2005-2006 "It's Academic"

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2005-2006 "It's Academic"

Post by bigtrain »

I don't know if any of you have heard but Giant is cutting their funding of "It's Academic" to $10,000 total per year from $40,000 per year. Now the payment of teams is much more top heavy: only the teams that make the finals get any money ($2,500 to 2nd and 3rd and $5,000 to the champion). What do you think are the implications of this change for Mid Atlantic quiz bowl considering this is the primary source of funding for most teams?
Additionally, who are the favorites in the show this year in all three cities?
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Post by First Chairman »

Hmm... that's too bad that they cut their prize money. I'm not sure exactly what the implications are, but it usually results in the teams that just do this program "for the money and TV exposure" to drop out. I would say that as long as there is TV exposure for the teams, there will be minimal impact, but I'm not really sure.
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Post by DumbJaques »

In terms of funding, it definitely hurts the region, and individual teams, as a whole. But it may actually have a significant upside, if it can encourage some teams to move towards more pyramidal-style formats. Maybe now Holton Arms will actually come to a tournament or two. . .
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Post by Howard »

I think there may be a bigger downside to this than people realize. To me it reflects an overall lack of willingness to contribute money toward sponsorship of the show. I don't know that much about the costs involved in producing a television show, but I'd think that part of the money going to $1000 to $2000 for scholarship prizes is a drop in the bucket compared to advertising costs.

And, by the way, the prizes have been cut. It's not necessarily true that the sponsors are donating less money. It's entirely possible that the producers are demanding more for their cut (but I doubt it).
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Post by BuzzerZen »

Giant started going downhill when they got bought out by the Dutch a few years back. Then they moved corporate to Boston a few months ago, and the death knell for Giant's community involvement in the DC area was sounded. It's kind of sad, really. Comcast sort of seems to be sponsoring the kinds of things Giant used to, but it's not the same level of involvement. As for quiz bowl, I would say that if the TV show becomes less relevant in the region, that's probably mostly a Good Thing. The more people focus on the invitational circuit, the more fun we all have because we'll be spending more Saturdays playing multiple rounds of a legitimate format than playing for half an hour on goofball questions wearing suits. (The players, not the questions. Are wearing suits.)

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Post by dschafer »

I will be interested to see if there is a significant drop in the number of teams competing this year on the TV show. I also hope that the potential drop in interest in the TV show because of this leads to an increased interest in the many other tournaments available, rather than just a drop in interest in quiz bowl altogether.

I also am not sure that the $30,000 savings here will be worth it for Giant. If fewer teams compete next year, there will obviously be fewer matches, meaning that Giant loses its adverstising during the commercial breaks (no more educational materials appearing to the sound of a grocery store scanner... I shudder at the thought).
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Post by bigtrain »

I don't think it will be difficult to find 81 schools in the Washington area with three intelligent students willing to compete (or perform) in a television show on NBC. There are many schools, such as Northwest, in the area with decent teams that are not in the "It's Academic" bracket and even more schools that get rotated out of the bracket periodically.
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Post by Howard »

dschafer wrote:I also hope that the potential drop in interest in the TV show because of this leads to an increased interest in the many other tournaments available, rather than just a drop in interest in quiz bowl altogether.
It's Academic is the primary reason quiz bowl in the DC area is such a success. Unfortunately, any drop in interest in the television show probably also means there will be a similiar lack of participation in quiz bowl events in general.
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Post by Captain Sinico »

Howard wrote:It's Academic is the primary reason quiz bowl in the DC area is such a success. Unfortunately, any drop in interest in the television show probably also means there will be a similiar lack of participation in quiz bowl events in general.
Do you have any justification for that statement at all? It seems like quizbowl is pretty popular elsewhere (indeed, more popular than it is in the DC area) without the need for such a show.

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Post by bigtrain »

(indeed, more popular than it is in the DC area)
I don't think theres a single city in the country with half the quizbowl strength or popularity as Washington except for possibly Atlanta and Chicago.
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Post by Captain Sinico »

bigtrain wrote:
(indeed, more popular than it is in the DC area)
I don't think theres a single city in the country with half the quizbowl strength or popularity as Washington except for possibly Atlanta and Chicago.
... What?

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Post by Howard »

ImmaculateDeception wrote:Do you have any justification for that statement at all?
Not much, really. It's my opinion. But, for what it's worth, most schools in this area refer to their quiz bowl team as their It's Academic team, seeming to imply a significant correlation between the existence of the team and the television show. If you'd like to counter (or support) my opinion with yours, you may do so.

But I'd wager that since you didn't spend your childhood in this part of the country, you would have little idea what impact the television show had. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on how the television show impacted quiz bowl in the Chicago area since once upon a time Chicago had such a show.

And as for bigtrain's comment, it seems to be rather obvious he's contending that the number of strong teams and popularity of quiz bowl, when viewed together, exceed the same in other metropolitan areas by a significant amount, with the possible exception of the two places he noted. I don't know enough about other areas to make much of a judgment, but I think it's possible he's correct.
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Post by BuzzerZen »

We call our quiz bowl team the It's Academic team not because we live for the TV show but becuase it means people will sort of understand what we're talking about when we talk about it. If people are still listening to me, I generally go on to explain how little the TV show actually has to do with most of the tournaments we go to and what we spend most of our time on.
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Post by Howard »

What's the official name at the school? Is it the same all across Fairfax county?

I don't think TJHSST is a good example individually because it hasn't been around all that long. Schools which have been around since the sixties would be better examples. And better yet would be if all the teams at all the schools in the county had similar names.

Regardless, I understand your point completely. If you tried to describe your team to the general public without using the words "It's Academic," they'd probably be lost.
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Post by BuzzerZen »

We're officially known as the It's Academic team in every official context I can think of in the school, and in my perusal of area school websites, just about every school lists an "It's Academic club/team" as opposed to anything else.
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Post by No Sollositing On Premise »

Really? When I was acting treasurer sophomore year I'm pretty sure I signed a school-mandated constitution that called us the Thomas Jefferson Academic Team. It's Ac isn't part of the official name, but Evan's absolutely right about the difficulty in explaining what it is without mention of the show.
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Post by BuzzerZen »

Oh. Well, I've never seen the constitution. I think we modified it recently to officially give our sponsor even less power then they had before, so maybe someone who was there remembers. The website is tjhsst.edu/itsacademic, and it's called It's Academic on the eighth period roster. What a useless, trivial, pointless post.
[shoves thread onto topic]
Do people have their taping dates yet? If so, what form of communication was used? We haven't heard anything yet.
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Post by blazer06 »

Our coach emailed by the producer, who then forwarded the email to the team. We're taping October 1, March 11(hopefully), then April 29(really hopefully).

Of course...this means we can't go to TJ's tournament. Dammit...two blows in 2 days. We can't go to NAQT this year either, seeing as our prom is Saturday, June 3. (wtf...if it were Friday, we just might be crazy enough to pull it off, but eh...)
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Post by Dan Greenstein »

blazer06 wrote:We can't go to NAQT this year either, seeing as our prom is Saturday, June 3.
How is your prom preventing you from going to NAQT HSNCT?
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Post by blazer06 »

Dan Greenstein wrote:How is your prom preventing you from going to NAQT HSNCT?
Well, half our team is insistent on going to prom, I'm a little on the borderline myself(hey, its senior year). Although I just might be crazy enough to go to both.
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Post by NRScout98 »

You better believe TJ's team made it to both prom and NAQT. That was a party indeed.
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Post by Byko »

I'm in total agreement with Howard here--It's Academic is the best quiz bowl exposure the DC and Baltimore areas have by far. We're talking about a program that has been on the air for decades now, and more than any newspaper can ever do, it lets the public know about quiz bowl.

Let's face it: quiz bowl is not genearlly popularized. Most teams are lucky to get a tiny little blip about themselves in their tiny little local paper once during the year, and major newspapers generally overlook it completely. So quiz bowl needs television--people who have no connection to it or the schools will watch because it looks interesting to them. I know this from experience--I've talked with plenty of people about it here in Columbia, where we have a program that doesn't have anywhere near the exposure that It's Academic does.

The fact is that the quiz bowl community can seem very insular to an outsider looking to get started. TV shows like It's Academic help to at least provide a starting point that can be used as a stepping stone to doing more. It's a lot easier that way than simply jumping into the deep end of the pool not knowing how deep it really is.
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Post by bigtrain »

Byko wrote: Most teams are lucky to get a tiny little blip about themselves in their tiny little local paper once during the year, and major newspapers generally overlook it completely.
The only reason why my team has been in the newspaper this year is, ironically enough, because we won "It's Academic." We were actually covered in the Metro section of the Washington Post. Additionally, winning the show got us invited to the US House of Representatives where we were written up in the Congressional Record. I think these two events alone (we were honored in other publications and by another government body) indicate how important the show is to the Washington area.
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Post by solonqb »

Oh yeah? We had to win our TV show twice before the local paper (Plain Dealer) would mention us
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Post by dtaylor4 »

Here in central Illinois, there used to be a TV show (Braintrust), but it got cancelled for some reason.
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Post by benthorot »

so does anybody know about how the draw is shaping up? any interesting first round matches? I'm especially wondering about St. Albans and National Cathedral...
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Post by bigtrain »

I do believe our precious little quiz show is getting its own holiday:
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:H.RES.471:

Next up in committee, National :chip: Day!
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Post by bigtrain »

I'm not sure who else this applies to but....
At least one of the second round taping dates has been changed from April 8th to April 22 due to conflicts with the spring break of the District of Columbia as well as Montgomery, Fairfax, Prince George's and Prince William County. Two players from our team were going to be in Europe so my coach contacted "It's Academic" to get the taping date changed.
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Post by STPickrell »

FWIW, when I've communicated with the Dulles District (Loudoun County) ADs and principals about Scholastic Bowl, they usually refer to the "It's Academic season".

From what I notice, about 1/2 to 2/3 of the schools (depending on the coaching situation mostly and player inclination somewhat I'd suppose) in Northern Virginia seem to come out for It's Ac in the fall and then once more in January for Scholastic Bowl. I'd wager that the twice-a-year schools use the term 'It's Academic' nearly exclusively.
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Post by mbclev »

What happened to the Baltimore "It's Academic"? I looked at WJZ's web site and saw no mention of the show. (By the way, who succeeded Mac McGarry as the Baltimore host when Mac stepped down due to health concerns?) I'm from Solon, OH, like Noah, and have grown up watching "It's Academic" shows here in the Cleveland area, plus in Washington (near where my paternal grandparents lived) and in Baltimore (from the TV of those same grandparents). I got to see Mac and show creator Sophie Altman during a Washington taping on Nov. 11, 2000 and had a wonderful time.
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Post by Howard »

Baltimore It's Academic shows are televised Saturdays at 10 A.M. The show was hosted by Paul Barry immediately on Mac's departure. He did a horrible job. My biggest question was how someone who couldn't read with some degree of competence was ever a success as a news anchor. Paul Barry hosted for two years only, after which Mac returned for a year, and then Dave Zahren began hosting and is still the current host. In most respects, Dave is doing a fine job.
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Post by SithHappens »

Hello!

As National Cathedral School captain, I was touched that you were wondering about our team. To (mis)quote Oscar Wilde, "I like people to ask me how I am. It shows a widespread interest in my well-being." I'm happy to report that we triumphed in our opening round match and will be up again on April 8 (If that's moved, I'm not aware of it yet).

We're hoping to show up at more tournaments this year and be more of a quiz bowl/It's Ac team than just an It's Ac team.

Keep us posted if there's anywhere you especially would like girls with, er, stunning good looks and mad buzzer skills to show up.

:)

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2005-2006 "It's Academic"

Post by Encyclopedia Brown »

I know that calling quizbowl by its local TV name is a norm. Here in Richmond, most schools refer to their club as "Battle of the Brains" or "Bob Squad" (direct reference to Gov). Usually, those teams only compete in the Richmond TV show (and perhaps VHSL). In the Tidewater Virginia area where Battle of the Brains is prevalent, the name "Scholastic Bowl" (the official VHSL quizbowl name) is used.

I know that there used to be a version of CBI's "High School Bowl" and a version of "It's Academic" that used to air in Richmond back in the 1960s and 1970s, since my father played on the 1975-76 season. Other than that, I know very little about the Richmond area TV history from back then. If anybody does know, please email me at [email protected]
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Re: 2005-2006 "It's Academic"

Post by mbclev »

dsfquizbowl wrote:

I know that there used to be ... a version of "It's Academic" that used to air in Richmond back in the 1960s and 1970s, since my father played on the 1975-76 season.
Did Mac McGarry commute to Richmond from the Washington area to host this version, like he did with the Baltimore version for many years?
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Post by STPickrell »

Is there a Website that has some sort of updated results? I looked around the channel 4 website, but found little :(
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Post by bigtrain »

All I know so far is that Richard Montgomery is a semifinalist; and the quarterfinalists in our bracket are Holton Arms, Wilson and WJ.

At this point, this most probable final is RM, WJ or Blake and TJ or Whitman. RM has an easy route to the finals now that they've beaten Blair (by a lot). Walter Johnson has to play Holton in the quarters and most likely Blake in the semis to make the finals which will be somewhat difficult. TJ has to play the very fast team from Whitman to make the finals. If we beat Holton, we will take their position as winningest team on the show over the past decade.
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Post by Magister Ludi »

Are you sure about the the semi-final match-ups. My understanding was that the first semi-final match was with RM, Whitman, and Anselm's. The second was TJ, us(gonzaga), and either GDS or NCS. and that the third semi-final has not yet been decided.
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Post by bigtrain »

Woops! I totally forgot about you guys and I got the schedule mixed up. I've havn't seen you guys play on It's Ac style questions this year so its hard to judge in a game with you, GDS or NCS and TJ. You all will probably be the fastest team out there and have more knowledge than GDS/NCS. With TJ's speed, that game could go to either of you. The RM-Whitman matchup will be very interesting. RM has had a tough time with Whitman on speed questions so far this year because of Klitzman's sick anticipation. We'll know who will be in our semifinal on April 22nd when we tape.
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Post by NotjustoldWASPs »

bigtrain wrote: ...its hard to judge in a game with you, GDS or NCS and TJ. You all will probably be the fastest team out there and have more knowledge than GDS/NCS
I would put my money on NCS, having read for them at both of our tournaments and watching their first-round show. Their captain is extremely fast on the buzzer (probably a millisecond or less behind whitman), so this format works well for them, and due to the extreme stupidity of the Department of Energy, two of our regular team members will be stuck in Chevy Chase on our semifinal taping date (we practically signed away our souls to the gods of DOE), so the experience will be lacking.
bigtrain wrote:We'll know who will be in our semifinal on April 22nd when we tape.
IIRC, the semifinals taping are on the 29th...correct me if I'm wrong (I hope I am, as it would void the statement I made earlier regarding SciBowl)
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Post by bigtrain »

Notjustolddeadwhiteguys wrote:bigtrain wrote:
We'll know who will be in our semifinal on April 22nd when we tape.


IIRC, the semifinals taping are on the 29th...correct me if I'm wrong (I hope I am, as it would void the statement I made earlier regarding SciBowl)
I was saying our quarterfinal taping is on the 22nd. Thus, that's when we know which teams will be in the semifinal taping on the 29th.
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Post by MamaFlanagan »

Charlottesville will be representing Central Virginia in the "superbowl" on May 20. Any new info on who else will be in it?
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Post by Byko »

Up in Baltimore, they'll be taping the semifinals and finals on May 13. Hammond is looking like a likely Baltimore area champion this year based on what I saw of them at their taping this past Saturday.
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Re: It's Academic

Post by colonial »

Regarding previous posts on *It's Academic* funding for the Washington show.

George Washington University has stepped in to provide underwriting support for the program...

The announcement was made in February, but I didn't know about it until earlier this week, courtesy of an alumni newspaper.

http://www.gwu.edu/~media/pressrelease.cfm?ann_id=20411

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Post by bigtrain »

George Washington University has stepped in to provide underwriting support for the program
My team met President Trachtenberg when he made the announcement which worked out well because the father of one of our players is a professor at GWU. In Baltimore, I believe College of Notre Dame of Maryland is co-sponsoring the show.
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Post by shylar »

Notre Dame is indeed the co-sponsor in Baltimore, and you'll love going to Emory, Alex. That was my first pick without money involved.

Byko, thanks for the nod of confidence; we're knocking on wood about it, that's for sure. I was very proud of our team at the April 1 taping. Walkersville had an excellent squad.
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Post by bigtrain »

WJ beat Holton Arms and Wilson in a very ugly game. It was a shame that the three teams had to meat in the second round; the 3 of us were strong enough to combine for over 1800 points in our first round games.
We face ER and probably Blake (I'll confirm tommorrow). I believe the other semifinals are GDS, Gonzaga and TJ as well as RM, Whitman and some other team.
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Post by Magister Ludi »

In our third round match-up Gonzaga beat TJ and GDS in a very close game. The final score was Gonzaga: 415 TJ: 410 and GDS: 370

Frankly I was surprised we won because we were very slow today, losing many buzzer races. I know I missed a lot of questions that I should of gotten. It should be noted that TJ was missing some of its regulars due to the Science Bowl.
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Post by bigtrain »

WJ beat Blake and Eleanor Roosevelt on the last question by 5 points with time just expiring. I believe it was WJ 460, Blake 455 and ER 350. I wasn't playing in that game for personal reasons, but I'll be back in for the finals in three weeks.

Washington Area "It's Academic" Finals: Richard Montgomery, Gonzaga, Walter Johnson
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Post by bigmac »

RM managed to hang on to defeat strong teams from Whitman and St. Anselm's. We were fast out of the gate, but a fumbling of a bonus question made for an interesting and, ultimately, sloppy grab-bag round. I think the score was 490-435-395 or something like that. Zach or dumbjaques can verify it.
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Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 4:39 pm
Location: columbia, md
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Post by shylar »

Hammond emerged victorious yesterday in the Baltimore Championship, defeating Parkville and Perry Hall--two very strong teams made up mostly of juniors who will certainly be contenders next year.

The visual round proved to be the deciding factor as Hammond zapped most of the questions, then held on against very aggressive and accurate buzzing in the grab bag by the two other teams.

We'll be looking forward to taking on Charlottesville and the winner of the D.C. match next Saturday.
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