Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Quiz Bowl, Mr. Smith?

By: L.A. Kohl
March 2, 2006

(published in the April 26, 2006 edition of the "Bullseye")
Recently, our eldest competed in her last quiz bowl meet. She only got started last year – so it’s been a relatively short career for her, but she has thoroughly enjoyed it. And I have to say that, surprisingly, so have her parents!

Just as during volleyball season we enjoyed watching our second born make a dive for a volleyball that was way out of her reach – it’s equally as exciting watching our eldest make a stab in the dark at a question that is way over her head.

Sure, she gets a wrong answer occasionally. In fact, she’s gotten so bold and brave lately that more often than not she guesses incorrectly. But she’s got a strategy – I see her intently watching the buzzer, and when it gets to that last second and it appears that no one knows the answer, she quickly buzzes in and gives it her best shot. Why not? It’s like the basketball player standing with the ball at half court, with only one second left in the quarter. He’s probably going to miss (unless he’s Kyle Fischer, of course) but hey, why not give it a shot anyway?

One time she decided that “Smith” would be a pretty good answer for any question related to a person that no one knew. By the end of the match, the other team was laughing and teasing her about “Hey! What happened to ‘Smith’?” whenever she actually gave a different answer. But they also agreed to themselves that one of the times she was going to get lucky and get it correct.

The fun thing about quiz bowl is that it isn’t just about brains. Sure, there are these incredibly difficult math problems that come up occasionally; but then there are also the questions about hammers, turtles or Harry Potter that just need someone who’s paid a little bit of attention during their first sixteen years of life. Or at least someone who knows the theme song to the “Beverly Hillbillies” (remember what black gold is?)

We never knew going and listening to question after question could be fun; but it really has been. So as the season draws to a close – here’s to all you quiz bowlers. Your classmates and teachers may not be able to quote your team stats, like they can for your sport teams – but your accomplishments go way beyond your final wins and losses.

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