Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:Why doesn't anybody tell Harrison that they should be embarrassed with themselves for this nonsense on the rare occasions they do show up to real tournaments and lose to the actual national contenders.
I mean, technically its the national championship of
, so its not a dishonest statement.
On a more serious note, I believe the subject of Chip vs. pyramidal has been discussed with Harrison multiple times. I don't think that Mrs. Schneider will budge from her support of Chip. Obviously, these are both unsurprising and uninformative statements, so at this point I should come up with a useful point or get out.
Despite their avowed preference for the Four-Quarter format and Chip, Harrison attends almost every single pyramidal tournament run in the state of Indiana with multiple teams, and drove up a couple of students to South Bend for tryouts for the Indiana NASAT team. Thus we see that while Harrison has a preference that most on this board find distasteful at best, unlike many such teams they are not against pyramidal quizbowl. I'm going to argue that actions that alienate Harrison from pyramidal quizbowl are detrimental to the continued positive growth of Indiana quizbowl.
Before I launch into my argument, however, I would like to mention that Indiana quizbowl is in a bit of a slump. Harrison is down. St. Joe's is way down. Penn's only tournament appearance occurred without their best player (who may be the second best player in the state). Even Culver's star Andrew Van Duyn, who I hear did exceedingly well at the NHBB, could not lead his team to the playoffs of HSNCT. The peak of Indiana quizbowl, in my opinion, occurred in 2006. I have mostly memories and very little data, since no Indiana team attended HSNCT or NSC that year. 2006 St. Joe's had a team filled with excellent players, and yet was the fourth best team in their league behind Washington, Penn, and Culver. Washington had, I believe, the best player in the state, a guy whose name now escapes me, while Penn 2006 followed more of a "team" concept. Culver had its last captain patient enough to not have a 1:1 P:N ratio. And yet none of those could hold a candle to Harrison, who only lost NAQT states due to a bad game in the single-elim playoffs - in the prelims, they were averaging 445 ppg. For something perhaps more convincing of worth: in the Midwest Championship that year, Harrison would take 1 of 3 from a DCC team that would finish 4th at HSNCT and 5th (?) at NSC. 2007 would see a decline, as all teams besides Harrison were hit hard by graduation. This decline has continued until hitting a low this year.
The first way that alienating Harrison would hurt Indiana is by reducing the number of competitive teams in attendance at pyramidal tournaments. Currently, the teams that are interested in playing multiple pyramidal tournaments each year are Culver, St. Joseph's, Harrison, North White, North Miami, Pioneer, and Penn. North White, North Miami, and Pioneer are all small schools that have seen an improvement since their first tournaments but are still fairly weak. Penn is fairly inconsistent about coming to tournaments due to the overwhelming bureaucracy of the South Bend Public Schools (I believe that they have to have to have transportation requests in several months ahead of time). For tournaments that don't draw out of state teams, then, alienating Harrison means alienating competition.
The more important reason that alienating Harrison would hurt Indiana quizbowl is that such a move would effectively close off two thirds of the state. Of the teams that attend pyramidal tournaments mentioned above, only Harrison hails from the southern 2/3rds of the state. Moreover, Harrison has perhaps the most significant voice in that part of the state. Right now, their stance is one of "pyramidal is alright, but we prefer this". Alienating Harrison would change that voice to "pyramidal is not worth the effort", effectively eliminating any hope of getting central/southern teams to do pyramidal. This is fairly crucial - this year saw the return of Indianapolis area schools (Perry Meridian, Hamilton Southeastern, Carmel, and if they could understand time zones Ben Davis) to a pyramidal tournament (Rotary State) for the first time since Blessman introduced the concept to the state seven years ago, creating some hope that perhaps pyramidal does have a future in Indiana.
This is not me saying "stop bashing Harrison". It is a mixture of an explanation for why advocates of pyramidal quizbowl in Indiana would not continue to press the issue with Harrison, and a hope that no one from Harrison actually responds to Charlie's challenge. While I don't disagree with the underlying thoughts behind Charlie's statement, an argument between a team as entrenched as Harrison and a personality as abrasive Charlie will not end positively for anyone.
tldr: Yes, Indiana people know about Harrison, and have tried fruitlessly to convert them. However, they do continue to play pyramidal tournaments. Because of the dearth of competitive teams in Indiana and the influence that Harrison wields over central Indiana, it would be unwise to discourage them from doing so in the future.