This week marked the next to last football trivia contest hosted by 1500 ESPN. The venue this time around was Poor Richard's Common House in Bloomington.
It was a packed house when I arrived, given that Happy Hour went until 6:00 pm. As such, a number of folks stayed around for trivia, making it the largest pool of players/teams this season.
After once again excelling in the written quiz, I earned a #3 seed and a first round bye for the bracketed tournament.
In the quarterfinal round, I took on a trio who called themselves "The Dennis System."
As usual, this is a "Family Feud" style round where one has to buzz in for an opportunity to answer first. This was a best 2 of 3.
Question one: Dennis Green became the Vikings head coach in 1992 and led the team to the playoffs his first season. Who did the Vikings play in their only postseason game that year?
Brad (buzzing in first): Washington Redskins. Correct.
Question two: Prior to the 1999 season, the Vikings traded to the Washington Redskins QB Brad Johnson in exchange for a first round draft pick. Whom did the Vikings select.....
Brad (quick with the trigger finger): Daunte Culpepper.
.......with that pick? Daunte Culpepper is correct. Brad moves on to the semis with a 2-0 win.
In the semifinal round, I took on a familiar foe in Brendan Byrne. In the almost three complete seasons of football trivia, Brendan has amassed a whopping 21 championships. I have faced him on several occasions and I finally beat him the opening week of this season to win my first title.
I always know I'm in for a battle when facing Brendan, but it was even more apparent this week. Last week Brendan had one of his worst ever performances having been dispatched quickly in the opening round. As such, he responded with a dominating performance in this week's quarterfinals. not even allowing the MCs to finish their questions before buzzing in.
Anyhow, on to the semifinals.
The final four is a best 2 of 3, but some of 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.
Question one: Six NFL teams have at appeared in at least 45 postseason games. Name them.
Brad (buzzing in first): New England Patriots. Incorrect (they've been in 43).
Brendan (for the win): Pittsburgh Steelers. Correct.
For the second question, MCs Phil and Judd break out the "closest to the pin" contest. The answer is a number, so the contestant who gives a numerical answer closest to the correct number wins the point. Each player has 30 seconds to jot down their answer on a piece of paper.
Question two: What is Brett Favre's career quarterback rating?
The correct answer is.......
Brendan gets the point and moves on to the championship round.
And in a compelling, hard fought contest against another trivia stalwart in The Jermichael$, Brendan rallied from down 2-1 to earn his 22nd career championship with a 3-2 win.
The 2014 football trivia finale will take place at Floyd's Bar in Victoria next week. In looking at a map, it appears I just take Highway 5 westbound until I run into it. If I hit South Dakota, I've gone too far....but not by much.