Praise Song

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Praise Song

Post by magin » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:28 am

Now that the poll threads have predictably resulted in slap fights and bickering, I thought it would be a good idea to make a thread to praise people for working hard to keep the circuit running. After all, the glory of PPG is nice, but those accomplishments are all made possible by the labor of people volunteering their time to make tournaments happen. Instead of threads where people finely rank the 8th best science player in quizbowl (informative though they are!), it might be more interesting to talk about who's taking the time to make sure that science questions are good at major tournaments. So, to begin with the old guard:

Andrew Hart, Jerry Vinokurov, and Susan Ferrari: I don't know how well people not in ACF know this, but Andrew, Jerry, and Susan have put in a ton of work making sure that ACF and ACF events run smoothly. They do a lot of thankless administrative work which allows the editors to completely focus on editing the questions. They deserve a lot more recognition for that than they receive.

Matt Weiner: I'm sure someone else can speak about his voluminous writing, but I think Matt's done a terrific job as the TD of ACF Nationals the last several years. Considering how many possible things can go wrong at a major national tournament, having a competent person as the TD does a lot to make sure that everything runs as smoothly as possible, and he deserves recognition for working hard to prevent disasters and make sure players have great experiences at Nats.

I don't want to go on and on about people no longer in college; I think it would be especially worthwhile if people recognize current college players who have worked hard to put on good tournaments and promote the circuit in this thread. The older generation, myself included, has enjoyed plenty of praise already, and if we want college players to work hard on tournaments going forward, I think we should make more of an effort to recognize their efforts.
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Re: Praise Song

Post by Cheynem » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:15 pm

I'd like to praise Matt Bollinger and Matt Jackson not for their playing careers but for their work outside of the ring. The Bo Jackson duo did a lot for college and high school quizbowl. Matt Bollinger's surly but calm presence was a steadying force on HSAPQ this year, and Matt Jackson did yeoman's work in expanding and solidifying the New England circuit.

I'd also like to give a shout out to the people running programs this year with lack of continuity. It's "easy" to step into Chicago or Michigan or Maryland and kind of roll with it, but if you have to start a program from scratch or revive it, that's something that I really commend. I don't want to list names because I'll probably leave someone out by mistake, but you know who you are, and the circuit's expansion is impossible without you.
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Re: Praise Song

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:26 pm

I'd like to thank Saajid Moyen for making quizbowl fun. As president, not only has he dealt with all the logistics and funding issues of the club, he's gone out of his way to make the team a welcoming and sociable group of people. We finally have enough people to bring 3-4 teams to most regular season events, which would have been unthinkable before his time.
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Re: Praise Song

Post by Victor Prieto » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:45 pm

Matt Weiner alluded to this in the NHBB discussion, but Mike Cheyne seriously deserves huge amounts of praise for writing a ridiculous amount of questions for HSAPQ's sets this year, and for helping me out whenever I needed help writing my own questions. Eric Mukherjee and Cody Voight have also been really helpful and friendly when I've asked them for feedback on my science questions, and both of them obviously make huge contributions to both the high school and collegiate circuits (Eric as head editor for PACE and Penn Bowl, and Cody as science editor of countless tournaments over the past couple of years).
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Re: Praise Song

Post by vinteuil » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:47 pm

I think that the whole club at Berkeley deserves some major recognition for all their hosting efforts; without the large number of (12? More??) tournaments they host every year, West Coast quizbowl would probably look seriously different (and not in a good way) at all levels.
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Re: Praise Song

Post by The Bold Ideas of Bernie Sanders (I-VT) » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:48 pm

Charlie Dees led the charge for revamping Missouri quiz bowl from essentially only MSHSAA-sanctioned tournaments on bad questions to pyramidal tournaments, now reaching most of the entire state. As someone who was playing high school stuff during the dark times, what MOQBA has done for outreach and general improvement in Missouri tournaments in less than ten years is pretty incredible.
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Re: Praise Song

Post by crimsonscholar » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:12 pm

I would like to praise Jake Sundberg for his work over the last decade to improve the quality and opportunities for individuals and tournaments to be held across the South, in his time at Louisiana-Lafayette and the University of Alabama. Many people are not aware of just how much work and attention he has put in helping others at Alabama, ULL and on other teams, beyond his own personal conviction and attention to studying and details. Being aside him as a teammate makes me appreciate of how far he has come since I competed against him years ago at ICT. He is truly one of those who gives more than a darn.

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Re: Praise Song

Post by Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:14 pm

Fred Morlan and Nick Conder: these two have done amazing things for both the HS and collegiate circuits in the Upper South for years now, and are both fantastic TDs and moderators. Fred has written likely tens of thousands of questions for hundreds of tournaments over many years, and Nick has significant writing experience too (I think). Both have extensive hosting experience.
When/soon after Matt Keller left here (Vanderbilt), these two (along with Georgia Tech and Alabama) took on the brunt of holding 10+ collegiate tournaments every year so that the South region wouldn't lapse into total nonexistence, while still hosting 4-5 HS tournaments annually. KQBA, which was just founded, is entirely their work, and improvements in KAAC format are their successes. Similarly, they have done extensive work expanding and compiling contact lists, and recruiting new teams onto those contact lists. They are titans.
(Fred is synonymous with "the rankings" to younger quizbowlers, but those are only one facet of his thorough work building multiple circuits EDIT grammar: which will sustain themselves and produce quality teams for a long, long time. In addition, Fred has sent multiple Kentucky teams to collegiate circuit events for a long time. Nick is newer, but still deserves praise for his work building WKU into a Nationals-caliber team while hosting a comparable number of tournaments as Fred's UK.)

Chris Chiego, in one year's time, hosted two tournaments at a high school that wasn't previously involved in quizbowl (he actually planned to host three), sent two teams to HSNCT, greatly expanded the Tennessee high school coach contact list, and induced some of the most stubborn AUK teams to play IS and IS-A sets consistently (although that is still a work in progress). He also helped White Station host their two (three?) tournaments, and I'm pretty sure that there is now infrastructure in place at both Germantown and White Station to continue his work when he goes to UPenn for his PhD program. He's also a great moderator and TD. This, coupled with his extensive, no, incredible work in Southern California, should be indicative enough that he alone can transform and solidify any circuit, whether collegiate or high school.
He, too, is a titan. Chris, we're (I am?) gonna miss you (to say the least).
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Re: Praise Song

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:19 pm

I've always felt that Jonathan Pinyan is the most under-appreciated person in quizbowl, measured by just how much he does for the game and how little public praise he receives from it. If he shows up to your tournament, your tournament just got a whole lot better run.
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Re: Praise Song

Post by Frauny Von Smiley » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:40 pm

I'm not entirely sure if this is what the thread is for, but I'd like to publicly thank Chris Miller for his hard work and dedication which was vital to getting a stable club at William & Mary going again.
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Re: Praise Song

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:30 pm

I'd also like to thank Jake Sundberg and Fred Morlan for their assistance in helping rebuild the quizbowl circuit in the southeast. I'll talk more about Fred in the second half of the post, but he certainly has helped kickstart a moribund UK team in the last two years, and the fact that they stepped up to host SCT this year when it seemed like nobody else would is definitely worth of praise. Jake's work in the southeast has of course primarily been at the collegiate level, but I think it goes without saying that Alabama was a completely different program and culture before he arrived, and in his time there they've evolved from a team that hosted tournaments on A-sets to the primary host for collegiate sets on the circuit. I don't think the southeast circuit would exist in its present form had Alabama not been such an active host in the past few years.

Now as to the high school circuit in Kentucky, Rohan covered most of this (although I don't think I have as much writing experience as you think!) pretty well. When Fred came to Kentucky two years ago, he immediately started helping improving this state's quizbowl scene significantly. He's managed to not only form a young, talented team at UK, but turn them into a hosting presence that is not currently paralleled within the state. It's certainly a major accomplishment to host any significant tournament, but Fred can put together a 50 team multi-state field with excellent competition. He's also done excellent work with his rankings, established NASAT tryouts, helped start the Kentucky Quizbowl Alliance, and brought teams into the pyramidal quizbowl circuit that had never been involved before.

There are a few other people I'd like to sing the praises of. Matt Church, Ramapriya Rangaraju, and Austin Brownlow at Louisville have been vital in turning that team into a highly competitive program, but perhaps their most interesting work is much more low profile. They've worked specifically within the quick recall structures in Kentucky to help improve the questions within those competitions, and more importantly, to draw those teams to tournaments on pyramidal questions. The high school tournaments at Louisville were basically the only pyramidal tournaments in Kentucky for a couple years around the turn of the decade, and the persistence of those guys in continuing to host quality events definitely built a groundwork upon to improve the high school circuit here.
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Re: Praise Song

Post by jonpin » Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:54 pm

There's a number of people who are worth mentioning, but one can never say enough good things about Matt Weiner who is in large part responsible for the (continued) existence of several organizations dedicated to good quiz bowl; Fred Morlan, who has done outstanding things for quiz bowl as a national community and is a delightfully nice person right up until the time a Jeopardy champion insults Kentucky; and Jeff Hoppes, who has always done his level best to make communication between NAQT and the boards possible.
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Re: Praise Song

Post by Peter13 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:58 pm

Well this is a much needed additional thread, a sort of "water" wars to quench the flame wars. Anyway, I should get along with praising...

I would like to thank all of the following people for helping spread the game, improving it, and helping me personally with quizbowl. If I am forgetting anyone, it has to be because almost anyone major in this community has contributed positively in one way or another. So my list includes the following: Matt Weiner, R. Robert Hentzel, Andrew Yaphe, Matt Bollinger, Matt Jackson, Seth Teitler, Evan Adams, Dave Madden, David Riley, Chris Cheigo, Ben Smith, Dwight Kidder, Mike Cheyne, Cody Voight, Eric Xu, and Jay Misuk. I know there are many more people deserving of this, but those people I feel have done the most help quizbowl.
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Re: Praise Song

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:45 pm

I was thinking of posting a sort of tribute to the Matts after ACF Nationals finished (à la the tribute to Yaphe, Seth, and Jerry that Zeke posted after ACF Nats 2010), but I relented, wondering whether it might not be premature, given that this might be merely a one-year hiatus in their ongoing reign. Certainly, I feel like I've lived through two quizbowl eras, the first being the Era of Yaphe/Seth/Jerry which ended in 2010, and the second being the Era of the Matts, which may be just pausing now.

I was fortunate enough to have a front row seat for part this, by being Matt Jackson's teammate for two years, and by facing off against Matt Bollinger many times and playing with him twice at two of the most exciting open tournaments that I've ever played.

When I first started playing quizbowl, in 2008-2009, Yale's team was behind the times. We weren't good at writing tournaments, we weren't good at hosting tournaments, we weren't good at attending tournaments, and we weren't good at winning tournaments. I really wanted to change all of those things, but I had never done quizbowl before, so I didn't have the knowledge or power to make these changes by myself.

Kevin Koai's arrival certainly helped, because he was a good player who wanted to be part of a good team; but, he didn't have the energy or motivation to try to rebuild a team. One person who was really key in all this (who many of you have probably never heard of) was Aaron Sin. I'm careful to mention him not only because I think Aaron Sin was important, but also because I think many teams have an Aaron Sin of their own who is really important to their team: that is, someone who is not a very good player, who isn't a key part of the community in terms of writing questions or posting on the forums, but who dedicates a great amount of time and energy to the nuts and bolts of keeping a team running. Quizbowl is filled with unsung heroes like this, who keep the whole machine running. It would be wonderful if we could find a way to appreciate these people more.

Matt Jackson's arrival at Yale was extraordinarily fortunate for me and for the team. By then, Yale was running tournaments properly, writing packets on time, and contributing to the circuit. But, I wanted to turn BHSAT into a good high school set, and there were many categories that I could never possibly edit well; I also wanted to make Yale a title-contending team, but I was never destined to be a generalist. Matt Jackson came in with exactly the kind of experience in the high school circuit needed to help with the former, and exactly the kind of dedication to being part of a great college team necessary to bring about the latter. There was so much I wanted to do in quizbowl that I luckily got to do in my final years at Yale, and I could never have done these things without him.

I am also grateful to both Matts for their contributions to the high level of play in the game. That may sound like a rather nebulous concept or empty phrase, so perhaps I should explain why this is meaningful for me. Perhaps the primary reason I find quizbowl valuable is that it keeps me engaged with all the kinds of intellectually rewarding material I don't have the opportunity to tackle in the classroom, because my academic studies are too focused. It would be very easy to get caught up in my life as a graduate student, and not make time to read and learn outside of my subjects, but quizbowl gives me that extra motivation to keep engaging, by providing one sphere in which that engagement can be rewarded. Being on a championship-contending team and having a strong rival really increases the motivation: reading and learning more is not just about getting better in the abstract, but is the difference between winning and losing a national championship. The amount that I learned and read, motivated by the presence of strong teammates and strong opponents, is more than I've learned from many of the teachers I've had, and the books I've gotten to read enriched my life beyond the scope of quizbowl. And in this way, the two Matts (and our other strong rivals: Eric, Ike, Chris Ray, etc.) have probably played a crucial role in my education as a person.

I should add two further things to this: 1. What I said above applies to my experience of quizbowl not only as a player, but also as a writer. When you write quizbowl questions, you always have to be really grateful for strong players. "Interesting" clues are only pragmatically good if the field is strong enough for those clues to be buzzable. The feeling that there is some real and deep engagement going on out there is the most rewarding feeling to me as a writer. 2. It is also really important to me that almost all of my strongest opponents over the years have been people that I respect. I know many people are best motivated to win by "spite", but I play best when I feel like my opponents are colleagues of sorts.

I also consider Eric Mukherjee to have been really important to me in the first two years of my playing quizbowl. When he saw that I was trying to make Yale into a functional team and key part of the circuit, he gave me encouragement when outside encouragement was really valuable, and he predicted that I might one day become a good/important player at a time when I certainly had no notion of that myself. He gave me my first collegiate writing gig. My contribution was not well received, but its reception was one of my most important learning experiences in quizbowl, and was due to the opportunity he granted me. And when he let me play CO 2010 with him, that was the first super team I ever got to be a part of. This really introduced to me to one thing that I think is at the heart of quizbowl: collaborating with many different people of different ages, in playing on open teams and in writing tournaments together.

Jerry was also really important, not only because the strong Northeast circuit I entered was partly his legacy (and therefore, a lot of what I did at Yale was trying to catch up to what he did at Brown); but also because whenever I got into an argument with him on the boards in those early years, he was always very patient and detailed in explaining why he disagreed with me, without resorting to insults, and I learned a tremendous amount from those forum discussions with him, when no one at Yale was experienced enough to provide me any hands-on mentorship.
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Re: Praise Song

Post by Beevor Feevor » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:16 pm

Well, I certainly haven't been around for very long, but I have quite a bit of praise to sing out, so this thread appears to be pretty well suited for that!

I'd like to thank every single Quizbowler who has ever put in time to answer the possibly silly questions of newcomers to the circuit like I was at one time. There's nothing more helpful, in my opinion, than someone taking the time to explain to you something and how passionate they are about it. I had always been a person who didn't really care about anything before Quizbowl, and now that I am in Quizbowl, there are just so many interesting and helpful people around that I haven't thought about just staying stationary in life since then, so thanks to the general community for that!

As far as specific people, I'd like to thank all members of the UVa team for so much. As someone who just wanted to improve in his sophomore year, having that group of people there to invite me to practices, allow me to learn from them and teach me clues, and just to get me into Quizbowl in general has been so helpful to my development as a player. I'm so glad to have gotten to know every member of that team, and I'll be very sad when a crop of them leaves at the end of this year. In particular, I want to thank Evan Adams, who first extended the invitation for me to attend their practices, and Sarah Angelo, whose support and tips at practices and just in general have been really encouraging for me. I wish both of you the best of luck with where you guys go next year, and know that I'm very grateful for your guys' helping out someone a lot younger than you both!

I'd also like to thank the entire DC Metro and Virginia Quizbowl community in general. I'm blessed to be part of a circuit that's so welcoming to newer teams and so abundant in tournaments to play, but the amazing matches I've played in only a little under two years of Quizbowl has been fantastic. I want to thank the Maggie Walker team in particular; their circuit presence has been consistently strong in the area, and they always bring lots of solid players to get involved in Quizbowl. I've had many wonderful matches with them in the past few months, and they've always been very gracious and polite opponents. To all good teams in the area in general, the same applies. I wouldn't be as motivated to study at all if I didn't know that whenever I attended a tournament, I'd get some spectacularly close matches and shocking nuggets of knowledge.

Finally, I said this in my interview with him, before my interview with him, and after my interview with him, but I'll say it again, just because I do mean it that much. Fred Morlan, thank you for all that you've done for Quizbowl in general. From hosting large tournaments in Kentucky to administrating the boards to bringing up new college teams to taking time out of a busy graduate school schedule to create a ranking for high schoolers to bicker about to agreeing to a silly interview with a guy you've never met in person, your dedication to Quizbowl is something that I admire greatly and wish to emulate. Fred has always been very kind and encouraging of new teams like mine when I first began it, and he deserves all the recognition he's getting in this thread and more.

We need to have these more often; most of the time, praise is so much more deserved and unsaid than vitriol.
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University of Virginia '19

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Re: Praise Song

Post by Tanay » Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:32 pm

Thanks for the kind words upthread, Jacob. The Berkeley team has dozens of members who you rarely see on the national circuit, but will find spending 10+ weekends of their already-busy school year volunteering at middle school, high school, and college tournaments on campus and elsewhere every year. In particular, Nick Karas has been absolutely tireless in reaching out to literally hundreds of teachers and students in California and other states. The California Cup went from being a dubious idea of mine to a robust regional event almost entirely as a result of his vision. The circuit has experienced unreal growth, and its high schools will surprise everyone at nationals one of these years.

On a related note, Auroni Gupta was tremendously helpful to the Bellarmine team back when we were first trying to play good quizbowl in Northern California, a couple of years before there was necessarily a lot of it. My old high school coach, Chris Fleitas, puts a lot of effort into outreach at the middle school and high school level. It goes without saying that tournaments go much more smoothly when Jeff Hoppes is in the area, which has been just about every time we have needed him this year. In particular, the Bay Area middle school circuit would be nonexistent without him. Next year, outreach is going to get a lot easier when dozens of middle school students matriculate into high schools that have no quizbowl programs and establish them.

Although many of the rewards of outreach are universal, Berkeley benefits from two of them in particular. First, we would not be able to travel across the country (this year, with multiple teams!) for national tournaments without the proceeds from the tournaments we run. Second, just as the continued prosperity of UC Berkeley is dependent on the financial health of the state, the future prospects of the Berkeley quizbowl team depend largely on high school outreach in California. Due to the good work of the aforementioned people in Northern California, as well as our compatriots in Southern California, over a dozen California high school players will be attending Berkeley next year, hopefully contributing further to our outreach efforts and bolstering the success of our own teams. We expect to see other high school players begin, strengthen, or revive programs at UCLA, UC Davis, and many other schools statewide in coming years.
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Re: Praise Song

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:41 pm

NickConderWKU wrote:Jake's work in the southeast has of course primarily been at the collegiate level, but I think it goes without saying that Alabama was a completely different program and culture before he arrived, and in his time there they've evolved from a team that hosted tournaments on A-sets to the primary host for collegiate sets on the circuit. I don't think the southeast circuit would exist in its present form had Alabama not been such an active host in the past few years.
Well I'm happy to hear that people appreciate the work I've done for the region, but none of it would have been possible without the overwhelming support of Dargan Ware. When arriving at Alabama, I was welcomed into a club that had an unnecessarily high level of wacky quizbowl politics and was basically in charge of leading a movement to eliminate the cancer that had been plaguing the team. Dargan was instrumental in eliminating this foe from an internal standpoint. The early history of Alabama quizbowl is worthy of its own Secret History thread which may or may not happen in the future. Of course my mutilation of the demon that was plaguing Alabama quizbowl for years may be one of the ultimate examples of quizbowl spite - it was brought to my attention by Matt Weiner (whom I must personally thank for driving me to rid the quizbowl universe of that wrongdoing entity) that my presence at Alabama would not get immediately get rid of the demon that plagued Alabama quizbowl. Alright it took a little while but hey look, it's gone! Kapoot.

I would also like to thank Jonathan Thompson and Harrison Brown, the latter of whom did not enter the organization until late in the eradication process. There were many times where I wondered if my plan would ever work (for instance, the time where the club tried to prohibit me from reading at WRK 2011 because "some of the kids didn't like the way I read" or some wacko bullshit), but I kept on going. If anyone out there is wondering when the exact moment was that I declared war on this group of fiends, it was in late 2010 when I stole the A-sets that they would try to use for practice. This infuriated a good bit of the club because they were being robbed of their practice materials because the "internet questions were too hard" or something. (Don't get me started on the incident where certain club members came to my apartment at like 11PM to seize the questions in Fall 2011. Just like the Colts getting the hell out of Baltimore in the midst of the night, that one.) This created a fiasco in which people grew bitter toward me. Like really bitter. However, allow me to take a moment to say an arrogant thing. Their powers were weak, and so I knew that I could obliterate them fully. I achieved that goal because you, quizbowl, demanded it. Maybe not all of you demanded it publicly, but I knew you wanted that "evil" gone from the community. And it is gone and has been for some time. You can trust me when I say I have liquidated the previous culture that was present at Alabama and will be gone for the foreseeable future, perhaps never to return.

The outgoing members of AAQT tried so hard to get revenge on me by not electing me to VP of Internal Affairs for the 2011-12 season, but even in succeeding, they failed. For any of you that just so happen to stumble upon this portion of quizbowl literature later: there are people in the community with voices that are louder than those of club officers. There is an extremely long list of people in quizbowl, who, despite holding no office within their club, have had a resounding impact on the history of quizbowl. You can be a quizbowl president while still being weak. You can be a member of the club and still be strong. The methods of bad quizbowl are bad and thus will fail. There will be more people like me that come along and get rid of people like you who try to ruin quizbowl for the people who care. That is, if you dare to stick your lowly heads out so far as to try to ruin a good thing.

I apologize for going off on a tangent about the club. If you'd like to hear more I will definitely expound upon this past issue now that my tenure at Alabama is over. I believe some of you would find this particular history to be quite fascinating.

Anyway, I have a few bullets to get to here:
[*] I appreciate the support I got within the club.
[*] Some people in quizbowl are actually willing to do a lot of shit for you just because they care (myself included but most certainly not limited to).
[*] I appreciate the camaraderie that quizbowlers have for each other. I don't even have to know you or know what you do to improve the game - if you do things to improve the game that is enough. We don't need people to constantly remind us of what we do to help the community but it is surely appreciated when you tell us that you give a damn too (so thanks to Jonathan for starting this thread).
[*] I appreciate that the community gradually stopped attacking Alabama's club as soon as they saw that it was changing for the better.
[*] I cannot tell you how much thanks I give to Nick Conder and Fred Morlan for welcoming us to play in Kentucky when it appeared that our particular part of the circuit was weakening, at least for the time being.
[*] I am forever thankful to Matt Hayes for providing me with all the support I needed to get through these quizbowl ordeals. Especially the numerous lengthy nighttime conversations that helped me to get to this point of my career.
[*] I'm thankful to anyone who has ever moderated at any event I've ever TD'd and I'm especially thankful to anyone who has ever written a question for any packet I've compiled. I appreciate all the time that you take out of your schedules to help out with events. I'm thankful to Craig Bartelsmeyer, whom most of you have never heard of, for taking his time to reserve buildings for all of those UA tournaments that Nick mentioned earlier in the thread.
[*] I'm thankful to every university administrator that has donated money to make quizbowl a resounding success now and in the future.
[*] I suppose I'll take a moment to thank in advance incoming president Meredith Rickard, incoming VP of Internal Affairs Forrest Walker, and the rest of the new officers for doing the great job I know they will do in leading the team into the future.

I suppose my biggest thanks goes to the entire community for putting up with me, though. The countless individuals who have tolerated me through the years shall remain unnamed in this post, however I am appreciative of your toleration of my quirkiness.
Jake Sundberg
Louisiana '04-'10, '14-'16, '18-'xx
Alabama '10-14
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Re: Praise Song

Post by dtaylor4 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:10 pm

Major ups to Jeff Hill, Harry White, Dan Goff, and everyone else behind the scenes that handles the tech side of the forums and the TDB. Gone are the days that people had to find independent webspace to upload and host those glorious HTML files generated by SQBS.

I know of people like Andrew Hart who are trying to track down stats from older tournaments to get them onto the DB, and am glad that I saved the ones I had (older Nats, Chicago Opens, etc.)

Also, be sure to thank your local statspeople.

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Re: Praise Song

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:20 pm

Since this can't be mentioned enough, I'd like to thank the editors of ACF Nationals for one of the best sets I've played in a long time. I know that all of you worked very hard on the set and I imagine you probably had better things to do with your time (I think Jerry spends his time figuring out whether robots can slowly replace humans or something).

In particular, and I've heard this from a lot of people, I think Ted Gioia deserves some recognition for talking a very big game about being on time and producing a set with very high polish - but actually delivering. I know for a fact that Ted really gave his heart, soul, and part of his sanity for this set, and I hope he feels that he gets the recognition that he deserves for his work.
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Re: Praise Song

Post by grapesmoker » Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:21 pm

Thanks for the kind words aimed in my direction in this thread.

Those of you who are in ACF already know this (and the Carper is just confirmation of this) but Susan Ferrari has done a lot of great work over the years for both quizbowl in general and ACF in particular. She's been invaluable as both an editor and an organizational savant.

Also, I'd like to extend some appreciation to Ryan Westbrook. I think his unorthodox (and, lest I seem too soft, let me say frequently incorrect, in my view) opinions sometimes obscure the great amount of work that he's done over the years as an editor.
Jerry Vinokurov
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Re: Praise Song

Post by Matt Weiner » Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:35 pm

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:I've always felt that Jonathan Pinyan is the most under-appreciated person in quizbowl, measured by just how much he does for the game and how little public praise he receives from it. If he shows up to your tournament, your tournament just got a whole lot better run.
This is very true -- his calming presence at statkeeper for ACF Nats and NHBB this year really helped keep those tournaments moving, and generally he, and another person who should be mentioned, Andrew Feist, are operating at another level when it comes to melding the realities of running a tournament with the various possibilities of all kinds of schedules. There's few people who so intuitively understand both the social and the mathematical sides of a question like "if team Blue beats team Green in round 14, what does that mean for how many extra packets we might need to use tonight," and having them around is the secret weapon that has done so much to get NHBB nats under control time-wise and helped PACE NSC become what it has over the past two years.
Matt Weiner
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Re: Praise Song

Post by Everything in the Whole Wide World » Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:28 pm

I would like to thank Joe Nutter and Shan Kothari for, despite dealing with the near-impossible situation of having to work with Joe Brosch as a head editor and having something like 10 people abandon writing assignments when we did the MSU/UD housewrite, still taking out time to teach me how to write good pyramidal questions and helped welcome me into the larger quizbowl community beyond UD. For this I am forever grateful.

On a more recent notice, I would like to give a shout out for all the quizbowl teams in the Mid Atlantic that hosted tournaments this year, even if I was not in attendance. You all do a great job and make this worth my time, and more importantly, fun.
Ben Herman
Henderson High School (2007-2011) [West Chester, PA]
University of Delaware (2011-2015)
Penn State University (2015-Present)
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Re: Praise Song

Post by ScoBo » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:44 pm

Thanks to every single person and organization who has ever staffed, attended, or provided a question set to a Missouri Quizbowl Alliance tournament. It's unbelievable how quickly our circuit has transformed from one dominated by local MSHSAA-style tournaments using poorly-written one-liners and unquestioned single elimination playoffs, with only a few college-hosted pyramidal tournaments (in what was then widely known as the "college format"), to one where teams have the opportunity to play most of the major pyramidal sets against teams from all over the state, in formats that provide a fair result and a great value for teams to play a lot of competitive games no matter if they're competing for the championship or getting more experience in a consolation bracket.

I'd specifically like to thank, in no particular order:
  • Matt Chadbourne for being a great teammate at UMR and for organizing and directing all of the tournaments we hosted there. So much of what I've learned about directing tournaments came from observing and assisting you with these tournaments. Matt also deserves major credit for formally proposing the formation of the Missouri Quizbowl Alliance shortly after Questions Galore was announced as the MSHSAA question provider in the fall of 2008, setting the foundation for the incredible change that our circuit has seen over the last six years. Your presence at recent tournaments has been greatly missed.
  • Charlie Dees for his relentless promotion of good quizbowl principles and the unbelievable amount of work he has done in assisting coaches and players, reviving the Mizzou quizbowl club and establishing numerous tournaments in the Columbia area that now attract consistently large and diverse fields from all corners of the state and have inspired so many area schools to improve their teams and start their own good tournaments. This season has certainly not been the same without you here.
  • Paul Nelson for being one of Missouri's earliest proponents of pyramidal questions, providing support for countless schools and being an exceptional and reliable staffer while he was still in the state. I can't believe it's been almost 4 years since you moved out east.
  • Alex Dzurick for consistently being a dependable resource to everyone since the founding of MOQBA, helping Charlie establish and grow the Mizzou program, capably succeeding Matt as a co-director of the NAQT Missouri Qualifier, and oddly enough, being the only founding member of MOQBA currently living in Missouri.
  • Sean Phillips for solidifying WUHSAC's status as one of Missouri's premier tournaments and attracting several of the nation's best teams to provide our schools the infrequent opportunity to play out-of-state teams, providing me a place to stay during my annual trips from KC to staff WUHSAC and LIST, and the countless other things he has done in the St. Louis area and throughout the rest of the state to help run great tournaments.
  • Jason Loy for his tireless efforts in spreading good quizbowl all over the state, particularly for expanding our middle school circuit, hosting several tournaments at Tuscumbia every year, and helping numerous coaches throughout the central and southwest part of the state organize their own tournaments.
  • Jacob O'Rourke for establishing pyramidal tournaments in the less-active Northeast part of the state and being a reliable staffer at tournaments all over the state on most weekends throughout the season.
  • Alex Smith for continuing the Missouri S&T quizbowl team after Matt left, and then moving to the Kansas City area after graduating last year. It's a relief to finally have another capable moderator in the area to help KC schools run their tournaments efficiently. Now if only someone else could get a team off the ground at UMKC...
  • My older brother Kyle for being a dependable tournament staffer whenever he's available and providing me a place to stay when I staff tournaments in the Columbia area. Most importantly, I'm not even sure I would have joined the quizbowl team or stuck with it in high school if it weren't for you.
  • Max Schindler, Ben Zhang and the rest of the Ladue team for establishing and writing the Ladue Invitational Spring Tournament question set over the last four years. Driving out to St. Louis to read what has become one of the best housewritten sets of the year is always one of the highlights of my quizbowl season.
Jeffrey Hill • Missouri Quizbowl Alliance president • UMR/Missouri S&T 2009 • Liberty (MO) 2005
Post your tournaments, SQBS reports, and question sets to the Quizbowl Resource Center Database!

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Re: Praise Song

Post by I'm a goff (in case you couldn't tell) » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:02 am

Thanks, Jonathan Magin, for starting this thread and for consistently being a welcoming, friendly personality in the Mid-Atlantic, and for everything you've done as a tournament writer, editor, and advisor over the years to contribute to the continued strength of the multiple quizbowl circuits in the Mid-Atlantic.

Two other people who deserve credit and thanks for all their work: Eric and Bryn Douglass. They have been what is likely the most consistent quizbowl presence in South Carolina not named Dorman High School. I can't begin to imagine the number of weekends they've spent driving to exotic locations in nearby states to help moderate at tournaments. Their continued energy and devotion in keeping the USC program organized and running and as ambassadors in the southeast cannot be understated.

Finally, thanks to all of you for not crashing the site in several months.
Dan Goff
HSQB sysadmin

Virginia Tech '13
South Carolina '15
and a couple other places
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Re: Praise Song

Post by fett0001 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:11 pm

Dan Goff. He took a languishing Virginia Tech team, and provided the vision necessary for Mongilio and I to really turn the club around. He's definitely provided a huge benefit to southwest Virginia quizbowl.
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Re: Praise Song

Post by Ethnic history of the Vilnius region » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:24 pm

fett0001 wrote:Dan Goff. He took a languishing Virginia Tech team, and provided the vision necessary for Mongilio and I to really turn the club around. He's definitely provided a huge benefit to southwest Virginia quizbowl.
Dan, Bryn and I are seriously touched by your comments. Thank you so very much! And I certainly echo what you said about Magin. He's always been welcoming to me and the South Carolina team.

And yes, you can't say enough about what Dan Goff has done in his many years of service to quizbowl. And Mike, you've done great work at Virginia Tech. I always like making the trip to Blacksburg. Thanks in general to Virginians.

Dan, I'm glad you mentioned Bryn, because I wouldn't still be involved in quizbowl to the extent I am without her. And she basically plans any tournaments I "run" and is a great reader! Indeed, one group that doesn't get enough recognition for their help in quizbowl are families, especially spouses and significant others. You don't (always) see them at tournaments, but you wouldn't have a good amount of quizbowl without them. Thanks for your patience and support, people who are related to those of us in quizbowl!
Eric D.
University of South Carolina Alum

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Re: Praise Song

Post by Lagotto Romagnolo » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:29 pm

Mike Bentley doesn't get enough love. He's invested so much time into PACE, and the organization would not be where it is now were it not for him. He's written countless questions pro bono. That, and his work spreading quizbowl in the Pacific Northwest.
Aaron Rosenberg
Langley HS '07 / Brown '11 / Illinois '14
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Re: Praise Song

Post by Tees-Exe Line » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:36 pm

I would like to thank Michael Arnold, a man with an enemies list the length of his arm, a scornful attitude toward high school quizbowl, and a perceptive and merciless critic of those around him. Despite (or because of) all of that, it was in large part his delightful personality and company that wedded me to the Chicago quizbowl team as my main extracurricular involvement in graduate school, and I know all of you will appreciate him for that.
Marshall I. Steinbaum

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University of Chicago (2008-2014)

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Re: Praise Song

Post by Red Panda Cub » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:07 pm

There are three people I'd like to thank for what they've done for the British quiz scene.

First, Kyle Haddad-Fonda ought to be recognised for pretty much bringing quizbowl back to life. My understanding was that before his arrival Oxford practiced once a week throughout the entire academic year for one match against Cambridge. Now, largely thanks to his influence, we play six or so tournaments a year and are slowly developing a decent quizbowl culture.

Edmund Dickinson, too, deserves much credit for his tireless efforts in organising and producing ICQ and BSQC each year. The UK doesn't yet have a large group of capable and dedicated writers that aren't eligible for these events so getting these sorts of things off the ground requires a lot of work from Edmund.

Third, I'd like to thank John Lawrence for pretty much single handedly giving Oxford a bunch of really competitive games. Hopefully more Americans come do degrees here (but not at Cambridge, we enjoy beating them).
Joey Goldman
Oxford '17
City, University of London '19

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Re: Praise Song

Post by Muriel Axon » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:22 pm

I know Andrew Hart has already been mentioned, but let's not forget the largely thankless work he does every year managing Early Autumn Collegiate Novice. For many players (including me), this was their first time playing a college tournament - or any tournament! And for many writers (again, including me), Novice was their one of their first times writing questions for a tournament. Most of us tend to ignore it, but it's valuable to have an introduction to the game that's consistently decent, and it's equally valuable for new writers to be writing under the direction of a seasoned editor like Andrew.

I'd also like to thank all the people at MSU (this time, not including me) and HSAPQ who facilitated the shift of the Michigan High School State Championship (which is run by the MSU Honors College, not MSU Quiz Bowl) from KMO to HSAPQ questions. I remember the days when we had to go through each question and toss out the ones that were stupid or factually inaccurate. It was embarrassing, a waste of time, and a disservice to the teams who came to play. The switch was difficult because of the Honors College's inertia, but things have become much better since.
Last edited by Muriel Axon on Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Praise Song

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:31 pm

Muriel Axon wrote:I know Andrew Hart has already been mentioned, but let's not forget the largely thankless work he does every year managing Early Autumn Collegiate Novice. For many players (including me), this was their first time playing a college tournament - or any tournament! And for many writers (again, including me), Novice was their one of their first times writing questions for a tournament. Most of us tend to ignore it, but it's great to have an introduction to the game that's consistently decent.
I will second this. MattBo and I weren't eligible for the first go-round, but it's been great to be able to take car-fulls of new UVA kids to EACN each year since then. The reduced entry fees are also incredibly helpful; especially in my first year as treasurer when we started out in the red and I was lending the team money to do things, it was great to not have to turn kids we weren't sure would stick around away for cost reasons. So, thank you, Andrew Hart and EACN writers and hosts, for making it easier to invest in teams' futures by forgoing the usual workings of the quizbowl economy for this tournament each year.
Sam (Sarah Angelo) Luongo,
Maggie L. Walker Governor's School 2010 / UVA 2014 / VCU School of Education 2016
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Re: Praise Song

Post by vcuEvan » Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:15 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:
Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:I've always felt that Jonathan Pinyan is the most under-appreciated person in quizbowl, measured by just how much he does for the game and how little public praise he receives from it. If he shows up to your tournament, your tournament just got a whole lot better run.
This is very true -- his calming presence at statkeeper for ACF Nats and NHBB this year really helped keep those tournaments moving, and generally he, and another person who should be mentioned, Andrew Feist, are operating at another level when it comes to melding the realities of running a tournament with the various possibilities of all kinds of schedules. There's few people who so intuitively understand both the social and the mathematical sides of a question like "if team Blue beats team Green in round 14, what does that mean for how many extra packets we might need to use tonight," and having them around is the secret weapon that has done so much to get NHBB nats under control time-wise and helped PACE NSC become what it has over the past two years.
Let me second this one. Andrew Feist is one of the most selfless and competent people around. Quizbowl is way better because of his participation.
Evan Adams
VCU '11, UVA '14, NYU '15

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Re: Praise Song

Post by Frater Taciturnus » Thu May 01, 2014 12:09 am

A quick thanks to:
Dan Goff, who showed an incredible amount of patience with me when I was at Reynolds. I'm sure I made him want to throttle me or at the very least just walk away from the "team" but he stuck around which is basically the reason I was able to get ingrained into the college circuit enough to keep going to things.

Matt Weiner, for selflessly giving up night after night long after graduation to come to VCU practice and help us to be a functioning team.

Evan Adams, for being a far better teammate than I ever deserve to have gotten to play with.

Cody Voight, for not making the VCU team crash and burn either of the times that I left VCU.

Andrew Feist, for being an extremely reliable staffer who, if asked, would come down to Richmond every time he could.

Yamin Alam, for making sure the Freeman team did not go under after Kevin graduated.


and finally:

Josh Alman, without your fuckery, NAQT probably would never have caught Watkins, Putzig, and Brosch.
George Berry
georgeberry.vcu@gmail.com
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Douglas Freeman 2005, 2006, 2007

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Re: Praise Song

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Thu May 01, 2014 9:05 am

I'd like to thank Stephen Eltinge for the huge amount of work he puts into organizing tournaments in the Northeast, and for being an excellent TD who is very easy to work with before tournaments when circumstances change, as they often do for us before tournaments.
Will Alston
Bethesda Chevy Chase HS '12, Dartmouth '16, Columbia Business School '21
NAQT Writer and Subject Editor

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Re: Praise Song

Post by marnold » Thu May 01, 2014 10:38 am

Tees-Exe Line wrote:I would like to thank Michael Arnold, a man with an enemies list the length of his arm, a scornful attitude toward high school quizbowl, and a perceptive and merciless critic of those around him. Despite (or because of) all of that, it was in large part his delightful personality and company that wedded me to the Chicago quizbowl team as my main extracurricular involvement in graduate school, and I know all of you will appreciate him for that.
I try to avoid reading any postive threads on here but yeah, let's have some more about how great I am!
Michael Arnold
Chicago 2010
Columbia Law 2013

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Re: Praise Song

Post by naturalistic phallacy » Thu May 01, 2014 12:48 pm

marnold wrote:
Tees-Exe Line wrote:I would like to thank Michael Arnold, a man with an enemies list the length of his arm, a scornful attitude toward high school quizbowl, and a perceptive and merciless critic of those around him. Despite (or because of) all of that, it was in large part his delightful personality and company that wedded me to the Chicago quizbowl team as my main extracurricular involvement in graduate school, and I know all of you will appreciate him for that.
I try to avoid reading any postive threads on here but yeah, let's have some more about how great I am!
I was wondering why you were posting in this thread. But yeah, maybe you are great.
Bernadette Spencer
University of Minnesota
MCTC
Event Manager, PACE

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