Quizbowl sports analogies

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Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by Swagosaur »

Hey, i'm writing a piece about the Claremont Colleges Quizbowl team and I finally got my editor to let me run it in our Sports section. One of my suggestions was that I use sports analogies to explain quizbowl and its potential as an enjoyable spectator sport. He then made that a requirement for the article not to get put in Life and Style wedged between the Sex Column and S#!t Claremont Students Say pieces.I asked my team and got some good ones from some or our deep sports knowledge people. Specifically, I'd like something(s) that contextualizes game play for the layman, and stuff that I could use to explain the "aggression factor," i.e. early hyperbuzzing tactics leading to dominant time of possession type things, etc. You guys get it. Have fun.
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by Sun Devil Student »

How about this?
http://www.hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewto ... 24#p210024

I'd love to see my creativity finally be useful for someone.
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by DumbJaques »

As someone who loves both basketball and quizbowl, I really hope you don't use that free throw analogy, as it is not so much a "sports analogy" as a comparison of this game to a twisted, mutilated approximation of one aspect of a completely different thing.

Quizbowl sports analogies have a. . . checkered past, but one thing you really do notice is that the mindset that makes a good athlete is very much akin to what makes a good quizbowl player. I used to coach pop warner ball, and you get a lot of kids who maybe haven't played football (or anything else) in a real organized way before. One of the first things I'd try to get them to understand is that you have to play with a short memory - you can't do anything about what happened on the last play, you just have to go out and try to do better on the next one. That's actually something I've told plenty of freshmen over the years, too; just because you've negged or missed a buzz, there's no upside in letting that impact how you play the rest of the game.

When you're a newer player, a lot of times the natural reaction when you mess something up is to be more apprehensive, so you see a lot of people have an early neg and end up giving up two or three times as many tossups later on because they sat on things they knew. You see the same thing happen in football, especially in youth leagues - a kid will overrun a tackle one time and start coming in way too soft to make the play, or get a false start penalty and spend the rest of the game coming off the ball a second behind everyone else. You have to learn to play through stuff like that with sports, because everyone screws up - it's really even more crucial in quizbowl, because the tossup you can really help your team by getting might be numbers 18, 19, and 20; that won't happen if you've psyched yourself out of the game by then because you negged tossups 1 and 2.


Basketball is probably the best comparison as far as the playing dynamic goes, especially in terms of player styles. You've got three-point specialists who sit there all game doing nothing until it's time to drill a few early buzzes in their categories. There's a thread somewhere around here from last week or something that was basically "help me, everyone on my quizbowl team is a clone of Mike Miller," asking for help on how to deal with teammates who were hardly ever negging (shooting borderline 50% from beyond the arc) but not buzzing enough to take advantage of it. I actually think Marnold and I were just discussing at SCT how valuable a good garbage man is, someone who can win those random buzzerraces caused by weird tossups nobody knew until the end, or pick up points here and there in geography/general knowledge/whatever else their team isn't really good at. And of course on a more basic level, you can play the game hunting the high-percentage looks and deferring to your teammates (though, like John Wall, that second part might not be such a great idea), or you can just chuck it up there from where the fuck ever and see what falls.

Also, like baseball, quizbowl has a proud and storied history of people throwing chairs, saying racist shit, and abusing illegal drugs. And, again like baseball, it's about as entertaining to watch on tv as being hit in the face with a mallet.
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by TheHumanPaperweight »

DumbJaques wrote: And, again like baseball, it's about as entertaining to watch on tv as being hit in the face with a mallet.
The wording of this made me briefly picture someone on TV being hit with a mallet, which would be very entertaining.

On a more serious note, having competed in curling at a high level (missed a trip to Junior Nationals by one game in 2006), I see a bunch of parallels to quizbowl. Of course, some of these observations will probably be lost on readers who can't identify with a hog any better than a neg.

The biggest thing that hit me is the interplay between experience and preparation. Just as it pays to learn a bunch of stuff in school for quizbowl, it's a good idea to show up at the start of curling season in good physical condition. In both cases, though, this alone typically doesn't guarantee anything resembling good results. Lots of high-GPA students struggle in their first few quizbowl tournaments, sort of like how athletic freak Vernon Davis didn't exactly tear up the ice that one time he dropped by. Of course, experience alone doesn't cover everything in either competition.

Secondly, there's a major component of knowing your teammates' relative strengths and making strategic decisions. It pays to know whether a player on your team is likely to make a particular type of shot, just as it's a good idea to have some concept of whether your teammates are apt to convert a particular tossup.

Lastly, there are some social aspects that overlap but might be unique to a less-established sport with small teams: curling teams often work with even their biggest rivals to try to grow the game, teams ideally consist of four players from the same club and things get thrown out of whack when a fifth person wants to participate, there's no clear need to separate men's and women's competition, and you often have to travel a LONG way to find a tournament.
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by marnold »

I think Chris does a good job explaining the team dynamics and the analogy to basketball. I'd emphasize the importance of match-ups as another similarity (e.g., Chicago, Illinois and Brown all walloped a majority of teams just because Seth, Sorice and Jerry were all unstoppable when teams couldn't put a body on them for science, but when playing each other the game moved to the match-ups on other categories).

Also, quizbowl programs evolve a lot like college football or college basketball programs, in a few ways. First, excellence becomes self-propagating; winning sports teams get the best recruits while established, winning quizbowl programs are way more likely to keep good high schoolers or grad students involved and bring potentially good players into the game. Second, like with college sports, there's a huge advantage in having resources and institutional support. I think it's very, very doubtful I would have ever played quizbowl if I had gone to a school other than Chicago for undergrad, since having a large team that can go to good tournaments in a non-Spartan fashion made sticking around very appealing. Conversely, having no money and no one in the administration willing to go to bat for you makes tournaments more expensive and less pleasant for players, so it takes a generation or two for a team to get going. Third, there's the Larry Bird effect. Pace Quintin Roper, but Drake being a good team for a while or even existing is 100% because Brendan Byrne happened to go there for a while (and then he went to an established program, so I guess he's actually sort of the anti-Larry Bird).

All that said, if your article is about quizbowl's "potential as an enjoyable spectator sport," you're fucked because it has none. Quizbowl is an awful spectator sport. There are maybe a grand total of 10 rounds a year that have situational drama (and all but maybe 1 or 2 of those are at ICT and Nats anyway). Also, a vast majority of spectators would be significantly worse than the teams playing so they'd have no idea what's going on.
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by cornfused »

TheHumanPaperweight wrote:
DumbJaques wrote: And, again like baseball, it's about as entertaining to watch on tv as being hit in the face with a mallet.
The wording of this made me briefly picture someone on TV being hit with a mallet, which would be very entertaining.
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by Swagosaur »

Thanks everyone so far. This stuff is solid, as expected. Yea, I realize the "spectator sport" angle is garbage. The piece is more shameless self-promotion for the club and recruitment tactic. I'm also going to pander so hard with some forced beer pong analogy. Stupid school newspaper FTW.
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by tintinnabulation »

marnold wrote:All that said, if your article is about quizbowl's "potential as an enjoyable spectator sport," you're fucked because it has none. Quizbowl is an awful spectator sport. There are maybe a grand total of 10 rounds a year that have situational drama (and all but maybe 1 or 2 of those are at ICT and Nats anyway). Also, a vast majority of spectators would be significantly worse than the teams playing so they'd have no idea what's going on.
I guess it depends on what you mean by spectator sport, but I think that quizbowl is actually the ultimate spectator sport. You can actually participate in what's going on...to some extent, anyway. Instead of saying, "I bet I could have caught that pass way better than [fill in athlete] just did," you can actually go, "Hello, the answer is Garcia Marquez and I knew that at the 'A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings' clue," or whatever. You can play against competing quizzers in your head if you want to. You can't do that with baseball or football or whatever.

But I guess that the point still is that if you have no clue what all the quizbowl stuff means, you won't be interested. Unfortunately.
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by DumbJaques »

I guess it depends on what you mean by spectator sport, but I think that quizbowl is actually the ultimate spectator sport. You can actually participate in what's going on...to some extent, anyway. Instead of saying, "I bet I could have caught that pass way better than [fill in athlete] just did," you can actually go, "Hello, the answer is Garcia Marquez and I knew that at the 'A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings' clue," or whatever. You can play against competing quizzers in your head if you want to. You can't do that with baseball or football or whatever.
Well, not really - your observation's quite right, but sadly I think it proves the opposite point. The average dude sitting at home saying "I could have caught THAT ball, Wes Welker" can actually delude himself into thinking that's true due to his imposing ignorance of football, a hilariously inflated idea of his own abilities, and/or large quantities of alcohol. But that guy CAN'T delude himself into thinking "I could have powered that tossup on Quantum Loop Gravity before you, Seth Teitler!" Mainly, because that guy has no effing idea what in the world that is.

Also it really does take at least a month or so (minimum) of playing questions and being around quizbowl to really follow what's happening in a given tossup. You know how new people spend their first few practices buzzing on all the bonuses? That's quizbowl's spectator potential in a nutshell, right there.
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by marnold »

tintinnabulation wrote:
marnold wrote:All that said, if your article is about quizbowl's "potential as an enjoyable spectator sport," you're fucked because it has none. Quizbowl is an awful spectator sport. There are maybe a grand total of 10 rounds a year that have situational drama (and all but maybe 1 or 2 of those are at ICT and Nats anyway). Also, a vast majority of spectators would be significantly worse than the teams playing so they'd have no idea what's going on.
I guess it depends on what you mean by spectator sport, but I think that quizbowl is actually the ultimate spectator sport. You can actually participate in what's going on...to some extent, anyway. Instead of saying, "I bet I could have caught that pass way better than [fill in athlete] just did," you can actually go, "Hello, the answer is Garcia Marquez and I knew that at the 'A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings' clue," or whatever. You can play against competing quizzers in your head if you want to. You can't do that with baseball or football or whatever.

But I guess that the point still is that if you have no clue what all the quizbowl stuff means, you won't be interested. Unfortunately.
Well, yeah, obviously you can play against the questions, but the point is that is that would be fun for non-quizbowl or not-good quizbowl people only on the easiest questions in the college game and only when not played by good players. And a vast majority of the games played on those sorts of questions are at 3:30 in the afternoon in the third bracket and have no drama at all. One of the most dramatic quizbowl games I can think of watching was the ACF final at Brandeis. Playing along wasn't really an option since obviously they got every question before I would have and the only reason it was dramatic was it was the Nats final that my teammates and friends were playing in.

Also, good spectator sports usually have way more parity than quizbowl does. This sounds like a Dwight Wynne project, but I bet if you looked at the data, the number of matches decided by a margin of 2 questions is less than you would think, and the gap between great and decent teams is pretty big, so most matches are just slaughters.

High school and middle school quizbowl are easy enough that spectators could be intrigued (and also charmed by youngsters rather than gross college NERDS), but the idea of college quizbowl making a dramatic return to TV or bringing in spectators is preposterous.
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by Fond du lac operon »

DumbJaques wrote:
I guess it depends on what you mean by spectator sport, but I think that quizbowl is actually the ultimate spectator sport. You can actually participate in what's going on...to some extent, anyway. Instead of saying, "I bet I could have caught that pass way better than [fill in athlete] just did," you can actually go, "Hello, the answer is Garcia Marquez and I knew that at the 'A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings' clue," or whatever. You can play against competing quizzers in your head if you want to. You can't do that with baseball or football or whatever.
Well, not really - your observation's quite right, but sadly I think it proves the opposite point. The average dude sitting at home saying "I could have caught THAT ball, Wes Welker" can actually delude himself into thinking that's true due to his imposing ignorance of football, a hilariously inflated idea of his own abilities, and/or large quantities of alcohol. But that guy CAN'T delude himself into thinking "I could have powered that tossup on Quantum Loop Gravity before you, Seth Teitler!" Mainly, because that guy has no effing idea what in the world that is.
Obviously the solution is to have an open bar at tournaments.
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

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What is it like to be a Batman? wrote:Obviously the solution is to have an open bar at tournaments.
More tournaments should have post-tournament socials, whether they be at a bar or at an apartment.

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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

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What is it like to be a Batman? wrote:Obviously the solution is to have an open bar at tournaments.
Paging Brendan Byrne, paging... what was it, Iowa State?
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by Swagosaur »

Um, maybe this is another topic, no wait it definitely is, but are there some drinking game variations of quizbowl out there? My team is trying to be a bit more social, i.e. "quizbowl practice should not be the only time you leave your room ya'll, you go to college in Socal." My suggestion of playing all tossups on an easyish high school level and doling out the remaining lines after a correct buzz as a number of "drinks" around the room was harshly dismissed as promoting instituionalization of alcoholism in our program. We did something where you drink if you neg and everyone else drinks if you power and then everyone cheerses on 30s.... I mean obviously the strategy I employed over the 2-3 packets involved running up a stat line of like 6-0-34, but then it was a lot of vengeful buzzing because my idea had been shot down.
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by cvdwightw »

cornfused wrote:
What is it like to be a Batman? wrote:Obviously the solution is to have an open bar at tournaments.
Paging Brendan Byrne, paging... what was it, Iowa State?
I believe you want this thread.

Also, Charles Meigs has told me many times the way to make quizbowl more social is not to make quizbowl practice more social, but to make quizbowl people more social with each other outside of quizbowl.
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by bradleykirksey »

What is it like to be a Batman? wrote:Obviously the solution is to have an open bar at tournaments.
Man, if you thought UCF negged a lot before...
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by Fond du lac operon »

Okay, I feel bad for derailing this thread (and to think I don't even drink!), so I'll try to provide a half-baked analogy.

Quizbowl's a little like baseball in that a lot of questions (or plate appearances) are pretty high-leverage situations -- unlike in basketball, where the number of shots you get to take is so high that one made/missed shot is unlikely to make a difference except at the end of the game, a single question in quizbowl is a potential swing of up to 90 points (although usually more like 50 -- that's still a lot, though). Also, every question is a little like an at-bat in baseball -- do you swing at the first pitch (or clue) that looks tasty, or do you wait for something even better to come up? It's a tricky balancing act, and it takes some time for players to know when they should buzz... or when they should swing.
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by dtaylor4 »

cvdwightw wrote:
cornfused wrote:
What is it like to be a Batman? wrote:Obviously the solution is to have an open bar at tournaments.
Paging Brendan Byrne, paging... what was it, Iowa State?
I believe you want this thread.

Also, Charles Meigs has told me many times the way to make quizbowl more social is not to make quizbowl practice more social, but to make quizbowl people more social with each other outside of quizbowl.
Both work, in various situations.

When I was with the ABT, usually after practice a bunch of us would grab a bite to eat at a local establishment (doesn't have to be a bar). Doing this with freshmen can help strengthen their ties with the club.

After some larger tournaments, some people have organized gatherings at apartments/bars with teams staying the night, as a way to unwind afterwards. At UIUC, this has also involved drunken trash: find a shitty packet of old trash, play tossups only. Powers = everyone else takes 2-3 drinks, tens = everyone else takes 1-2 drinks, neg = you drink.

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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by Deviant Insider »

Quizbowl sports analogies are like an Adam Dunn swing because they always miss, or maybe they're like a Caleb Hanie pass or a Ben Wallace free throw.
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by Cheynem »

The only sports analogy I like is this one:

Like any sport, quizbowl is an activity in which you get better at it through practice. Like, for instance, a lot of times people get discouraged when they come to one practice and can't answer anything in the first ten minutes or whatever. Whereas if you went to basketball practice and played against a varsity team, you probably would get smoked, or if you tried to bat against the varsity baseball team's star pitchers you probably wouldn't do very well either. However, if you became a member of the team and began practicing and playing more, you would do better. This would be the analogy I would use when trying to work or explain the game to new players--I think a lot of times they think that skill at the game is 100% raw talent whereas a lot of it is just learning and absorbing things while playing.
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by cornfused »

Cheynem wrote:The only sports analogy I like is this one:

Like any sport, quizbowl is an activity in which you get better at it through practice. Like, for instance, a lot of times people get discouraged when they come to one practice and can't answer anything in the first ten minutes or whatever. Whereas if you went to basketball practice and played against a varsity team, you probably would get smoked, or if you tried to bat against the varsity baseball team's star pitchers you probably wouldn't do very well either. However, if you became a member of the team and began practicing and playing more, you would do better. This would be the analogy I would use when trying to work or explain the game to new players--I think a lot of times they think that skill at the game is 100% raw talent whereas a lot of it is just learning and absorbing things while playing.
Seconded on that. I've told some version of this story many times - or at tournaments, I'll point out Mike Sorice's stat line and say that he wasn't even the best player on his HS team, and they didn't go to State. Convincing outsiders/newbies that quizbowl is work and it's not just a bunch of talented megaminds showing off what they already know is half the battle.
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by grapesmoker »

Remember this one golden rule: in all quizbowl/basketball analogies, Seth Teitler is Tim Duncan.
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by cornfused »

grapesmoker wrote:Remember this one golden rule: in all quizbowl/basketball analogies, Seth Teitler is Tim Duncan.
Which makes you...

EDIT: I am stumped.
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by Cheynem »

Both Dirk and Nash have been eliminated by a Duncan team three times in the playoffs.
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by cornfused »

Cheynem wrote:Both Dirk and Nash have been eliminated by a Duncan team three times in the playoffs.
But neither of them started out on the same team as Duncan.
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

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Lest anyone forget: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=7285
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

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theMoMA wrote:Lest anyone forget: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=7285
dseal wrote:Michael Arnold = Sheryl Swoopes. No explanation needed.
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by setht »

theMoMA wrote:Lest anyone forget: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=7285
The best part* is going back and seeing how wildly various basketball careers have diverged from the proposed quizbowl analogs in the past three years. It's a shame we never got the quizbowl equivalent of the Decision from Shantanu, Matt Weiner, Dallas and Ike.

* aside from Ed Cohn as Eva Longoria

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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by The Ununtiable Twine »

Regarding me and my teammates:

I am the Lamar Odom of quizbowl. I once played for the LA Clippers of quizbowl, I am known to get the quizbowl equivalent of a technical foul at least once a tournament, I once demanded a trade, I'm versatile enough to cover teammates' weaknesses and always put up moderately good numbers. I am not married to and will never be married to the quizbowl equivalent of Khloe Kardashian, however.

JT is the Bruce Bowen of quizbowl. He plays efficiently, is a great defender (gets just about all the stuff in his areas), only shoots when he is wide open, and nobody ever pays attention to him on the court.

Harrison is the Jeremy Lin of quizbowl. He's seemingly bad at Chinese, no one knows if he's a star player, a constant contributor, or just a fluke yet, and he's put up a lot of really good numbers against a lot of teams that are at most slightly above average, but had that one game where he just basically ignored the defense of a good defensive team (us in his case, LA in the case of Lin).

Dargan is the pre-2011 Yao Ming of quizbowl. He may play a quarter of the games, is the centerpiece of a team which seems to be a playoff team without him, is an excellent big man (has excellent moves in all non-canonical areas and grabs lots of quizbowl rebounds) and eats a lot of fortune cookies. I believe there is a thread on the Yahoo forums about him having fortune cookie knowledge or something like that because he once nailed a tossup on Behan from a quote he read in a fortune cookie. I suppose I'm relating post moves to knowledge that's not typical of your general canon knowledge here because the number of players that are exceptional at that respective thing in each respective league is a rarity, also.
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Nine-Tenths Ideas
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by Nine-Tenths Ideas »

I thought about making some hilariously self-indulgent post about how my teammates and I are all famous NBA players whose skills far outclass our own, but then I realized I'm not 11.

EDIT: JUST KIDDING I AM PRO-FLAMEOUT JOE FORTE!
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by Auks Ran Ova »

Fortitudo Bologna wrote:EDIT: JUST KIDDING I AM PRO-FLAMEOUT JOE FORTE!
I have adjusted your username accordingly.
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by mhayes »

Fortitudo Bologna wrote:I thought about making some hilariously self-indulgent post about how my teammates and I are all famous NBA players whose skills far outclass our own, but then I realized I'm not 11.
Jake's post was probably inspired by the thread that was previously linked by Andrew Hart. His post was no more immature than those present in that thread.
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by Demonic Leftovers »

Serious Games Showcase and Challenge wrote: I am not married to and will never be married to the quizbowl equivalent of Khloe Kardashian, however.
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by The Ununtiable Twine »

mhayes wrote:
Fortitudo Bologna wrote:I thought about making some hilariously self-indulgent post about how my teammates and I are all famous NBA players whose skills far outclass our own, but then I realized I'm not 11.
Jake's post was probably inspired by the thread that was previously linked by Andrew Hart. His post was no more immature than those present in that thread.
Indeed. It was a parody of several posts in that thread.
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

2010 ICT = the last week of the NBA
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by No Rules Westbrook »

I, Russell Westbrook, support almost any reasonable qb/sports analogies. I'm sure I've made a ton of said analogies over the years, cause seeing this activity as a sport helps support almost any argument I ever make about this game. Except that there is never ever any money to be made in this game, ever.
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by setht »

setht wrote:It's a shame we never got the quizbowl equivalent of the Decision from Shantanu, Matt Weiner, Dallas and Ike.
Actually, I've thought about this more and I'm optimistic that this will eventually happen on a very special quizbowl podcast, which will hopefully be even more over-the-top than the original and also incorporate a Miami-style premature championship(s) celebration.

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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by Frater Taciturnus »

setht wrote:
setht wrote:It's a shame we never got the quizbowl equivalent of the Decision from Shantanu, Matt Weiner, Dallas and Ike.
Actually, I've thought about this more and I'm optimistic that this will eventually happen on a very special quizbowl podcast, which will hopefully be even more over-the-top than the original and also incorporate a Miami-style premature championship(s) celebration.

-Seth
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Re: Quizbowl sports analogies

Post by bradleykirksey »

I'm quite clearly Jason Kidd.

We both average about 5 points per game.
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