Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Tell your tales of bygone days and rank historical things here.

Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby The King's Flight to the Scots » Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:43 am

Like the rest of us, I've loved getting to read about Zeke's espresso-related mishaps in the Quizbowl Survivor thread. Although I've played too recently to have any such stories people haven't heard, I'd like to make a vague ranking of the tournament experiences I've most enjoyed in my time. Often, these will have no correlation, or even a negative correlation, to the quality of the tournament set. Instead, these will mostly have to do with the enjoyment or comedy value of the tournament-as-played.

10. Modern World Tournament
Yeah, so, this set totally sucked. But my team was good at it. And we had coffee. And Matt Jackson and I had a call-and-response "Gold Digger" thing going on for like 5 seconds.

9. T-Party 2010 at VCU
Before college tournaments completely closed the door on high school open teams, I played this one with Trey Taraila and Isaac Hirsch, the players I spent most of my time with at ACE Camp the previous summer. Hanging out with other Mid-Atlantic people turned out to be a pretty important defense mechanism against the Bible camp kids sharing the campus with us, who would occasionally go after the atheists doing quizbowl by throwing salt at us from adjacent dining hall booths. In any case, I didn't usually enjoy myself in my senior year of high school - fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and all that - but I had a lot of fun at this tournament because I got to play with people I liked without having to try to win for once. I split games with my future teammate, Will Butler, whom I think we beat by the margin of Andy Watkins' ill-conceived pericyclic reactions tossup and Isaac Hirsch's well-timed Arrested Development buzz.

8. VCU Open Sunday 2010
So one time, Matt Jackson, Eric M., Isaac Hirsch and I teamed up to play an open tournament on high school national level questions. Here are the results. Of note: although our team had more ridiculous stats than any other team I've played on, we lost when Dr. Vinokurov morphed into like, Dr. Manhattan during the finals series.

7. Chicago Open 2011
Kind of my big entry into high-level quizbowl. I played this tournament with Matt Weiner, John Lawrence, and Gautam Kandlikar on a team that finished 14-2 after the round robin. The 15-1 team with Seth and Jeff Hoppes on it clearly outplayed us during our first matchup...but when the finals started, we knew that Ryan had thrown the rules out the window. The first finals packet for this tournament is still, I think, the hardest I've ever played in an actual game setting, and our team was pretty much built for it. The clear turning point came when, after the two teams had collectively managed roughly 11 ppb through 12 bonuses, our team landed on the music bonus. Matt Jackson called out "Headshot!" from the audience after John thirtied it in under 10 seconds.

Then Ryan made Finals 2 normal difficulty again and the Seth team crushed us. So it goes. Stupid Anthony Adverse.

6. VCU Open 2010
The first of many tournaments I played with Eric M., Chris Ray, or both. If Chicago Open 2011 is where I debuted as a high-level player, this was where I established the style of play I'd have for most of my career. Unusually for its time, the Evan Adams-produced set for this tournament included tons of easy answers and common links. I was a useful asset for my team because, as a recent high school grad, I could fire off lots of early buzzes on unused or little-used clues for easy topics. I was more all-or-nothing back then, but I relied on those skills against more experienced college players right up through ACF Nationals 2014.

5. NAQT SCT 2011 at East Carolina
Definitely my favorite tournament that I played with the Classic UVA lineup of Will Butler, David Seal, Sarah Angelo, and myself. We were incredibly frustrated that State College took home the title at Terrapin the previous week, and I was angry at Matt's confidence that VCU would beat us this time around. Well, they didn't. We managed a near last-tossup victory when David Seal answered the first of many law questions to which he would beat Evan. This was a particularly odd match because VCU came within 40 points or so of winning despite negging seven times, usually with no answer.

More importantly, this tournament was fun because the combination of people was super fun to be around. David and Sarah used their shared Glee knowledge to defeat all comers at Botticelli, though David was less happy the next day when Sarah answered the Glee tossup. Will did as Will always does, having particularly good stories to tell when an active personality like David could bring them out. And, of course, all of us were consistently in a good mood throughout the comical NAQT experience.

4. Penn Bowl 2012
I talk about this one all the time, so in brief: we were not expecting to win this tournament against a Yale team that was more dominant that year than history remembers. Then, we hit the right packets, Sarah got several powers, and they got flustered. At its best, the science-less UVA 2012 had a nice Russell Westbrook-like God of Chaos thing going on, racking up way more powers than any other team while throwing bricks on bonuses and negging Chebyshev's Theorem tossups like so. I like to think that the environment of a tournament where questions were being written as play continued, and there was still only one finals packet in the end, gave us home court advantage.

3. Chicago Open 2012
Kind of a synthesis of my VCU Open 2010 and Chicago Open 2011 experiences, since I played with John Lawrence, Eric M., and Chris Ray. Definitely the best team I've ever been part of, and my personal best performance for a very long time. I think most of the gameplay-related stories from this event are pretty known, so I'll focus on one anecdote. While we were pummeling Max Schindler's team, John Lawrence was taking notes, as he does. During the last bonus, he turned up to us beaming and said, "If we can 20 this one, we'll break 600 points!" I like to think that up until then, the Ignaz von Dollinger Escape Plan members were; after that, the Ignaz von Dollinger Escape Plan was.

2. ICT 2012
This will be the only national I put up here, because at every national after this one, the pressure to win tended to squeeze out the possibility of real fun. Everything about this one was great - our by-one-tossup scrape into the top bracket, our subsequent many-tossup win over Maryland and dominant playoff run, our comeback win against Illinois on the force of David's sausage knowledge, our not-so-comeback win against Illinois inaugurated by Tommy's White Devil buzz...all great. I think it sometimes takes teammates a while to get used to each other, and my Kobe-like tendencies could get in the way of UVA's LeBron-like* aspirations. This was a tournament where I felt like despite everything, my teammates were pretty glad to have me on their team. That was a good feeling.
*Yeah, we're three basketball players now. Oh well.

1. Cane Ridge Revival 2014
Yeah.
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Gautam » Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:52 am

Turns out, cheap Napa Valley Pinot brings back good memories.

10. 2009 Regionals. This was among the best edited tournaments out there in my opinion. It was a fun set to play.
9. Titanomachy in '07. This was good stuff. My second regular difficulty tournament, a super relaxed setting at Chaska HS, and probably the only time where I'll come close to leveling Rob on regular-difficulty questions.
8. ACF Nationals '08: Waking up hungover in my friend's dorm at Harvard, rode my teammate's coattails to the top brackets at Nats, mostly. This tournament motivated me to get better.
7. 2008 CO and VCU open, 2009 ICT. It's hard to distinguish these, but man did I enjoy Brendan having some of the best showings ever.
6. 2011 CO. Only so many times in your your life can you say you put up points playing on a team with MattBo, Weiner, and John Lawrence!
5. 2007 HSNCT. The only big tournament I played with Michael Wright and Trevor Davis. I miss those days. We had a good game against a Silby + Phil Graves laden TJ, got creamed by Evan Adams + Will Butler+ Mark Guerci + Mehdi Razvi Maggie Walker, managed to beat Whitman because their coach subbed out Shantanu at the half, lost to Santa Monica on a packet with tossups on Villaraigosa (sp?) and some stupid whales sighted in the ocean by LA (ARGH) but it was good. Not too shabby for 13th place a the first nationals appearance ever.
4. 2009? IO/TIT: I think this was the tournament where we got to beat a Seth/Selene/Shantanu/Marnold ?? Chicago A 700s to something, then got handily beaten 400-something to 200-something, then came back to with a close final 300-something to 300-something. Dat tossup on Las Dos Fridas tho.
3. 2011 ICT. This blew for many reasons (which the Brand Khizr of Fuckfaces is to blame) but all the bad stuff notwithstanding, this was a great event.
2. SCT 2009. I somehow managed to do this when I was running a 101-102 fever for most of the day. Never again in my life am I going to do this (I sincerely hope): http://www.naqt.com/stats/individual-pe ... r_id=38295 . This was the tournament with the Econ Bloggers bonus; I woke up from my dogmatic slumber just for that bonus.
1. MO 2011. This tournament was awesome. I somehow had the 2nd highest number of powers at this tournament, in spite of having played nothing for a span of 5-6 months. Loved me the tossup on Toccata of Galuppi's.

EDIT:

The 2011 CO finals, which MattBo recounts above, was (and probably will be) the only tournament where I'll get a physics tossup before Seth. It was on magnetoresistance I believe. I remember recounting to Seth during the car ride back that I'd written a bonus on magnetoresistance for our submission to the same CO.

I really liked 2010 CO, too. It was the tournament where our ragtag team leapt from the Tier-3 that Magin predicted, to top of Tier 2. Also the tournament where (I think) I led in negs, but got tossups on the Hulse-Taylor binary pulsar AND the Ghaznavids before the giveaway (and got complimented by Jerry for those buzzes.) But I don't know if beats any of the above.
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Auks Ran Ova » Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:55 am

Gautam wrote:2. SCT 2009. I somehow managed to do this when I was running a 101-102 fever for most of the day. Never again in my life am I going to do this (I sincerely hope): http://www.naqt.com/stats/individual-pe ... r_id=38295 . This was the tournament with the Econ Bloggers bonus; I woke up from my dogmatic slumber just for that bonus.

I may have a list of my favorite experiences to post at some point, but in the event that I'm too lazy: this is certainly one of mine. It's the first time we split our team at SCT, to fairly notable success. Sweeping Carleton here was an early triumph too, and both of these games were pretty memorable. The first was a nailbiter in which we got out-tossuped but still managed a win due to superior bonus conversion, showing that even without Andrew Hart we were true Andrew Hart Champions. I think the second was my career single-game scoring record to that point, and it began in extremely amusing fashion:
  • Eric Hillemann begins reading a common-link tossup on some adjective.
  • Garrett Ryan recognizes a clue, buzzes, and says "Radio", apparently having missed the pronoun.
  • On being duly negged, he decides for reasons known only to him to exasperatedly shout "WELL, IT'S THE ENORMOUS RADIO."
  • After a moment of trepidation, I go ahead and powervulch.
  • Garrett hangs his head in shame and Hillemann has to stop the clock because he (and everyone else) is laughing too hard.

This was evidently a fantastic omen, because I went 2/9/0 and we pounded Carleton.
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Auks Ran Ova » Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:03 am

Vernon Lee Bad Marriage, Jr. wrote:10. Modern World Tournament
Yeah, so, this set totally sucked. But my team was good at it. And we had coffee. And Matt Jackson and I had a call-and-response "Gold Digger" thing going on for like 5 seconds.

Here's a good anecdote about Modern World: Its tolerability was greatly increased, for our team and many others, by half a handle of Crown Royal the inestimable Jeff Geringer had left in our hotel room the previous day. The only thing to mix it with was the hotel rooms' coffee, so over the course of the tournament I made about six pots of coffee and shared both with whomever we happened to be playing. At the beginning of our round against Matt Bollinger's team, I offered them some whiskey, in the spirit of generosity; Matt demurred. About five or so tossups into the match, though, after either a particularly egregious question or simply the point at which it all became too much, he turned to me and said something like "So...is that whiskey offer still good?"
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby jonpin » Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:30 am

Some of my favorite moments from quiz bowls past and present, legitimate and awful, in roughly chronological order:

2003 - After coming close in previous tournaments, and having been screwed out of a state title by a since-antiquated format the previous year, BCA finally wins our first tournament. When the B team beats the A team in the semifinals of a Jeopardy!-format tournament on a packet that I swear to you had "Mythology" and "Asian Mythology" among the five categories.
2003 - My oft-told "curse at a congressman" moment paved the way for us to go to National Science Bowl. Five seniors who had already sent in their college deposits, and one coach who was forced to admit "My powers don't work here" as we went nuts. Back then (possibly still), NSB had a random draw: when you check-in, you pick a plastic egg out of a bowl and that's your group assignment. As captain, I drew "HYPATIA 4", was asked who Hypatia was, pleaded ignorance, and was berated by the rest of my team. Then we found out TJ was in our bracket and I was again berated by the rest of my team for putting us in the same bracket as TJ. The competitive highlight was a game against Cincinnati Country Day, featuring a math team friend, who was beating us handily. My teammate Kait gave an answer, was given points, and the conversation went like this:
CCD player: Challenge.
Kait: No, YOU'RE WRONG.
CCD player: OK, I rescind the challenge.

2005 - ICT. New Orleans was a waste for 19-year-old me who didn't yet drink, but I'll never forget the immortal words of my roommate and teammate Ryan, who said after one encounter... [checks that this is the college section] "We saw tits!"

2006 - CBI was, I know realize, a shitshow. The most ridiculous moment of this was when we sat down to play against Baylor and when I introduced myself as being from New Jersey, one of their players looked over and said loudly "I'm friends with you on Live Journal!" Our tournament was extended by one game when I pulled off a literal buzzer-beater by shouting out "ELLIPTIC! HYPERBOLIC! PARABOLIC! CIRCLE!" to 30 a bonus on planetary orbits. Then there was the infamous "Hug of Death".

2010 - The first high school quiz bowl national competition that I ever staffed was one of the most insane weekends ever. Some highlights and lowlights included: stuck in Cleveland for several hours, the best name in QB history ("Sky Crane"), an Andy Watkins explanation of a protest rejection which consisted basically of "I disagree", my team's future captain running up the down escalator and busting open his knee (and then getting treated by Emily Pike), and having my flight home delayed due to Air Force One.
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Cheynem » Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:51 am

10. History Bowl 2014. This should be a lot higher, but I forgot about it and am just squeezing it in here. Marvelous question set. Once I stopped sucking, I hit a zone of frenetic play. Buzzing in and saying "FDR...CAN'T...WALK!" against UVA is a highlight.

9. CO 2013. With a few exceptions, we really didn't get run over by anyone. One of my favorite games in upsetting the Sorice/Hart/Davis/Ullsperger team (kill-shotted with a bonus on DJ Baby Bok Choi).

8. CO 2010. One of the first times I felt comfortable playing super hard questions. Frauded a question on Lacplesis or whoever that is by saying "bearslayer" to upset Gautam's team in the first round, then our team lost like every game, before winning every game to finish at .500. Played CO Trash the next day on almost literally no sleep after our hotel lost power and our car broke down. Made a mad dash to Subway for dinner.

7. VCU 2013. Teamed with my nemesis Jarret Greene, we rallied to win a disadvantaged final despite negging many times. I'm still mad about that Don West knock knock joke tossup.

6. CO 2011. One of my favorite hard tournaments ever. Unlike Matt Bollinger, I know what Anthony Adverse is. Mik went into beast mode and we threatened a few teams and laid the hammer on Rob Carson's team. I think this was also followed by COLT, which I really enjoyed.

5. SCT 2012. Hit Sweet Chin Music multiple times on Trevor Davis, who became increasingly irate during that bonus on 1960's sitcoms. I believe this was the first (?) academic tournament where my team won where I was top scorer.

4. SCT 2013. This is the second of such tournaments. I have a great deal of sadistic glee in this tournament because everyone on Minnesota predicted Rob was going to win, and we managed to pull out a victory.

3. ICT 2013. My last "main" tournament played with Andrew Hart and we did basically as well as we could. Highlights: making Matt Jackson smash his buzzer after getting a tossup on Schuyler Colfax, completing a mass comeback against OSU capped by tossups on Boris Badenov and the Treaty of Troyes.

2. CULT. Good team, lots of fun, dominant performance. This event was also where Matt Bollinger was robbed by a homeless guy at Five Guys.

1. ICT 2011. The pay-off took a while, but it was worth it, and it's the only time I've won gold.

Honorable Mentions
EFT 2008--my first collegiate tournament, MO 2012--totally fun, TERP II where Minnesota laid the hammer on Mike Sorice's teams a couple of times, ACF Regionals 2009--first time being a #1 scorer at a tournament (and probably the last), JECHT--lots of fun.
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Auroni » Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:06 pm

Ukonvasara wrote:
Vernon Lee Bad Marriage, Jr. wrote:10. Modern World Tournament
Yeah, so, this set totally sucked. But my team was good at it. And we had coffee. And Matt Jackson and I had a call-and-response "Gold Digger" thing going on for like 5 seconds.

Here's a good anecdote about Modern World: Its tolerability was greatly increased, for our team and many others, by half a handle of Crown Royal the inestimable Jeff Geringer had left in our hotel room the previous day. The only thing to mix it with was the hotel rooms' coffee, so over the course of the tournament I made about six pots of coffee and shared both with whomever we happened to be playing. At the beginning of our round against Matt Bollinger's team, I offered them some whiskey, in the spirit of generosity; Matt demurred. About five or so tossups into the match, though, after either a particularly egregious question or simply the point at which it all became too much, he turned to me and said something like "So...is that whiskey offer still good?"


And after that, he proceeded to blow up the rest of the match.
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:48 pm

1. Westbrook Experiment 2 / Gaddis 1 (tie)

I distinctly remember playing Westbrook Experiment 2, on Brendan Byrne's team, as the most fun I've ever had playing quizbowl. Gaddis 1 was very similar, though I give a slight edge to Westbrook's tournament. I think my "deep knowledge about a narrow set of subjects" thing was best rewarded by tournaments like these, where generalists were less likely to beat me to my subjects and where in many cases I was rewarded with powers and superpowers for early buzzes.

2. 2008 HSNCT

Of course, I didn't play this tournament. I score-kept for Charles Meigs. But this is the tournament where I had the most fun socially before and after the games. Charles and I visited a Russian liquor store in Skokie, IL prior to the tournament and loaded up on alcohol from as many former Soviet republics and Warsaw Pact states as possible, then used this for a very memorable afterparty. The Charles Meigs/Maryland/Minnesota/MIT crowd was very fun to spend time with outside of tournament play.

3. 2009 VETO

2009 was the height of my "quizbowl tourist" phase where I flew out to play random events in far-away places. I flew to the Hamilton, ON mirror of VETO and the University of Toronto graciously agreed to put me on Toronto D. I met my sole teammate, Timmothy, the morning of the tournament. We had a quick conversation about what we should call our team, and the first thing he said to me was "what was the name of that Finnish cavalry unit during the Thirty Years War?" at which point I realized that, oh my god, we were the same person. Thankfully, Timmothy also had some literature knowledge and we won the tournament as a 2-person team. We took only one loss, and not coincidentgally it was the only round that Jerry hadn't edited. The decisive bonus of that loss was one that listed 3 Canadian crimes and required you to say whether they were a felony or misdemeanor under Canadian law (except Canada uses different terms for these). The third part was something to the effect of "creating an outrage in the presence of her majesty the queen". Toronto is also just a really cool place to visit.

4. Seth Teitler Mythology Singles

I forget if this was in 2004 or 2005. I finished in the bottom bracket. Regardless, as I've said many times before this is the only tournament I ever played that was a life-changing event for me. It forever converted me to the "hard questions on easy answers" movement by demonstrating that approach's superiority in deeds, not words. Well, technically words I suppose, but you get the point.
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Aaron Manby (ironmaster) » Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:17 pm

Chronologically:

2009 VETO: Singlehandedly the most important tournament in myself realizing that good quizbowl is actually good and old VETO traditions were horrible. I had a bad initial reaction to this because I was 14 at that time and waaay more immature than I am now, but ultimately it made me want to play more and host good quizbowl tournaments in my area.

2011 Ontario Provincial Quizbowl Championships: My team handily won because the Ontario circuit is pretty weak, so it became more of a competition between the teammates than anything which led to hilariousness and negs. Anyways, because all A and B team members for current or former players of Magic: the Gathering, after the tournament ended we bought a box of New Phyrexia drafted the set; and proceeded to play a nine person round robin in the hotel we were at, which took many, many hours.

2013 MO, Ottawa Mirror: I put up a decent showing in the first two games; have my girlfriend at the time message me about how the date we had the night before sucked, and then I contributed very little for the rest of the day.

2013 CO: Probably my favourite experience. I had spoken to about six people in the entire tournament before and I doubt anyone actually knew who I was,yet I'd be running the control room for the two days. I got to meet a lot of people during this tournament. Highlights include: turning down many, many people in the control room because food ran out at about 3pm on the Saturday, watching Jerry's reaction to bad science questions, being told during the history tournament just to make up stats for the last two questions of a game because nobody actually remembered what happened and neither cared much about individual stats or W/L, and uploading final stats at 10:30pm.

2014 Lederberg 2: Four people on a freelance team; we didn't do very well because of negligible chemistry, math, or physics knowledge, but I got the Watkins tossup (not in power, because I had initially thought it was Jake Sundberg) and somehow found that tossup to be extremely hilarious and began laughing uncontrollably. Getting astro against Seth was cool too.
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby women, fire and dangerous things » Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:27 pm

My top 5, in chronological order:

2007 Ontario Bowl: This was my first ever college tournament, which I played with some members of my high school Reach for the Top team who were at Western Ontario, and (as the QBWiki notes) we lost our first game because we didn’t know the rules. I don’t remember much about the tournament, but it mustn’t have been very good, because I think I got a tossup on Against the Day because the first clue was about how many pages it has. The best part of the tournament was that we played some sort of unofficial finals match with some Toronto players, and it was slapbowl, because the buzzers had all been taken away for some reason. It came down to a tiebreaker, which we lost on the last tossup because I got “buzzer”-faked by Eric Smith. I had figured out the answer was an archeological site in Syria, so I guessed Aleppo, but it turned out to be a tossup on Qatna for some reason.

2008 DII ICT: We barely qualified, by coming in third in the Canadian sectional, so we had no expectations of doing well at all at ICT. Somehow, we kept winning, and became increasingly incredulous throughout the day that we were managing to do so, and made it into a disadvantaged final against Carleton. We won the first game, but killed our chances with some dumb negs early on in the second game (I absurdly negged a tossup with Montesinos, the Don Quixote character), but we were so ecstatic about being there at all that we didn’t really care.

ACF Nationals 2012: My first Nats. Much like at 2008 DII ICT, I had very little idea of how well we would do, so I was pleasantly surprised when we took third. Penn destroyed us in the final game of the playoffs (as they have a habit of doing at national tournaments), forcing us to play a rematch for third place, but I proceeded to have one of my best games ever, with a bunch of early buzzes. We also finished the game in time to watch the finals, which were being played on the same packet, so I could take pleasure in the fact that I outbuzzed John Lawrence on that Supper at Emmaus tossup. Beating UVA by getting the tiebreaker tossup on “rivers” off of very little knowledge was also a high point.

Chicago Open 2012: Mainly exhilarating because it was my first CO, and I discovered the joy of playing impossible questions. Also fun was the roadtrip with my fellow Canadians, with its many travel mishaps, including running over a nail on the way there, and Jay Misuk’s car breaking down on the way back, forcing us to stay overnight in Paw Paw, Michigan, because the auto shop wouldn’t be able to get the necessary part until the next morning. Fortunately, Paw Paw was a delightful little town. The lowlight was not scoring enough to win the Umberto Eco novel I was eyeing among the prizes – Jonathan Magin took it, leaving me with no choice but to take a novel by the execrable Tom Wolfe, since I had already read the rest of the remaining prizes. Perhaps this inspired me to be the top scorer at CO 2013, although I don’t even remember if there were book prizes there.

Arrabal: This is on the list for pretty obvious reasons. Arrabal was pretty much written for me, and I put up more than twice as many PPG as the second-highest scorer, while playing on a team with Seth. (I also had pretty much perfect teammates, with Sethlene ensuring that I didn’t have to worry about science, and Sam Bailey killing a bunch of thought-type questions.)
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby jonpin » Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:56 pm

pandabear555 wrote:2013 MO, Ottawa Mirror: I put up a decent showing in the first two games; have my girlfriend at the time message me about how the date we had the night before sucked, and then I contributed very little for the rest of the day.


Oof. The only interactions between my romantic life and my quizbowl life were (1) being massively delayed to hanging out with my girlfriend because of fucking course Princeton is not going to run on time (and then having no voice by the time I was done); (2) returning home after a long day directing BOAT III to a planned Saturday-through-Monday weekend with my girlfriend only to have her dump me.
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Holla! » Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:45 pm

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:2. 2008 HSNCT
Charles and I visited a Russian liquor store in Skokie, IL prior to the tournament and loaded up on alcohol from as many former Soviet republics and Warsaw Pact states as possible, then used this for a very memorable afterparty.

Liquor Barn?
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:13 pm

MNtoNU wrote:
Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:2. 2008 HSNCT
Charles and I visited a Russian liquor store in Skokie, IL prior to the tournament and loaded up on alcohol from as many former Soviet republics and Warsaw Pact states as possible, then used this for a very memorable afterparty.

Liquor Barn?


I don't remember the name of the place. But I did just remember one other incident from that HSNCT: myself, Charles Meigs, and Andrew Hart went to a Romanian disco one of the nights there. I brushed up on my Romanian the night before, and taught everyone else how to say "this meal is the Dwight Wynne of food!" in Romanian so we could impress the people bringing us our food. You see, Dwight Wynne had just recently released an algorithm that found that Dwight Wynne was the best player in quizbowl, so this was a humorous joke to make at the time. Anyway, we're lucky we got put at a table in a deserted part of the disco, far away from all the dancing Romanians, because Charles continued to loudly state that Romanian food was just blander Turkish food.
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby dtaylor4 » Fri Jun 06, 2014 1:02 am

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:
4. Seth Teitler Mythology Singles

I forget if this was in 2004 or 2005. I finished in the bottom bracket. Regardless, as I've said many times before this is the only tournament I ever played that was a life-changing event for me. It forever converted me to the "hard questions on easy answers" movement by demonstrating that approach's superiority in deeds, not words. Well, technically words I suppose, but you get the point.


This was 2005, as I was a freshman at the time reading for people like Seth Kendall, Sorice, Sudheer, Susan Ferrari, and lord knows how many quizbowl luminaries. Also, this happened afterwards.
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Lagotto Romagnolo » Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:22 am

The hardest I've ever laughed at a quizbowl tournament was at the 2009 Tyrone Slothrop lit singles. After the question on Slothrop himself (which clued many of the more grotesque scenes from Gravity's Rainbow), our room giggled. Then, just as we quiet down, we hear several people laughing the next room over, and realize that they had just heard the same tossup. Our room burst out laughing again. I believe Hannah Kirsch and Cameron Orth were in that room as well and I think Jon Pinyan was our reader. Maybe not my all-time favorite experience, but still a perverse reminder of why I enjoy playing this game.
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Auroni » Fri Jun 06, 2014 1:41 pm

ACF Nationals 2010: We beat Penn.
ICT 2012: We beat Penn.
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Nine-Tenths Ideas » Fri Jun 06, 2014 2:25 pm

When you've got as few real accomplishments as I do, your favorite quizbowl experiences really puts emphasis on the "experiences" part.

2010 T-Party
Indeed, this was a fun tournament. It was my first taste of being on a team where my scoring was not... necessary. I remember powering "A Personal Matter," a book I have never read, on a clue a vaguely remembered about a "feat of strength in an arcade," whatever that means. It was one of my two powers at that tournament. [Side note: how the hell did I go 3/5/4 playing with Matts Bollinger and Jackson and Eric M. at that VCU Open? This just further proves my assertion that I've gotten worse at quizbowl over the past 4 years.]

Penn Bowl Trash [You know, the bad one]
Come on, what other tournament was so bad/fun that it inspired its own Twitter account?

Playing solo at MUT 2011 and beating Ming Lin and Medhi Razvi
Is it weird for this to be one of my favorite memories, playing on a house team that that went 3-9 but beating two players who were probably both better than me thanks to a clutch science buzz on "biomes?" Probably, but this is one of the only individual games my rapidly deteriorating memory recalls.

When nobody knew who did the Quizbowl Tribune
It pretty much lost its luster when people found out who it was.

Doing a weird 5 minute stand-up set at a post-ICT hotel room party
It was a pretty good set for 10 assembled inebriated quizbowlers.

ACF Nationals 2014
The closest thing to a meaningful performance on this list. My ppg trended downwards over the past 5 years, but playing on a 13th place, second-bracket winning team with some of my favorite teammates almost made all the damn questions I wrote on things I didn't understand worth it [now you know why a lot of Maryland-written philosophy and social science has been kinda iffy lately]. Thanks for the memories, quizbowl!
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Cody » Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:02 pm

ICT 2011. Playing with some of my favorite people in quizbowl, we tied for fourth (third in retrospect, but even fourth was exciting at the time). The question set is one of the best ICT question sets to date and it was only made better by the following ACF Nationals. It also contains my favorite game of quizbowl ever: beating an Illinois team of Mike and Ike in the last round of the round robin by the margin of all our players basically getting 20+ PP20TH. Pleasingly, I got a decent power on geomagnetic reversals that lead to the sound of breaking (or possibly clinking, but we'll go with the former) glass on the Illinois side, which has since entered VCU club lore.

Questions Concerning Technology. As I described it in another thread: "QCT is the best side event of all time by orders of magnitude – pure Will Butler-whimsy distilled into the most perfect question set that will ever be created." I played this tournament with Evan and we complemented each other well, so it was a blast. Highlights include the very plausible neg of "Wayne Tower" for "The Shard" on Evan's part. Although we negged nine (9) times in our first game against the Weiner/Bentley team, we didn't get drubbed and had high hopes for the rematch, which did not go nearly as well. Sadly, stats do not exist for this.
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Ike » Fri Jun 06, 2014 5:12 pm

Cody wrote:ICT 2011. Playing with some of my favorite people in quizbowl, we tied for fourth (third in retrospect, but even fourth was exciting at the time). The question set is one of the best ICT question sets to date and it was only made better by the following ACF Nationals. It also contains my favorite game of quizbowl ever: beating an Illinois team of Mike and Ike in the last round of the round robin by the margin of all our players basically getting 20+ PP20TH. Pleasingly, I got a decent power on geomagnetic reversals that lead to the sound of breaking (or possibly clinking, but we'll go with the former) glass on the Illinois side, which has since entered VCU club lore.


I'm going to post my favorites soon, but I'll correct this: he didn't clink the glass on that question, it was the ivan Ilych tossup that led to this. I remember because he thought pretty much everything was a buzzer race except for your geomagnetic reversals buzz. In the words of Mike Sorice "That was their one, truly impressive buzz ... but everyone else didn't really know anything."

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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Gautam » Fri Jun 06, 2014 5:14 pm

I completely forgot about that random tournament I played in Guelph, ON, in a 5 day weekend that involved:
* 36 hours of Megabus riding. Nobody gave birth during this trip though.
* 2 hours of Andy Kravis rounding up various Michiganders in and around Novi and other random suburbs. For a while we were within a 5 mile radius of where my aunt lives. Despite making the long ass trip, never saw my aunt. :-|
* Driving around desolate Ontario highways (ON-400?) at the absolute worst rest stops (seriously, that highway was awful.)
* Playing with a young Will Nediger. I remember thinking "yeah, this guy will be pretty good" since he was pretty solid on the literature bonuses. Little did I know.
* Playing that random 5-packet arts tournament was fun. If I recall correctly, there was a random ramp-up in difficulty for the 5th packet, which helped out a lot when playing against Andy Kravis and Bryan Berend. :-)
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Cheynem » Fri Jun 06, 2014 5:24 pm

A lot of my favorite non playing experiences are just quiet moments. I remember in 2010 after Andrew, Gautam, and I finished editing MUT on a Friday and having a pleasant celebratory dinner at Applebee's. Similarly, I remember the 2012 flight home after Nats--we were on the same flight as Carleton but top bracket teams boarded first. On the flight home, I chatted with Andrew (this was the last Nats we would play together)--it was a good convo that longtime teammates are probably familiar with, ragging on other teams, recalling past glories, etc.
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby ThisIsMyUsername » Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:57 pm

In chronological order, rather than in order of significance/pleasure:

- Lully: Though VCU Open 2009 was my first open and DI ICT 2010 was my first national tournament above the DII level, I don't think my teams made much of a showing at either (nor at ACF Nats 2010). And so, Chicago Open 2010 was my first real splash onto the national stage, playing against some of the top players that I'd only heard about before. In spite of the strength of my teammates (Eric M., Rob Carson, and Trevor Davis), we did not fare well, and ended up getting fourth. But I was so thrilled to be playing on such a strong team and against such amazing competition.

My team also did not fare as well as expected at Lully. I was playing with Rich Mason, who had assured me repeatedly that he would study Visual Arts before CO to ensure our victory, and clearly had done no such thing, since he put up 11.11 PPG overall, and 0 PPG in two of our three crucial matches. We were expected to be in the finals against Rob Carson and Kevin Koai, but we lost by 5 points on the last tossup to Chris Ray and Aaron Rosenberg, before losing 75-110 to Rob and Kevin in the last match of the playoffs. But this was the first time I'd ever had the experience of tearing up a set (and actually demonstrating that I know my stuff in my subject), and the first time I'd heard a set that bridged quizbowl's sense of the Classical music canon (as it was then) with the real-world Classical music canon, as evidenced in recordings, concerts, etc. (We've come a long way since then.)

After the tournament, there was a continuation held in the IRC, during which Shantanu read out to an assembled group of quizbowl luminaries all the questions that didn't make the final set (they were later re-integrated into the set). The visual arts went every which way, but Kevin and I split almost all of the music. (I fondly remember getting a Martinu tossup on the first couple of lines and getting a symphony common-link off of Myaskovksy's 22nd Symphony.) I lost a buzzer race to Greg Peterson on the final music tossup, which was on Vaughan Williams' Fourth Symphony. So, Kevin and I were tied. Shantanu had to dig out a tossup that he had marked as something not to be used ever, and he read it to us as the tiebreaker. I sat on the tossup in disbelief for two lines, before finally beating Kevin to what is indeed one of the hardest music tossups I've ever heard: on Vaughan Williams' (again!) Serenade to Music.

- MO 2010: As I've mentioned before, I hold this set in very high esteem. But what made this tournament so special was that it was the first tournament Matt Jackson, Kevin Koai, and I played together as a team. We got fourth place: winning one and losing one against Penn, losing two close matches to UVA (this was my first taste of the fearsome rise of Matt Bollinger to come), and losing two to a Matt Weiner-led UVA. But it was not the results that mattered. Up till then, I had no idea what our team dynamic would be like. In particular, I had no idea how Matt Jackson would scale to higher difficulty and how quickly he'd be able adapt to being a cog in a big wheel rather than a one man team (we had been working on this during practices). And also our knowledge was far more duplicative of each other than one would normally desire in a top flight team, and this raised doubts too. Well, this was the tournament when "Yale A" was born. I had never before in my life played on a functional, low-neg team, where the players with overlapping knowledge all managed to mesh, and avoid stepping on each other's toes. This was the first, and it was remarkable how well we melded from the get go. And this was also the first tournament where I finally felt like one of the stronger literature players in a stacked field. And this was when I knew that Yale was at last going to be a good team.

- ACF Nats 2011, Day 2: Yes, this was one of the great quizbowl experiences of my career, and not just because we won. Rather, it was primarily because, at the time, I don't think any of us (except maybe Sam) had any idea just how ridiculously hard this tournament really was. We didn't know that we were supposed to be not enjoying it, and so we enjoyed it! I distinctly remember Matt Jackson commenting to me that a particular specialist on another team was not nearly as good as he'd expected; he didn't realize just how crazy the questions in that player's categories were. I was one of those people who had written really hard questions for the tournament, because I thought that was what ACF Nats was about. And so, I was unsurprised by and totally fine with answering tossups on Cities of Salt, The Beaver Coat, The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas, etc. Maybe Kevin knew, but he didn't care; the harder, the better for him.

I have so many stories about that tournament: our match against State College that went down to the last tossup, which Matt Jackson won in a buzzer race against me, thank the Lord, because I was about to neg; Matt Jackson's famous (in Yale lore, anyway) kerfuffle with Mike Sorice during the second Illinois match (whose penultimate line was Sorice barking: "Go read a psychology textbook!" at Matt Jackson); our loss to Michigan on the last tossup in a match that contained my favorite tossup of the tournament (ANSWER: completing Schubert's Unfinished Symphony); our win against Chicago on the tiebreaker after they negged themselves out of it; etc. But there's no time to retell them now.

Maybe my favorite moment was in the hallway, when it dawned on us for the first time that we could win the tournament. It wasn't till about halfway through the day that the thought entered any of our minds. We knew we had been under-ranked in the predictions, because everyone was predicting us to be bottom of top bracket, but we had managed that at ICT without Matt Jackson. We were shooting for breaking into the Top 3, and we knew we were Top 3 material. But actually winning Nationals? No way. And then we kept winning matches, and our opponents all started dropping matches to each other in scattershot fashion, and it became clear that it could happen.

I deeply empathize with one thing Matt Bollinger said: winning a national tournament forever changed my experience of quizbow in a way that isn't wholly positive. From then on, there was always huge pressure to win, and though I had certainly done some studying for quizbowl before, I really began to study in earnest my senior year.

- ACF Nats 2012: ICT 2012 was an extremely depressing experience. We felt like we shouldn't have lost our game to Illinois (we played terribly) and our loss to Harvard on the last tossup was galling. But what was particularly demoralizing was how soundly UVA had thrashed us. Our 20-hour train ride back to NYC was filled with Botticelli-style games aplenty to lift our spirits, but it was also filled with a lot of questioning of what had happened and would happen at Nationals. I particularly remember Kevin arguing that I had led us astray by making everyone play so conservatively; I had made us scared of negging in a way that was holding us back. I demurred. But maybe in spite of all our hard work, UVA had really just gotten that much better than we were?

At ACF Nats, we lost yet another match to Harvard on the last tossup. But otherwise, the tournament went very smoothly for us, and the top bracket games we had were among my favorite of all time. Prelim games were mostly about Matt Jackson cleaning up the opponents. But playoff games were when the teamwork really kicked in, and the scoring was really balanced. Matt Jackson and I traded off lead scorer status throughout the day. Then came our match against UVA. Jerry's video of the match starts on bonus 7, so you don't get to see how much momentum we gained in the beginning. We snagged five of the first seven tossups, including my second-clue buzz on a Ring Lardner tossup, and we stayed way ahead for the rest of the match. After building up Matt Bollinger in our heads as some unbeatable monster who could beat our whole team, Matt Jackson and I both managed to outscore him in that match, for a final score of 390-135, propelling us into the finals. The rest is history.

- Round 5 of KABO: KABO was maybe overall my least favorite tournament that I've played. However, this match was still one of the highlights of my career.

A couple of weeks before, I had been part of the strongest team I'd played on yet: the Iganz von Dollinger Escape Plan. But I was playing this tournament with 2012-era Aidan Mehigan, Richard Yu, and Raynor Kuang (i.e. very good high school players, but with limited collegiate quizbowl experience or aptitude), against a rather stacked field. We had really lousy subject coverage, and I was the only player on the team with upper canon knowledge. So, we got trounced by nearly everyone at the tournament.

But then in Round 5, we played the strongest team in the tournament: Matt Weiner, Eric M., Ted Gioia, and Cody Voight. This was the team that should have kicked our asses. They got the first two tossups, but then we got the next six, and they never recovered from this. I had been playing like shit all day, but I managed to lock Ted out of the literature, music, and philosophy, to which he responded with characteristic fury, since he had apparently read one of the books I beat him to only a week before the tournament. We had an insurmountable lead by the end, but we got the last tossup (a science tossup on amphibian metamorphosis) against Eric and Cody, in spite of the fact that none of us knows any science, and then I proceeded to 20 the easiest Comp Sci bonus I've ever heard in a tournament purportedly above regular difficulty. The rest of our matches were pretty much train wrecks, but this was the best upset I've ever been a part of, and it was with a team of people I'd never played with before.

- Un Cheyne Andalou: This was by far one of my favorite quizbowl experiences of all time. Between matches at KABO, Chris Ray approached me and said "Hey John, you know film, right? Because I know movies." I didn't give any sort of detailed reply, but admitted that I considered myself an underrated movie/film player generally.

In fact, though, I was already really psyched about the tournament: (1) Because it was a common joke on the old Yale team that back when I was not yet a good player, generally, I was already a good Mike Cheyne player. I absolutely destroyed his Vanity Lit side tournament when we read it in practice, and I often did markedly better on packets he wrote for packet sub tournaments. (2) Because I had once played a TV trash packet, casually, while we were waiting for the TD to arrive for ECSO 2010, and I slaughtered everyone, to my complete surprise. I was curious to see if I was wrong to have always thought that I would be a terrible trash player. I had a suspicion that I remember films, even those I had seen a long time ago, with a similar level of detail to how I remember books, but I had never tested this.

Then we played the first packet, and I went 5-6-0, and Chris Ray spent the whole match chortling with glee. We got third place overall, because Yogesh Raut put up an amazing 115-30-7 over 9 matches, scoring 221.11 PPG, when no one else broke 100, and he brought a non-quizbowler film-buff friend who got second place, playing with Magin. But Chris and I beat everyone else (pretty decisively), the set was fantastic, and we had a blast playing together. I was third highest scorer overall and had the second highest number of powers in the field. Since then, I have played Mike Cheyne trash packets whenever I am aware that they're going on (usually being one of the top two or three scorers), and I long for the day when there will be another film tournament.

My only regret is that the tournament organizers chose named all the teams after Italian porn films. I had come up with the team name "Lawrence of Chris-Ray-bia" for our team. I hope to use that one day for some other doubles tournament that I might play with Chris Ray.

- CO 2013: It was thrilling to be a part of the Ignaz von Dollinger Escape Plan in 2012, but contra Matt Bollinger, I thought we never became a real team. In fact, I think we generally "played badly" from the perspective of teamwork, constantly negging each out of things and vulching for absolutely no reason. That we won CO 2012 is a testament only to what a strong collection of four individual players we were, and not to our meshing well. My first thought when I flew home from that tournament was: I want to win CO again, but I want the opposite experience; I want a team of high-powering, low-negging teammates who are very strong in their subjects, but will not squabble with each other on every tossup and bonus.

Till then, I had never actually chosen my team for an open tournament. I always waited to get an offer from another team. This was the first time I plotted my ideal team, and took the initiative to ask those people to join up. Obviously, the first step was to secure Jeff Hoppes. I had initially envisioned Seth and Selene as the ideal remaining members of the quartet, but also (because I was a duped idiot) I toyed with asking Joshua Alman (!). Jeff obviously knew about the investigation that was underway, but couldn't speak about it, so he politely but insistently steered us firmly towards Seth and Selene.

With much love and respect to all of my teammates over the years (and you must know how much I've enjoyed playing with you all), this is my favorite team that I've ever played on. (I'm not sure whether this or the Ignaz von Dollinger Escape Plan was the stronger team, overall.) As Seth remarked to me during a break between matches, this team had the least bonus discussion that he had ever experienced. Nearly every 30 was achieved by one of us, solo. When we needed to collaborate on a bonus, it was usually a very short and quiet discussion. We knew who our best player was for any category, that player proposed an answer, and when the others had another idea they said their idea. There wasn't further discussion, advocacy, arguing, etc. The best player in the category listened to the others and the decided which answer he/she thought was best. This choice was almost invariably the correct one. We maybe had one moment each where we negged someone else out of a category they knew, but other than that, there was such a calm sense of trust. This was by far the least nerve-wracking experience I've had at a tournament that I wanted very badly to win.

The other highlight of the day was the moment when winning tournament became possible again. Earlier in the day, we had lost to Magin, but we had two protests, which it took them several matches to resolve. This, combined with our loss to Sorice's team, made us worry that we were out of the running. I was also particularly bummed because Jonathan Magin's team had beaten me at every single CO I'd played, and while I don't have any sort of rivalry with Magin, I nonetheless wanted to break this particular losing streak. Our two protests were resolved at different times. We knew that the first had gone through in our favor before we played Matt Weiner's team, which ended up being a clear victory in our favor. When I heard that the second one went through, I leaped into the air and clicked my heels, because at that point, we had no strong teams left to play, and so it was obvious that we were going to at least be in the finals. Of course, the finals never came, and we won outright.
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Cheynem » Fri Jun 06, 2014 7:26 pm

I'm happy to give a little joy to John Lawrence's humdrum life. It makes me feel as though my hard work ain't been in vain for nothing.
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Mike Bentley » Sat Jun 07, 2014 12:13 am

I'll probably write up something this weekend, but real quick:

John Lawrence wrote:We got third place overall, because Yogesh Raut put up an amazing 115-30-7 over 9 matches, scoring 221.11 PPG, when no one else broke 100, and he brought a non-quizbowler film-buff friend who got second place, playing with Magin.


Magin's teammate was actually Michael Mungin who played a bit on the UW team before moving to Virginia. Also, I had a fun time moderating Yogesh's grail against Matt Jackson in that tournament (although it wasn't quite perfect because Yogesh's teammate Seth got his 1 power in that game).
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby ThisIsMyUsername » Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:55 am

Mike Bentley wrote:I'll probably write up something this weekend, but real quick:

John Lawrence wrote:We got third place overall, because Yogesh Raut put up an amazing 115-30-7 over 9 matches, scoring 221.11 PPG, when no one else broke 100, and he brought a non-quizbowler film-buff friend who got second place, playing with Magin.


Magin's teammate was actually Michael Mungin who played a bit on the UW team before moving to Virginia. Also, I had a fun time moderating Yogesh's grail against Matt Jackson in that tournament (although it wasn't quite perfect because Yogesh's teammate Seth got his 1 power in that game).


Ah, okay. I mistakenly assumed that he wasn't a quizbowler, because basically no one seemed to know who he was, and he sat out a couple rounds of the main event (and only got one tossup), so everyone seemed to have assumed that he came for the film side event.

Also, looking back at those stats, I think the teams for Un Cheyne Andalou were actually named after Italian giallo films, rather than Italian porn films, as I originally stated.
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Sima Guang Hater » Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:52 pm

What a fun thread. There are so many fun/defining experiences I've had in QB that it's hard to pick; I've definitely had a lot of fun games at tournaments playing with such diverse people as Jerry, Aaron, Dennis, Saajid, Patrick, Dallas, the three Matts, Chris Ray, John Lawrence, Rob, Trevor, Andrew Hart, and so many others that I've forgotten.

12. A Science Tournament that I can actually play.
Who doesn't like a good counterfactual?

11. VCU Open Sunday 2009
See Matt's post above, everything said is true.

10. Modern World
In addition to the hilarious anecdotes shared above:
-Our team meeting Dennis Loo's team in a hallway and just spontaneously dissolving into fits of laughter
-High-five exchange on the "penguins" question between Matt Bollinger and I
-That look on Dan Puma's face when I answered the Hatsune Miku question

9. FICHTE (the first one)
I played on a team with Ted Gioia, Shantanu Jha, and Adam Marshall (a very fun team). We didn't win (losing to a stacked 2008 UMD team that went on to win ICT that year), but it was fun for a couple reasons:
-I took an overnight train (12-7am) on a lark to come to the tournament, and I forgot my glasses. Then after it was over I turned right around and went home. That was probably the most crazy thing I'd done as far as quizbowl travelling up to that point.
-I finally understood all the hype about Shantanu.
-There was a triple-packet showdown at the end of the tournament in which I captained a team and Magin captained another one. Magin's was declared the NAQT winner (because he won on the clock) and my team was the ACF winner (since we won after all the questions were read).

8. Deep Bench Mirror at Brandeis, 2007
This was the first tournament I really felt like I played well and contributed next to Jerry and co. It was also probably the first tournament in which I had a fairly severe lockdown on the bio and the chemistry. I think we ended up losing to Harvard in the total points standing, but getting like 3-4 powers against MIT alongside the full Brown A made it pretty worthwhile.

7. ACF Nationals 2013 and ICT 2013 (tied up)
Matt Jackson's "win by one" materia notwithstanding in the former tournament, we did well enough in these two tournaments for me to be happy about them. Tieing UVA at ICT and the third place game at both tournaments (averaged out) are both great memories.

6. ICT 2010
The first tournament in which I lead a team to nationals. I had no idea what to expect, but I was leaning heavily on Sid and Chris White to carry their particular parts of the distribution (especially Sid, who's trash knowledge was integral to the effort). I only wanted to have a respectable showing, maybe bottom of top bracket. Before the Chicago game, I turned to my teammates and told them, a la Napoleon at the Battle of the Pyramids, that this team had many years of experience and that we could learn a lot from how they play. Then we end up beating them. And we managed to beat Harvard and Brown during the playoffs. Getting 3rd was well beyond anything I had expected, but retroactively getting 2nd place, and my suspicions about certain people being confirmed years later, just added even more icing to that cake.

5. CO 2012
In terms of raw ability, probably the best team that I've ever played on. I actually wasn't a huge fan of the game against Schindler's team, but the game against Sethlene/Weiner/Evan Adams (which I don't think John and Matt have mentioned in their posts) was epic by every definition of the word. Final score, 505-85, Matt Bollinger 4 1 1 65, Chris Ray 0 0 2 -10, John Lawrence 4 0 0 60, Eric M. 2 3 0 60. My contribution was to shut Seth and Selene completely out of the 4/0 science (though unlike that MO 2009 final I couldn't go 4-0-0, just 2-2-0). Other excellent highlights include:

-The other team making an early neg on Vile Bodies, John Lawrence nodding on the next clue, Ryan Westbrook looking up from the paper and saying "Want to buzz? You'll get power" and JL taking his invitation.
-Answering a bonus part on "indistinguishability" by muttering "you can't tell them [the particles] apart from each other" and only Ryan Westbrook understanding what I was saying, with everyone else finding my answer indistinguishable from the background noise of the room.
-JL answering a bonus on the Art Blakey album "Moanin"" by starting with "Oh yeah! It's a gerund, and they drop the 'g' at the end..." before pulling the answer.

4. ACF Nationals 2008
The final is history, and was of course disappointing. For those of you that don't know, the official stats are somewhat inaccurate; the final score in the final game was a 5-point margin. I managed to get a tossup 19 on diols against Selene and Susan and Jerry got tossup 20 on "Some Prefer Nettles". Going into the last bonus, we needed 20 points to win by 5. But then Wesley Matthews physics happened; despite having taken 3 semesters of solid state physics, Jerry (and Aaron with his engineering background, and I with my wikipedia reading) could only pull 10 points on the final bonus on superconductivity. What's not as well-remembered is that I couldn't pull the name "c-myc" for one of the tossups, though somehow I managed to get tossups on "the Yellow Christ" and "Brain in a Vat" (which, back then, was like "!").

But there was another moment that was worth it. I don't know if this is still extant, but Charles Meigs wrote a hilarious article called "The Diary of Chris Ray", describing Chris' experience of this tournament (most of which involves negging or whatever else). My personal favorite part of the story was my small role in it. In the game vs UMD (which we managed to win), I had a pretty spectacular buzz on EJ Corey (who was Dan Suzman's organic chemistry professor) and got tossups on "The Lady of Shalott" and "Full House" (...it was a different time back then). But better than all of that, tossup 11 was a Japanese History Question. Chris and I stared each other down across the divide between the desks (this was a ritual). The field was set:

Image

Clue about Tomoe Goezen goes by. Clue about Benki goes by. I remember he's a character in the awful Genji: Days of the Blade, but couldn't place it. Another clue goes by, then another. Chris buzzes...

"Fujiwara"

"Neg 5"

Everyone relaxes. I exhale deeply. And at the end, I manage to get 10 for "Minamoto". That probably didn't clinch the game, but it was worth a lot to me.

3. ACF Nationals 2012
The first time I played with Saajid, Patrick, and James, and the first preview of how the new team, with very little training, would shape up. Getting 4th was about as well as we could have expected to do (after our previous awful ICT showing), and the fact that we managed to get one tossup away from beating Yale (because of our idiotic neg on "Historical And Critical Dictionary") and had beaten Michigan prior to that Will-Nediger-going-off third place game made it pretty good overall. Another key moment was firstlining a myth question against UVA, which I like to analogize to Leonidas nicking Xerxes' face with his spear in the final battle of 300

2. CO 2008
If the 2012 CO team was the strongest I've ever played on, this one is second, and is definitely the best that a team I've been on has done on the science category. A team of Matt Weiner, Johnathan Magin, Jerry Vinokurov...and me. Went 16-0, Jerry and I getting all the science against the Yaphe/Seth/Selene/Sorice team twice (modulo one going dead I think), and winning the final against that very stacked team all added up to a pretty great experience.

1. Illinois Novice 2008 at Harvard
Won that tournament in grand fashion.
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Important Bird Area » Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:07 pm

Sima Guang Hater wrote:I don't know if this is still extant, but Charles Meigs wrote a hilarious article called "The Diary of Chris Ray"


The Diary of Chris Ray
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Auks Ran Ova » Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:13 pm

Sima Guang Hater wrote:the awful Genji: Days of the Blade

You take that back!
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby The Ununtiable Twine » Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:38 pm

Ukonvasara wrote:
Sima Guang Hater wrote:the awful Genji: Days of the Blade

You take that back!

I think he meant to say "historically accurate" because you know medieval Japan was overrun with giant enemy crabs
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Sima Guang Hater » Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:00 pm

There's a few others I wanted to mention, since I forgot them earlier.

A. 2011 TIT at Yale
The team went to the UMD mirror, but I went to the Yale mirror by myself. Playing with a rotating cast of Yale freshmen (and Linna for a few rounds - most critically in the final where she got a tossup on the city of Sydney), I went 10-1 to win it. I took a 290-320 loss to Dallas and Stephen Liu while playing solo, which was pretty rough but they played that game very well. Upon perusing these stats again, I also got more powers by myself than any other team at any other site (I clearly was doing this before it was cool, that and the bio and chem were just falling my way) but my bonus conversion was a goddamn travesty. I'd have liked to think that playing with the full Penn A would have helped that significantly though.

This tournament was particularly special because it was my last real supernova performance in quizbowl (this was before the two Matts really emerged as dominant forces - Bollinger first beat me in the Player Poll in 2012, if memory serves me correctly). And the team basically dissolved after this tournament - we managed to send a really shorthanded team to SCT, but were unable to gather the interest to get to ICT or ACF Nationals that year, partly because I was largely consumed by my medical school rotations and other personal bullshit. It was really an awful time, but it was nice to start my hiatus with a performance like that.

B. 2009 TIT at UMD
Originally, I was to play this tournament with Ike and just schlep down myself. Then Matt Weiner got mad at people from different colleges recombining to form "superteams". So Jerry decided he'd come with me instead! I'm sure the field enjoyed that much better. The two of us managed to win while playing as the pseudonymous Hero Twins. Still couldn't break the Hoppes-Mikanowski limit though (it was like 83 and 63, and to do that both people have to get 70 or above).

C. Minnesota Open 2008 at MIT
Played as part of a duet with Jerry, went 71-61, couldn't break the H-M limit. The set was amazing, though, and there were some classic Jerry-Eric moments, like this one:
Katy Peters reading: [something about enzyme kinetics]
Jerry: Dude is this Lineweaver-Burke? I'm pretty sure it is! [talking over the reading]
Eric: [After Katy's done reading] If I heard it, I could have told you!

D. Minnesota Open 2009 at Minnesota
Part of the fun was the Lederberg mirror the next day, but the other highlights include Jonathan Magin losing his mind and Andrew Hart threatening to ask him to leave the room when he negged a tossup on "Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks" and powering all four science tossups in the final against Matt Weiner's team (though only getting 10 on the Resident Evil tossup).

E. Chicago Open 2009
The set wasn't that good, and you kind of had to be there for this to be laugh-worthy, but in the final there were some great moments (It was Weiner/Byrne/Carson/Hart vs Vinokurov/Gioia/Simons/M.).

Eric Kwartler: [begins reading an earth science bonus]
Rob Carson: OH FOR FUCK'S SAKE!
[There was a lot of very hard Earth Science in this set, b/c Wesley Matthews was editing]

Ted: Is this...Ferdyduke? (the right answer was FerdyduRke)

Eric Kwartler: For 10 points, name this protein abbreviated TOR
Eric: *Buzz*. HOLY FUCK. IS THIS "TARGET OF RAPAMYCIN"?! (this was, again, much harder back then)
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:12 pm

Man, if we're going into individual responses to bonus prompts that we find memorable, the one that really sticks in my mind is from Mike Sorice.

At one of the early EFTs when I was still in college, there was a bonus on Janos Hunyadi. My team had the bonus against a team with Sorice on it. We didn't do so well on the bonus, cuz at this point I barely knew anything about Janos Hunyadi. I wrote "Janos Hunyadi" down in my notebook and make some comment to the effect of "huh, this seems like a pretty great guy, I'll look him up" at which point Sorice says "oh yeah? if he was so great, why did he lose that one battle...fuck, what's it called...fucking...Varna!"

I looked up the Battle of Varna that very night, and my writing interests took a huge turn after that.
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby 1992 in spaceflight » Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:44 pm

I have two experiences that really stand out to me. In chronological order, they are the 2012 SCT at Oklahoma State and 2014 ACF Nationals.

The trip to the Oklahoma State site was definitely very interesting, to say the least. We stopped in a gas station in Kansas and almost weren't given a gas receipt by the attendant; We were pretty sure (and I still maintain to this day) that a police officer we talked to after we arrived in Oklahoma was giving us a "you don't belong here, get out" look. After the tournament, we stopped in Topeka to eat dinner, and one of my former teammates decided it was a good time to declare "I could use a joint right now." Needless to say, there were lots of laughs on this trip.

2014 ACF Nationals is probably the performance I'm most proud of. I was hoping to maybe win 2 games over the tournament, and ended up winning 4 games. Also, the camaraderie among everyone at that tournament was really cool-especially from the people whom I had never seen in person before. (Also, the questions-as everyone in the ACF Nationals thread attests-were easily the best I've ever heard at a national championship. Seriously, the editors deserve major props for working their asses off so much on that tournament.)
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Sima Guang Hater » Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:47 pm

The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote:After the tournament, we stopped in Topeka to eat dinner, and one of my former teammates decided it was a good time to declare "I could use a joint right now."


Should have gone to the Steak 'n' Shake on Wanamaker road, dude.
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby 1992 in spaceflight » Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:49 pm

Sima Guang Hater wrote:
The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote:After the tournament, we stopped in Topeka to eat dinner, and one of my former teammates decided it was a good time to declare "I could use a joint right now."


Should have gone to the Steak 'n' Shake on Wanamaker road, dude.


I actually can't remember the name of the restaurant where we ate at, but it was pretty good.
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Muriel Axon » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:27 am

Now that the luminaries (e.g. MJ, Eric, Isaac Hirsch) have spoken, here's my list, in no particular order:

ACF Nats 2014 - After a demoralizing ICT in which MSU landed at the top of the last bracket, we had pretty low expectations for Nats. But we managed to achieve two major objectives: 1. We evened the score against our arch-nemeses OSU thanks to Joe Nutter's incredible classics knowledge, and 2. After being beaten pretty soundly by Berkeley earlier in the day, we beat them 265-25 to take home 3rd place undergrad in my last tournament with MSU.

MO 2012 - Our game against Illinois was probably the only time I will ever beat a team that later wins a national championship. At one point, the visibly irritated Ike protested Joe's buzz of "TR and Booker T," which he later admitted to doing just to be a jerk.

Arrabal - Despite Ike and I negging each other out of probably five out of seven philosophy questions, this tournament was a blast to play (and remains my only non-novice tournament win as a college player, carried by Ike of course).

DII ICT 2012 - I played a total of one tournament (Novice) my freshman year of college, and two pre-nats tournaments my sophomore year, so this was my introduction to the quiz bowl world. My favorite memory was the two half-packets we read to settle the four-way tie for third place, during which I got eleven tossups combined. (But Stephen Eltinge's power on "Merovingians" would come back to haunt us during a tiebreaker against MIT at next year's ICT.) In the aftermath, I made two dubious decisions: I encouraged Joe Nutter to take up Joe Brosch's offer to write a housewrite with UD, and I made a comment on the forum that offended the not-easily-offended Chris Borglum. Evidently he has forgiven me.

Wayne County Novice Finals 2007 - So for most of my first four years of high school, I played almost entirely in this dopey format where teams would get together every few weeks, play three or four games, then disperse to meet again several weeks later. The result was that we ended up playing exactly one tournament set a year. Including HSNCTs, I only played six tournaments in high school.

The Wayne County league was split in half - for most of the year, teams only played other teams in their half. Then, at the end, they would be matched against the equally ranked team in the other half for a two-packet final. In 2007, Neil Gurram and I were both freshmen and our DCD and Plymouth teams were fighting for first place. They were up considerably after the first packet, and I was anxious about the possibility of losing my first game. I said something to my teammate, Rebecca Kiefer, to the effect of "It's okay if we lose - they pay more money than we do." Somehow, in the next packet we managed to come back to win pretty convincingly. But the next year, 2008, I did lose my first game against Neil's DCD JV team, by a margin of something like 1000-350.
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Gautam » Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:13 am

Sima Guang Hater wrote:There's a few others I wanted to mention, since I forgot them earlier.
Eric Kwartler: For 10 points, name this protein abbreviated TOR
Eric: *Buzz*. HOLY FUCK. IS THIS "TARGET OF RAPAMYCIN"?! (this was, again, much harder back then)


Your are welcome
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Aaron Manby (ironmaster) » Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:15 am

Patrick Liao once answered "Daniel Carter" for "Jimmy Carter"; the captain of the rival team Centennial CVI. A lot of the fondest memories I have of playing the shitty Canadian format in high school come from Patrick's mishaps because the format and competition was too shitty to be enjoyed.

We came third at the DII ICT 2014, but it wasn't very memorable because of how horribly I had played throughout the day, with the lowlight being my neg in the disappointing 2/3 place game against Dylan because I said my answer just a fraction of a second after Jeff said minus five. However, one bright spot: while playing Northwestern after lunch, we complained about how much American there was in that packet; our bonus conversion that game was below 10. Chad Kubicek then told us that if Canadian questions haven't showed up yet, they'll show up eventually. Sure enough, the next game against Chicago, the last two questions were both distinctively Canadian and we came from behind to win as I powered the last question (one of not so many on the day). Winning that game pretty much locked us up in at least a tiebreak into the trophies.

Gautam wrote:I completely forgot about that random tournament I played in Guelph, ON, in a 5 day weekend that involved:
* 36 hours of Megabus riding. Nobody gave birth during this trip though.
* 2 hours of Andy Kravis rounding up various Michiganders in and around Novi and other random suburbs. For a while we were within a 5 mile radius of where my aunt lives. Despite making the long ass trip, never saw my aunt. :-|
* Driving around desolate Ontario highways (ON-400?) at the absolute worst rest stops (seriously, that highway was awful.)
* Playing with a young Will Nediger. I remember thinking "yeah, this guy will be pretty good" since he was pretty solid on the literature bonuses. Little did I know.
* Playing that random 5-packet arts tournament was fun. If I recall correctly, there was a random ramp-up in difficulty for the 5th packet, which helped out a lot when playing against Andy Kravis and Bryan Berend. :-)


400-level highway rest stops are pretty clean and well maintained, you were probably on some minor highway. I don't know what Americans think of this tournament now, but up north we still sometimes make fun of the person who was supposed to be tournament director for bailing last minute. At this tournament, I played with Patrick Liao and some other kid. This other kid doesn't stick around for the side events, and goes with the UOttawa team and nobody is able to find him after the arts tournament, so Patrick and I call everyone we can find phone numbers to, as well as all hotels in the area in search for members of the Ottawa team. Ultimately, two members of the UOttawa team, whose intoxication levels I am not sure of, bring him back around 2 am. Note that we were around 16 years old at that time and Patrick's parents who drove us to the event almost wanted to file a missing persons report. At the actual tournament we got quite the ass whuppin from everyone, but we did get to get carried by Neil Gurram at the lit event, which was nice.

Another tidbit about ANGST: I wrote some meta for Tossup 0s for the Waterloo CRR mirror, and one of Will Nediger's CRR teammates beat him to the ANGST tossup on the clue that mentioned the Gautam/Will/Huma/Aaron team.
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Windmill Tump » Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:22 pm

pandabear555 wrote: Another tidbit about ANGST: I wrote some meta for Tossup 0s for the Waterloo CRR mirror, and one of Will Nediger's CRR teammates beat him to the ANGST tossup on the clue that mentioned the Gautam/Will/Huma/Aaron team.


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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby cvdwightw » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:23 pm

Hey look, for old time's sake, it's another long Dwight Wynne post! I don't remember having a whole lot of fun playing quizbowl. But it did have its good moments, including (in reverse chronological order):

  • Winning a buzzer race against Mike Cheyne at 2010 ICT off the names of two obscure St. Louis Browns pitchers
  • Watching Jerry almost get kicked out of a 2006 ICT game for agreeing with Charles about how bad a tossup was
  • Beating a Yaphe-Seth team at WIT 2005 on a god-awful barely edited USC packet
  • Friday night of 2004 ICT, which began with Charles calling to say he had locked himself in the hotel room's bathroom, ended with the discovery of the "bird-watching note" from that other thread, and in between included a five-freeway journey back to the hotel during which a distracted David Farris may have believed that we had driven to Tulsa, Memphis, and New Jersey

I did have a lot more fun doing quizbowl-related things other than playing, including (in roughly reverse chronological order):
  • Moderating outside during one of the UCSD summer tournaments (a 2009 novice tournament?) and having to stop every time the bus came down the street our "game room" overlooked
  • Coming up with some of the more ridiculous answers for the "Fake Science" distribution of Science Non-strosity
  • TDing BISCUIT, a sham tournament whose sole purpose was to get us to CBI Regionals since the student union had already purchased the IM questions but was unable to run a tournament
  • Using my (and/or other club members') meal plan to get late-night pizza for the last practice of every quarter, then smuggling the pizzas in because we weren't supposed to bring outside food into the student union

The rest of this post will just discuss my experience playing CBI in 2004, which is the superlative for "comedy value negatively correlated with question quality" as per the original post:

Regionals
This was the tournament that inspired UCLA to write its lexicon. The initial entries in the lexicon were entirely brainstormed on the trip back. We took a 15-passenger van with the pool team and were given an overly generous meal allowance. Highlights included:

  • Our last prelim game against UCSD. UCLA is up 245-210 with about a minute left. Kevin Costello gets a tossup and, since this is CBI, UCSD is rewarded with a two-part, 20-point bonus. They get the first part. Quickly realizing that he doesn't know the second part, Kevin yells out "No answer!" This is a smart strategy, since this being CBI, UCSD would have to get the next tossup and a bonus part in the next ~25 seconds to win. However, Kevin Costello has forgotten one thing: he is not the captain, and therefore does not get to answer bonus questions. This fact is loudly impressed upon him by UCSD's actual captain (a longtime CBI participant whom at least one regular staffer had nicknamed "Shakira," presumably due to his Afro) over the final 25 or so seconds of gametime, as the moderator watches, dumbfounded, and Kevin pleads in vain for him to read the next tossup.
  • Protesting a first-half bonus part and being told that (1) we were to call the protest a "request for review" and (2) they would adjudicate the protest immediately, despite us having about a 200-point lead at halftime against a non-circuit team.
  • Charles ordering pizza from Papa John's. This phone call included (1) the decision to order one pizza per van occupant, (2) multiple people changing their pizza order in the middle of the phone call, and (3) Charles remembering near the end of the call that each person needed a receipt for his pizza and accidentally asking, "Can we get eight separate receipts for each pizza?"

Nationals
Yes, this is the tournament involving the crazypants story about Brian and Sally and the inner-tube accident, and the other crazypants story about two Virginians who did not like CBI, whom I believed were referred to as "just a high school teacher" and "by all accounts, deranged." But there was so much more on this trip:

  • Procuring a rental car that had been reserved by one "Bao Nguyen," which was notably not the name of the "ACUI Campus Rep" who accompanied us on the trip
  • Taking team pictures next to a large sign advertising that the vacant lot we were standing in was being sold by real estate agent David Brewer
  • Being the only member of the team who could stomach more than a couple of sips of Grapico
  • The sportsmanship award, which was given in part for attending a hot tub party with CBI staffers
  • The "Butterflies Prefer Blondes" speech. During the CBI All-Star game, there was a bonus that basically asked for the team to choose one member to give an extemporaneous speech on a topic to be revealed after they had chosen. John Dale Beety of Rose-Hulman was chosen, and the topic turned out to be something like, "Explain why gentlemen prefer blondes." Mr. Beety than began his speech by explaining that butterflies are attracted to warmer, lighter colors, and that he liked butterflies. I was too far away to hear the rest of this speech over the laughter that ensued.
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Muriel Axon » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:28 pm

cvdwightw wrote:Yes, this is the tournament involving the crazypants story about Brian and Sally and the inner-tube accident, and the other crazypants story about two Virginians who did not like CBI, whom I believed were referred to as "just a high school teacher" and "by all accounts, deranged."


what
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Auks Ran Ova » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:39 pm

cvdwightw wrote:
  • Watching Jerry almost get kicked out of a 2006 ICT game for agreeing with Charles about how bad a tossup was

This needs some elaboration!
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby jonpin » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:29 pm

cvdwightw wrote:[*]The "Butterflies Prefer Blondes" speech. During the CBI All-Star game, there was a bonus that basically asked for the team to choose one member to give an extemporaneous speech on a topic to be revealed after they had chosen. John Dale Beety of Rose-Hulman was chosen, and the topic turned out to be something like, "Explain why gentlemen prefer blondes." Mr. Beety than began his speech by explaining that butterflies are attracted to warmer, lighter colors, and that he liked butterflies. I was too far away to hear the rest of this speech over the laughter that ensued.


I, too, will tersely ask for further explanation.
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Mahatma Kane Jeeves » Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:47 am

cvdwightw wrote:Hey look, for old time's sake, it's another long Dwight Wynne post! I don't remember having a whole lot of fun playing quizbowl. But it did have its good moments, including (in reverse chronological order):
a five-freeway journey back to the hotel during which a distracted David Farris may have believed that we had driven to Tulsa, Memphis, and New Jersey[/list]


i kinda remember that! why were we in the same car? i think pennington was the pilot.

so the most fun i ever had in a quizbowl match was the following:

it was at an naqt sectionals at harvard, i think in 2000 (?). that year, naqt nationals were going to be at BU. harvard had a pretty deep squad then (we'd send 7 or 8 teams to local tournaments sometimes, and even team number 6 was pretty good.), so obviously we wanted to maximize the number of teams we could send to a nationals that we could walk to. thing is, we were hosting sectionals, and it ended up being suprisingly big (perhaps because all of the northeast wanted to qualify for a nationals they could drive to?) and while there was one slot guaranteed by virtue of being hosts. but we wanted two div 1 slots in addition to div 2, so we needed to qualify them, but also run the tournament. so we did it with the fewest number we could manage: cajoled jeff johnson into playing (he'd retired entirely from tournament play after 1997; he was tired on beating up on kids half his age, which i came to understand myself after another ten years) as harvard A. for div 2, vik vaz played by himself. we didn't have another one-man team besides those two, so harvard B was me, willy jay, and joon pahk. (our nationals team was us three + gautam mukunda, who was not yet a harvard business school professor.) i don't think any of our three teams won (jeff beat us and most teams, but even he was human, and by the end of the day, pretty tired. vik maybe had the best shot, but there was erik nielsen, and he probably had teammates. is he a celebrity now? i saw his name somewhere and it looked kind of like the same dude.) but we all qualified for nats. i think we did ok. we didn't play subash that year, but i remember losing on the last question to chicago. i remember it being kind of contentious, actually--i think we were ahead and one of us tried to give a clock killing neg, but the moderator didn't give us any time, and andrew yahpe managed to get in. i think i even remember the answer: "thousand points of light". i think someone other than willy must have given the neg, since it turned out he actually knew it at that point, but had been beaten in. alas.

ok, anyhow, here's the actual story, for which none of the preceding was actually relevant:

we were playing penn, which at the time, had samer ismail. even though we didn't win the tournament, we were a pretty good team. (willy was one of the several harvard players who was stronger than people outside NE realized. he was dominant in particular on american politics; it was pretty rare that he didn't power one on current events. i was pretty good at that stuff too, but i almost never got any sitting next to willy.) but that round in particular, all three of us were on fire. the final score was something like 720-100. sometimes a score like that happens when michigan a is playing state college c at regionals, so that they're winning but taking it easy, but penn was a good team, and we were powering things left and right. not only that, at halftime, it was even more lopsided--penn's points mainly came in the second half.

and the thing is, samer has a hell of a temper; i'd seen him yell and sputter before, but in this match, he couldn't curse the moderator, because it was his twin brother ahmed, who as at the time at MIT! so samer sat there, seething, quivering violently, complaining under his breath, scowling. i imagine that if you boiled water in a sealed clay pot, it would be kind of similar--samer eventually exploded, yelling and slamming his buzzer on the ground. one of the funniest things i've seen. he was sort of able to pull himself back together, or maybe, the steam having rushed out, he stopped causing such a disturbance, and kind of slumped down. he was consoled a little in the second half when his team got a few questions.
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby merv1618 » Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:36 pm

In no particular order

2010 HSNCT: the only national tournament I ever played in high school. Hickman didn't do particularly well but it was my first glimpse at good quizbowl as a whole outside of Charlie Dees' MU tournaments on I-sets. In addition to playing what we all thought were fun questions (despite one match containing two organ tossups), the weekend at the Hyatt proved even more laughable when that bondage convention got double-booked leading to everyone seeing people with some of the most ludicrous quasi-kinky costumes and name tags just meandering about the hotel. Also on the last night we may or may not have busted through a few security and trapdoors leading through some asbestos-laden hallways and out on to the roof.

2012 PACE: the only HS nationals I ever staffed, but it was quite enjoyable. Somehow I ended up scorekeeping for Evan Adams on Sunday so I got to see some intense superplayoff matches including one of the single best matches I've ever witnessed live, between Hunter and Bellarmine going down to the last tossup highlighted by the scorekeeper reading the phrase '30 points for beating his wife.' I also got to play YMIR the night before which was some goofy fun.

2011 ACF Novice: hey, I won a tournament in college.

2012 ACF Regionals: Northwestern B didn't do particularly well, finishing second in the middle bracket. However, this tournament gave me the best match of my life in which I went 8-0 to seal an upset revenge match against a Matt Messana-led Notre Dame on (again) the final tossup on the Argonauts. (Matt was probably one of the top ten or fifteen myth players in the country that year which gave me a nice feather in my cap.) Seeing my teammate Tom Cui annihilate the Wittgenstein bonus afterwards was amusing too.

My 2013 spring break Megabus ride: Watkinsgate happened and (not to downplay how serious the entire thing was) I had an amusing few hours perusing the both the vitriol on the forums and the international news articles on him.

2007 Marshall, MO JV invitational: the definition of bad quizbowl. My first tournament ever ran on a truly awful Questions Galore set through MSHSAA's horrible formatting (common starting letter-based lightning rounds were a thing), but as a result I think we won our first match by something like 700 points. The single worst high school moderating incident I ever saw happened there, going: [some dude on Glasgow buzzes] "Isaac Aminov?" mod gives points, so I buzz in and say say "no...his name is Isaac Asimov." Mod: "Oh, I knew what he meant." I later buzzed in on a Polaris tossup and gave two pronunciations for whatever reason and got negged, the same dude later repeated my second pronunciation for points. The urge to kill was strong, but we still ended up going undefeated.

QUARK at UMich: I didn't have a whole lot of fun playing this tournament for varied personal reasons and we only finished at the bottom of the upper bracket, but the set was fantastic and I humorously led Northwestern in powers by a notable margin to the amusement of many. It was also my first time playing against a lot of well-established players like Rob and Jerry, which was cool. Also, the institution of tossup zero was a great idea as far as I'm concerned.

2014 MUT: It was just me and Dylan playing at Illinois but we managed a solid third place finish, possibly higher if we hadn't lost to Itamar in a match where we converted ten of the first eleven tossups. (I'll never forgive Ike for that turtle shell tossup.) Otherwise, the set was great and was the first time in a while I played on a Northwestern A team with no source of constant irritation. Plus going 4-0-0 against Max Schindler is always fun.
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby vinteuil » Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:39 pm

merv1618 wrote: one match containing two organ tossups

I missed what????
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby merv1618 » Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:49 pm

vinteuil wrote:
merv1618 wrote: one match containing two organ tossups

I missed what????


Bodily organs, sorry
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Muriel Axon » Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:11 pm

merv1618 wrote:Watkinsgate happened

Don't you mean Watkinsghazi?
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Sniper, No Sniping! » Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:15 pm

Muriel Axon wrote:
merv1618 wrote:Watkinsgate happened

Don't you mean Watkinsghazi?

NEVER FORGET
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Frater Taciturnus » Sat Jun 14, 2014 1:50 am

Sniper, No Sniping! wrote:
Muriel Axon wrote:
merv1618 wrote:Watkinsgate happened

Don't you mean Watkinsghazi?

NEVER FORGET


Why won't Hilary Clinton talk about the four national titles Harvard lost and what she knew about Ginseng's vulnerabilities?
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Re: Favorite Quizbowl Experiences

Postby Theory Of The Leisure Flask » Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:37 pm

Long time no see y'all.

Sima Guang Hater wrote:6. ICT 2010
The first tournament in which I lead a team to nationals. I had no idea what to expect, but I was leaning heavily on Sid and Chris White to carry their particular parts of the distribution (especially Sid, who's trash knowledge was integral to the effort). I only wanted to have a respectable showing, maybe bottom of top bracket. Before the Chicago game, I turned to my teammates and told them, a la Napoleon at the Battle of the Pyramids, that this team had many years of experience and that we could learn a lot from how they play. Then we end up beating them. And we managed to beat Harvard and Brown during the playoffs. Getting 3rd was well beyond anything I had expected, but retroactively getting 2nd place, and my suspicions about certain people being confirmed years later, just added even more icing to that cake.


It goes without saying that getting to ride your coattails at that tournament was the highlight of my quizbowl career, of course. Still pissed that Andy Watkins cheated me out of that World Bowl tossup.

I also want to take a moment to give a little recognition to Sam Brown, our fourth that year, who just randomly showed up as a senior with Vampire Weekend-style boat shoes, no previous quiz bowl experience, and a pretty darn solid bunch of history knowledge.

My second-most memorable quiz bowl experience dates from 2003, and falls more into the "travel disaster" category than "great tournament" category. I'll be back at some point to bore you all with that tale.
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