard Cosell. Yes, apparently Cosell was a fill-in play-by-play guy for a broadcast or two.

Brad Carlson said...

Oh, and thanks for the reminder. I did come up with Jackson after Brendan mentioned Berman. Post updated accordingly. :-)