Geek Bowl IV: How geeky are you?
Note: After the story, see how you would have done at Geek Bowl IV.
Geeks Who Drink. And dance.
How's your knowledge of the sex lives of giraffes? What about homosexual subtext in popular film? And can you name the two alternate types of Froot Loops cereal?
That's what it takes to win the Geek Bowl. That and an ability to come up with all of this stuff in seconds, while drinking heavily and being subjected to a barrage of the greatest hits of inspirational '80s pop music between rounds.
The festivities opened with a solemn procession of quizmasters that turned into a ludicrous, Bollywood-inspired dance number. Then a video of drunken local comedian Adam Cayton-Holland explained the rules and the games began -- eight rounds, ten questions in each, some with multiple parts, including an entire round on animal sex that was the clear audience favorite, judging from the near-continuous gales of laughter while the questions were read.
The chance to win a few thousand bucks ($2,000 for first place, a little more than a grand for No. 2, and a few hundred for third), plus some serious bragging rights as the Greatest Geeks of All, attracted some seventy-plus teams of six people each down to the Gothic Theatre for the fourth annual Geek Bowl. Teams came from Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and further. The loudest, rudest, shit-talkingest team of all (Trust Us, We're Doctors) came all the way from Philadelphia to prove their mettle -- a long way to come just to show that you can outgeek the mountain west geeks.
And bragging rights were all the shit-talking Philly geeks were really gunning for -- even if they took first place they'd be down $300, they admitted. So team leader and self-professed "hype man" Johnny Goodtimes put together an all-star team of Philly quiz kids (Goodtimes runs his own quiz company out East), started an epic flame war on the Geeks Who Drink blog and flew out to test his mettle in the Mile High City.
By the end of the night, the quiz skills of Trust Us, We're Doctors proved to be slightly less impressive than their shit-talking skills. Outdone by the lack of what Goodtimes called "traditional quiz classics" and the speed of the quiz, which left them unable to exercise their acknowledged team strength of talking out the answers, the final standing found them out of the money, barely. Fourth place was to be their legacy, a true "agony of defeat" sort of standing.
Trust Us, We're Doctors -- and inveterate shit-talkers
"That's the worst possible finish," Goodtimes said. "I'd rather finish 75th than fourth"
To make matters even worse, their final score was just a single point -- one more lucky guess, one more second to consider and recall a dim, childhood pop culture reference -- out of third. Six more points would have found them tied for second with Albuquerque, New Mexico's Coldocked!!!, the defending Geek Bowl Champions. And ten more points would have given them the undisputed win -- but ten points is an insurmountable Geek Bowl gulf, like being "only a second and a half" out of winning the gold in a 100-meter race.
In the end, the top prize went to Jesus and Tequila, making it the first time the Geek Bowl has gone to a Denver team in years. And the whole thing took just over four hours -- only an hour more than scheduled -- even with time out for a couple of dance numbers, ten minutes of standup from Cayton-Holland and a set from one-man band The Limbs -- not to mention scoring and tallying hundreds and hundreds of answers from the 75 teams.
A Winner is You!
"Geek Bowl 2010 was nearly flawless," said head geek John Dicker. "Next year though... so help me God we'll finish in three hours. And, of course, it's good to have the Geek Bowl back in Denver -- where it all began!"
How geeky are you?
It's no fun reading about trivia without doing it, so we asked Geeks Who Drink to hook us up with the questions and answers used in the 2010 Geek Bowl (the actual bowl was eight rounds, but two were visual so this quiz is only six). Jot down your answers, check them against the correct ones, and leave your score in the comments. And don't lie. That would just be lame.
Round One: GEEKS AND BOWLS, 11 pts.
1. What 1989 novel was narrated by an albino dwarf named Olympia?
2. What program usually airs on the afternoon of the Super Bowl and features the Bissel Kitty halftime show?
3. Since 1981, all Chevy Corvettes have been manufactured in this Kentucky city.
4. What does "The Geek" ask Samantha Baker to borrow for 10 minutes?
5. ohn Keats wrote this poem about a piece of ancient pottery.
6. Wonderlier, Thatsa Bowl, and Classic Sheer are all extensions of what brand?
7. This Ashton-Kutcher produced reality show features mismatched couples competing for a cash prize?
8. Two points: We'll name the fictional bowling alley, you name the TV show or movie it's from: Barney's Bowlorama, Stuckey Bowl.
9. What company that might unclog your toilet has the following slogan: "And Away Go Troubles Down the Drain"?
10. What bowl rendered parts of Oklahoma virtually uninhabitable in the 1930s?
Round One answers, Round Two questions, on next page ...