CBI Nationals

Old college threads.

Do you even consider CBI as legitimate quizbowl?

Yes
16
32%
No
34
68%
 
Total votes: 50

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CBI Nationals

Post by bucktowntiger » Mon Apr 26, 2004 10:53 am

Congratulations to Minnesota (whom Matt pointed out elsewhere as having finished 28th at NAQT ICT) for winning the double-elimination tournament and, thus, the CBI National Championship. Florida (2nd at ICT) once again sweeps the round robin, only to lose two razor-close games in the playoffs. Granted, Minnesota only had one loss (to Florida), so in a circuit-accepted format, Minnesota would have had their chance at Florida in a final (though Minnesota would have to win twice).

It is also interesting that Truman State and Baylor both finished with better overall records than the full Arkansas team did last year. Amazing what inferior questions can do. Still, nice job by both, and I wish them the best on the circuit next year.

On Richard Reid's comments: I wasn't there, but from what I've read on other boards, they were extremely distasteful and way off, as circuit quizbowl and ACF and NAQT are far superior to CBI in question quality, level of competition, knowledgeable staff, and especially value-to-price ratio.
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Post by Ethnic history of the Vilnius region » Mon Apr 26, 2004 3:14 pm

This business of Richard Reid (whoever he is: been a while since I've played CBI) knocking on other formats (and the people that play them), interests me not so much for being tasteless but more because it seems odd that CBI is actually acknowledging their competition. For as long as I can remember, CBI has at least publicly pretended to be the ONLY true format for quizbowl and marketed themselves as such to student unions and such. For any wrestling junkies, it reminds me of how WCW and WWF refused to ever publicly mention the other on their broadcasts. Does anyone know why CBI all the sudden feels the need to attack other formats? Is it anything more than simple pettiness or is there a more sinister motive (ie financial problems, disaffiliations, etc).

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Post by BigFlax » Mon Apr 26, 2004 3:43 pm

The Shock Master wrote:This business of Richard Reid (whoever he is: been a while since I've played CBI) knocking on other formats (and the people that play them), interests me not so much for being tasteless but more because it seems odd that CBI is actually acknowledging their competition. For as long as I can remember, CBI has at least publicly pretended to be the ONLY true format for quizbowl and marketed themselves as such to student unions and such. For any wrestling junkies, it reminds me of how WCW and WWF refused to ever publicly mention the other on their broadcasts. Does anyone know why CBI all the sudden feels the need to attack other formats? Is it anything more than simple pettiness or is there a more sinister motive (ie financial problems, disaffiliations, etc).

Eric Douglass
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As Lafer pointed out in his post on the Yahoo group, very few respectable circuit teams even bother to play CBI anymore, and those who do frequently send diminished teams (look at this year's Chicago team, for one example). CBI knows there's no way for them to stem the flow by continuing to do what they do - i.e. write bad questions and charge hundreds more for them than other formats do for better product - so they resorted to badmouthing the other formats, hoping, I would guess, that easily-swayed administrators would be convinced that CBI is the only worthwhile format and at least that they could keep a stranglehold on the low-level world of CBI-only schools. (Because if those schools ever got real teams and those teams started playing other formats...)
Last edited by BigFlax on Mon Apr 26, 2004 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Jeremy Gibbs Sampling » Mon Apr 26, 2004 3:51 pm

I consider College Bowl legitimate — low-grade, yes; but dog-food cuts are still legitimate beef. It represents, to sharpen the sports comparison, the Arena Football League of quizbowl: compressed playing surface (i.e. question size), fewer of the best players, and ridiculous final scores.

I admit it amuses me because (a) it lets me rack up pinball-like point totals even though I'm playing behind Fred Bush and Micha Elsner, and (b) CBI Nationals have a tendency to be held in places other than Rochester on the weekend of the annual horrific all-campus bacchanalia called D-Day. It's worth noting, however, that I (and, I wouldn't be surprised, all my teammates) play largely because it's free to me; Rochester picks up the tab for College Bowl from its own coffers while all other QB is paid for by us players, with student government chipping in some. If the Thelion Society suddenly had to decide whether to pay for it, I'd strongly oppose the idea.

On Mr. Reid and his comments I have no statement — but there must be a running joke about the shoe bomber that's just dying to be resurrected here, nyet? If not, I'll gladly make it...
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Post by STPickrell » Mon Apr 26, 2004 4:03 pm

To be fair, I would say the non-CBI world has hardly been pure in avoiding slamming of CBI. But then again, I honestly don't recall Matt, Chris, or any of the ACF partisans saying that people who didn't enjoy ACF were "deranged."

Maybe it all merges in my mind; these format wars have been going on ever since I showed up on acc-b back in late 1995. But I'd have to say this is a new low for CBI's public face.

Gratuitous slams are usually not good business.

IIRC, didn't CBI file for Chapter 11 a few years back?

They do have other revenue streams than CBI, of course. I'd imagine they get a fair bit of money from Honda, University Challenge and also from any High School Bowl questions that are written (I am unsure whether High School Bowl is much of a factor in the HSQB scene or not.)

Let's not forget that NAQT, if it had to rely solely on the college circuit, would likely have to increase prices, and ACF is more a labour of love than a viable business concern.
Last edited by STPickrell on Mon Apr 26, 2004 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by BigFlax » Mon Apr 26, 2004 4:08 pm

StPickrell wrote:To be fair, I would say the non-CBI world has hardly been pure in avoiding slamming of CBI.
No, but the acceptable comparison here would be R Hentzel standing up at NAQT ICT and going "Hey everyone, doesn't CBI just totally blow?" He doesn't do that for two reasons: 1) he has class, and 2) people who actually have to choose between the formats choose NAQT.

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Post by STPickrell » Mon Apr 26, 2004 4:20 pm

BigFlax wrote:
StPickrell wrote:To be fair, I would say the non-CBI world has hardly been pure in avoiding slamming of CBI.
No, but the acceptable comparison here would be R Hentzel standing up at NAQT ICT and going "Hey everyone, doesn't CBI just totally blow?" He doesn't do that for two reasons: 1) he has class, and 2) people who actually have to choose between the formats choose NAQT.
I thought that over and it is in my editing. And you're right, R doesn't stand up in front of folks at ICT and say that CBI just blows and people who don't enjoy NAQT obviously have mental deficiencies.

It might also be remembered that as the founder of two college programs, I chose NAQT, and would advise anyone who is interested in founding programs at their college to also choose NAQT, if only for the price.
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Post by Theory Of The Leisure Flask » Mon Apr 26, 2004 4:29 pm

From what I hear, UC accounts for most of College Bowl's revenue, while College Bowl itself doesn't make much money at all.

High School Bowl is very big in upstate New York (where it's called MasterMinds and is on TV), but I don't know of anywhere else it's a factor.

Even if CBI was free to our team, we probably wouldn't do it; we are well-funded and go to plenty of tournaments a year already, it's just not worth it to waste a weekend on buzzer races and VVBs when we could be studying/having fun on campus instead. Plus, there's the whole intramurals bullshit. There's frankly no reason for a student-run and funded team to have anything to do with CBI, except to perhaps try to recruit CBI-only teams to the circuit.

The Arena League comparison would be apt, except that Arena League doesn't try to delude itself or its customers into thinking it provides a higher-level product than the NFL. Yes, ACF partisans often insult CBI, but they're usually right. Frankly, I don't really care what CBI says or does, they've been hemmoraging legitimacy ever since NAQT provided a respectable alternative to ACF. The only thing College Bowl itself has left is the ACUI affiliation, and it sadly looks like they'll keep it, if only because both legit formats don't want it.
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Post by BigFlax » Mon Apr 26, 2004 4:54 pm

StPickrell wrote:It might also be remembered that as the founder of two college programs, I chose NAQT, and would advise anyone who is interested in founding programs at their college to also choose NAQT, if only for the price.
And rightly so.

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Post by Jeremy Gibbs Sampling » Mon Apr 26, 2004 5:04 pm

Point taken, benjaminthedonkey, though I would point out that I specifically avoided saying anything about College Bowl's opinion of itself or other formats. (I was only concerned with answering in detail the poll question, which as I see it relates to the gameplay more than the politics.)

About "the whole intramurals bullshit", I assume you're talking about the prospect of a club team losing its campus tournament, but is it not true at all schools or in all regions (as it certainly is for us) that teams only need be comprised of players who participated in intramurals? If so, it seems like a minorish hassle; you simply show up for as long as you can stand it, get acknowledged as having played, and then make sure your admin people know who's who in quizbowl on campus when they're filling out the roster for Regionals.
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Post by BigFlax » Mon Apr 26, 2004 5:55 pm

deep_friar wrote:About "the whole intramurals bullshit", I assume you're talking about the prospect of a club team losing its campus tournament, but is it not true at all schools or in all regions (as it certainly is for us) that teams only need be comprised of players who participated in intramurals? If so, it seems like a minorish hassle; you simply show up for as long as you can stand it, get acknowledged as having played, and then make sure your admin people know who's who in quizbowl on campus when they're filling out the roster for Regionals.
I don't know, I think there's something to be said about the pointlessness of campus competition at all. Obviously, you'd have to have one at most CBI schools, as they don't have actual quiz bowl teams. But it's not hard to see why actual quiz bowl teams would disdain that process. I mean, aside from ICT and TRASHionals, name another collegiate tournament you have to (at least theoretically) qualify for. And this is just to play at Regionals!

Another reason CBI is ridiculous: the process of qualifying one team from each region, ignorant of the fact that some regions are ridiculously talent-poor, and then taking just a single wild-card team. The apt comparison is really like if the NCAA basketball tournament took 32 teams - the 31 conference winners and one wild-card, randomly selected. Think of how fair it would be if, for example, the loser of a Duke/Maryland ACC title game had to stay home, while Central Connecticut State (or whoever) was still going to the tournament. (Hell, it's a big enough debate now and there are 34 at-large bids.)

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Post by UGAQuizdogs » Mon Apr 26, 2004 6:08 pm

I like the 32 team format. In fact a few days after CBI in February, I sent a couple of similar suggestions*, and never got a reply. Of course, from what Ive been told of some people at CBI, thats common. Must be the California sun baking their heads.

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*Of course, being in Florida's shadow and being denied nationals year after year didnt prompt me to sent it :D

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Post by suds1000 » Mon Apr 26, 2004 6:15 pm

Comments:

1. I've never actually played CBI, but have read enough CBI packets to understand at least what the questions are like.

2. This year's NAQT SCT questions and ICT questions were both subjectively and objectively outstanding, and when compared to the products that CBI has put out in the past, absolutely incredible.

3. Anytime an important figure for a format starts specifically badmouthing those who play another format, we all know it's time to boycott. I don't believe that anyone speaking for ACF (people I put in this category include Subash Maddipoti, Zeke Berdichevsky, Raj Bhan, Kelly McKenzie, or Jason Paik) or NAQT (Rob Hentzel et al.) has, in recent memory, publicly derided CBI or referred to those who play it in any negative sense.

4. The best way to get rid of a pox on the circuit is to not give it funding; that is, DON'T PLAY IT year after year. There's no point in or reason for specifically insulting things/people without some sort of real impetus, and that's exactly what CBI has done in this case.

5. To any schools out there who play CBI: y'all really should give ACF Fall a chance. I've played it the last three years, and question-wise, I've never heard better quality. Plus, I'd imagine that playing CBI would be troublesome...hasn't someone ever been down 40 points and gotten the last tossup to find that the bonus was only worth 20 points?

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Post by Jeremy Gibbs Sampling » Mon Apr 26, 2004 6:20 pm

BigFlax wrote:Another reason CBI is ridiculous: the process of qualifying one team from each region, ignorant of the fact that some regions are ridiculously talent-poor, and then taking just a single wild-card team. The apt comparison is really like if the NCAA basketball tournament took 32 teams - the 31 conference winners and one wild-card, randomly selected. Think of how fair it would be if, for example, the loser of a Duke/Maryland ACC title game had to stay home, while Central Connecticut State (or whoever) was still going to the tournament. (Hell, it's a big enough debate now and there are 34 at-large bids.)
Yes, that is the apt comparison. What's interesting is that such a situation used to exist: the Big Dance (smaller dance in those days) began by inviting only conference champions and stayed that way for a long time. Did the NCAA championship lack legitimacy? Then, too, CBI can't do much about the talent-poor aspect, because the regions are set up by ACUI — and because top teams already stay home in droves at Regionals time, so picking more wild cards would most likely result only in an even bigger tournament full of mediocre sides. Would you have a 128-team NIT?

I realize I've just made contradictory comparisons between College Bowl and college ball. What I'm getting at is, the NIT is clearly the inferior of the NCAAs, but it's still "legitimate" basketball. At least, as far as I understand the term. If one were to ask, "is the CBI title a legitimate national championship of quizbowl?", I'd answer in the negative.
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Post by BigFlax » Mon Apr 26, 2004 6:34 pm

deep_friar wrote:Yes, that is the apt comparison. What's interesting is that such a situation used to exist: the Big Dance (smaller dance in those days) began by inviting only conference champions and stayed that way for a long time. Did the NCAA championship lack legitimacy? Then, too, CBI can't do much about the talent-poor aspect, because the regions are set up by ACUI — and because top teams already stay home in droves at Regionals time, so picking more wild cards would most likely result only in an even bigger tournament full of mediocre sides. Would you have a 128-team NIT?
Perhaps top teams would not stay home if the chances to advance were significantly improved. I think Northwestern would have qualified for Nationals every year I played if the CBI NCT were 32 teams, and had that happened, it's possible that we might have kept playing (though probably not, just because of the cost). Anyway, a better question is why CBI thinks the current format is the smartest way to determine the top teams in the country - furthermore, isn't there a tournament fee for the NCT? It's odd that CBI wouldn't want more teams if they could get them.

That said, CBI doesn't necessarily lack legitimacy because of its tight field, though that makes it a bit worthless already. It lacks legitimacy because its questions determine who is the best team at playing on CBI questions and not which team is actually the most knowledgeable. It lacks legitimacy because you can answer the same number of tossups as the other team and end up with fewer possible bonus points. At least the NCAA tournament, even with a field of just eight teams for its first decade, was won by playing normal basketball. Imagine if, when you sank a shot and got fouled, the refs decided arbitrarily whether you'd get one free throw or two. That's CBI.

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Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Apr 26, 2004 11:22 pm

benjaminthedonkey wrote:The Arena League comparison would be apt, except that Arena League doesn't try to delude itself or its customers into thinking it provides a higher-level product than the NFL. Yes, ACF partisans often insult CBI, but they're usually right.
Heh.

It's the REACTIONS of the bizarre museum species known as the CBI Fan that amuse me the most. Make a long argument explaining why the NAQT ICT format is better than the CBI NCT format, carefully avoiding any sort of extraneous issues, personal attacks, or other logical fallacies, and you get "IF YOU DON'T LIKE CBI JUST DON'T PLAY IT!" or "YOU NEED TO SEEK COUNSELLING!" etc. But when CBI goes well beyond a reasoned, polite debate into the realm of insult volleys, they applaud.

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Post by STPickrell » Tue Apr 27, 2004 6:35 am

BigFlax wrote:I don't know, I think there's something to be said about the pointlessness of campus competition at all. Obviously, you'd have to have one at most CBI schools, as they don't have actual quiz bowl teams. But it's not hard to see why actual quiz bowl teams would disdain that process. I mean, aside from ICT and TRASHionals, name another collegiate tournament you have to (at least theoretically) qualify for. And this is just to play at Regionals!
I'm afraid I am going to have to disagree.

An Intramural can be fun for people involved and provide some degree of exposure to the quizbowl team if it is structured correctly. I would suggest organising one to anyone organising a program, and doing so in (at the latest) the second year of your team's existence.

If the QB team actually pays for participating in CBI I can see why not getting to go would be annoying. In that case, I can see either making the Intramural Tournament a glorified practice and/or using participation on the team a prerequisite to being part of the Varsity Squad, from which the Varsity Team is selected. (I would recommend the latter, if only to expose the team to a wider audience.)

Otherwise, the QB team can either boycott the CBI Intramural Tournament or use it as a potential recruiting tool.
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Post by BigFlax » Tue Apr 27, 2004 8:22 am

StPickrell wrote:the QB team can either boycott the CBI Intramural Tournament or use it as a potential recruiting tool.
Regarding the latter: the reason I say CBI campus is pretty pointless is because its best value is as a recruiting tool. Because here's the thing: there are other ways to recruit that don't involve a format that's not only distinctly inferior but which is only going to be played twice a year even under optimal circumstances.

At Northwestern we hold a "New Student Week" tournament every year that is specifically for incoming freshmen, during the week which holds various activities for freshmen. It's far better of a recruiting tool than CBI campus, which was always sparsely attended at best and usually featured multiple teams formed from the normal quiz bowl team's roster, ever was, and better prepares the students for college competition because we use NAQT questions.

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Post by kpeskin » Tue Apr 27, 2004 7:46 pm

suds1000 wrote:Comments:


3. Anytime an important figure for a format starts specifically badmouthing those who play another format, we all know it's time to boycott. I don't believe that anyone speaking for ACF (people I put in this category include Subash Maddipoti, Zeke Berdichevsky, Raj Bhan, Kelly McKenzie, or Jason Paik) or NAQT (Rob Hentzel et al.) has, in recent memory, publicly derided CBI or referred to those who play it in any negative sense.
I will stay away from Richard Reid's comments themselves, which seem utterly ill-conceived and offensive to most. There is no defense to what he is alleged to have said. And frankly, no point either.

But I will point out one correction to this point made earlier. In the 1997 NCT finals match, the Virginia team and delegation openly (and loudly) made comments alleging that CBI wouldn't let UVa win; that the staff and moderator wanted Harvard to win; that they were corrupt; that Jeff Johnson should meet them outside and fight.

I believe it was only a few months later that one of the UVa players spearheaded the rebirth of the ACF.

So my points are (1) It's not like an official of ACF (or someone very closely identified with it) has never launched an unjustified attack on CBI (2) If I understood the secondhand reports correctly and Richard Reid was describing Yaphe and Rostron in his attack, it's not like they didn't do something to CBI and Reid to foster the enmity.

It doesn't excuse Reid's behavior, but it does help explain it.

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Post by Baron Jacobi » Tue Apr 27, 2004 9:22 pm

kpeskin wrote:
But I will point out one correction to this point made earlier. In the 1997 NCT finals match, the Virginia team and delegation openly (and loudly) made comments alleging that CBI wouldn't let UVa win; that the staff and moderator wanted Harvard to win; that they were corrupt; that Jeff Johnson should meet them outside and fight.

I believe it was only a few months later that one of the UVa players spearheaded the rebirth of the ACF.

So my points are (1) It's not like an official of ACF (or someone very closely identified with it) has never launched an unjustified attack on CBI (2) If I understood the secondhand reports correctly and Richard Reid was describing Yaphe and Rostron in his attack, it's not like they didn't do something to CBI and Reid to foster the enmity.

It doesn't excuse Reid's behavior, but it does help explain it.
This is bullshit. (But if I remember rightly, you were a CBI toadie then too.) You make it sound as if Virginia was trying to bust up the joint. I watched them play at that tournament, including the finals. They were being annoying and weird, but that business with Jeff Johnson, etc. fell into the category of "they're trying to be funny and failing." The Virginia team was certainly immature, but then they were a bunch of college kids. I thought CBI's handling of them was just as immature, letting what started out insignificantly (some Virginia players not responding to the "fun" buzzer checks) escalate into a brouhaha. I would have thought CBI's dubious reneging on the trip to England promised the winner of that tournament would have been revenge enough; the fact that they're still making catty comments about it seven (!) years later suggests that Richard Reid needs to grow up. And I completely fail to see the connection between a Virginia player being vocal in his dislike of CBI before going on to have some role with ACF, and the president of CBI taking advantage of an official occasion to make nasty personal comments about people he doesn't even know.

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Post by Matt Weiner » Tue Apr 27, 2004 9:32 pm

kpeskin wrote:I will stay away from Richard Reid's comments themselves, which seem utterly ill-conceived and offensive to most. There is no defense to what he is alleged to have said. And frankly, no point either.

But I will point out one correction to this point made earlier. In the 1997 NCT finals match, the Virginia team and delegation openly (and loudly) made comments alleging that CBI wouldn't let UVa win; that the staff and moderator wanted Harvard to win; that they were corrupt; that Jeff Johnson should meet them outside and fight.

I believe it was only a few months later that one of the UVa players spearheaded the rebirth of the ACF.
I'd like to do an impression of Dave Thorsley and offer a Shorterqb style summary of the above.

"I don't want to defend Richard Reid's comments, so here's a defense of Richard Reid's comments. Seven years ago, before any of the people who applauded at CBI Nationals 2004 were involved in collegiate quizbowl, Virginia pointed out that CBI was corrupt and trying to fix the outcome of a match and jokingly said something about meeting the Harvard team outside. Later, one of the players on Virginia was involved in ACF. Clearly, comments made in the heat of a finals match by someone who wasn't part of ACF at the time, whose version of ACF didn't even exist, and who wasn't speaking to a captive audience at the ACF Nationals awards ceremony are exactly equivalent to Richard Reid's pre-planned diatribe."
So my points are (1) It's not like an official of ACF (or someone very closely identified with it) has never launched an unjustified attack on CBI (2) If I understood the secondhand reports correctly and Richard Reid was describing Yaphe and Rostron in his attack, it's not like they didn't do something to CBI and Reid to foster the enmity.
Unjustified? Are you deranged or something?

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Post by NotBhan » Wed Apr 28, 2004 7:42 am

Oh -- all this time, I thought the "by all accounts, deranged" Virginian being referenced was Weiner. Of Yaphe and Rostron, who's the "just an assistant coach" and who's the "deranged"?

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Post by kpeskin » Wed Apr 28, 2004 9:04 am

Matt Weiner wrote:
Unjustified? Are you deranged or something?
What would justify saying that Dr. Jim Bales (moderator for the final match) wanted Virginia to lose and Harvard to win? There was nothing to justify that comment.

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Post by QuizbowlPostmodernist » Wed Apr 28, 2004 11:44 am

Matt Weiner wrote: I'd like to do an impression of Dave Thorsley and offer a Shorterqb style summary of the above.

"I don't want to defend Richard Reid's comments, so here's a defense of Richard Reid's comments. Seven years ago, before any of the people who applauded at CBI Nationals 2004 were involved in collegiate quizbowl, Virginia pointed out that CBI was corrupt and trying to fix the outcome of a match and jokingly said something about meeting the Harvard team outside. Later, one of the players on Virginia was involved in ACF. Clearly, comments made in the heat of a finals match by someone who wasn't part of ACF at the time, whose version of ACF didn't even exist, and who wasn't speaking to a captive audience at the ACF Nationals awards ceremony are exactly equivalent to Richard Reid's pre-planned diatribe."

Unjustified? Are you deranged or something?
A) Was CBI clearly trying to fix the match or just being incompetent as usual?

B) Was Richard Reid's diatribe pre-planned?

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Post by cvdwightw » Wed Apr 28, 2004 1:49 pm

B) I doubt it. He also started rambling about some quiz bowl love story from 25 or so years ago that ended with the "Babe Ruth of College Bowl" losing the championship game to WU-STL because the love of his life, a WU-STL player he had met at the tournament, broke her arm inner tubing the night before the playoffs. Ron Trigueiro, one of the moderators, who competed around the time of this alleged love story, kept telling us things along the lines of "This never actually occurred," upon which Steve Kaplan opened the program to the list of past national champions and- surprise!- didn't find Washington University in Saint Louis on that page! Richard Reid evidently noticed him and said something like, "You won't find it in there."

He also seemed to take offense that every presenter after that speech joked about the length of his "speeches."

His diatribe was ill-conceived and insulting to those who prefer a game based more on knowledge and less on guessing when the correct answer to a question with no even insubstantial information is going to be "English" or "United States."

CBI actually impressed me with its efficiency in resolving protests and updating statistics, synchronizing the start and end times of each round, and its encouragement of sportsmanship. Even the question set exceeded my low expectations that were based on what CBI detractors led me to believe. The only things that damped my experience, other than missing the playoffs, were Richard Reid's "speeches" Friday and Sunday. If only he stood for the gamesmanship and friendly competition everyone else there tries to foster.

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Post by Leo Wolpert » Wed Apr 28, 2004 4:51 pm

cvdwightw wrote:CBI actually impressed me with its efficiency in resolving protests and updating statistics, synchronizing the start and end times of each round, and its encouragement of sportsmanship. Even the question set exceeded my low expectations that were based on what CBI detractors led me to believe. The only things that damped my experience, other than missing the playoffs, were Richard Reid's "speeches" Friday and Sunday. If only he stood for the gamesmanship and friendly competition everyone else there tries to foster.
I have to disagree here. Although statistics were updated in a timely manner, the "synchronization" of start and end times at the very least failed to take care of delays, and more likely than not, exacerbated them. Think about it. If rounds were actually synchronized, we wouldn't have to wait around, being told (bitched at) repeatedly not to leave the room. Yet that happened every single round. Sometimes we were made to stay in those rooms for upwards of ten to fifteen minutes after the match ended. We couldn't even leave to take a piss.

I understand the need to resolve protests (of course, there wouldn't be as many protests if the question set weren't such a complete abortion ... that topic's been beaten down quite thoroughly over the years, so I'll refrain from discussing it further), but why compel people to stay in their rooms, which, by the end of Saturday, had been saturated by the typical "quizbowl reek?" Will people bum rush a room in which there's a protest, causing some sort of riot, or worse yet, causing a game to be given to a team unfairly? Perish the thought! I guess part of creating a "game show" atmosphere is treating the competitors in a very patronizing manner. Perhaps CBI should give extra staff sashes and let them be "hall monitors," or require that moderators give "bathroom passes" to allow players to leave.

Also, for factual correctness, the second Reid speech--the one about sweet College Bowl Inc. love and those deranged, unsuccessful CBI detractors from Virginia--was during the Saturday night "banquet," after the frisbee golf tournament, which I might have participated in had I known there was the possibility of winning gift certificates. Actually, on second thought, no, I wouldn't have. But I digress.

On Sunday, it seemed that people were sick of Richard Reid's shit, as evidenced by the (albeit joking) offer on the part of the "Freeze Frame Award emcees" to give him a shirt if (and only if) he didn't say anything further. He started to speak, and everyone yelled at him and people had a good laugh, or something. I certainly didn't; but then again, I'm not the most gracious of losers. Also, playing 19 rounds of ultra-frustrating CBI questions didn't help my mood.

Steve Kaplan's reaction to Reid's slander was priceless, though. That facial expression would have made contortionists envious.

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Post by bucktowntiger » Wed Apr 28, 2004 5:56 pm

Again, I wasn't there, but all of this apparent ineptitude at CBI Nationals kinda makes me thankful that I wasn't there. The thought of sitting through the blatant slander and disrespect of a quizbowl circuit run by players for players, while at the same time neglecting my design team's senior project to play on questions that sound closer to Arkansas high school questions than good college questions, makes me shudder.

I once read about a newspaper's policy of always placing gay marriage in quotation marks because, according to the editor, "it's not really marriage." The fact that over 2/3 of voters don't even see CBI as legitimate quizbowl, compounded with the reality that most of the nation's best teams wouldn't even be CBI-eligible (not that many of them care), currently leads me to the same conclusions about the CBI "National Championship." I doubt that the circuit will adopt CBI's prohibitive eligibility rules (which may actually appease those who complain about grad-student domination), or that CBI drastically improves its question quality, any time soon.

CBI will still have a captive audience as long as its alliance with ACUI exists, and as long as the university sponsors and pays for it, Arkansas Quiz Bowl will continue to play CBI and proudly represent the university in an official capacity as the best players it has to offer. However, if the university ever decides to stop sponsoring College Bowl, Arkansas will drop it in a heartbeat.

--Josh, who will hand over his share of leadership soon, but is still confident enough to speak for the team regarding that last paragraph

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Post by biggreen » Wed Apr 28, 2004 8:41 pm

Richard Reid's comments were in terribly poor taste. The shoe bomber link was mentioned, and he seemed like someone who would lead a cult. But that's just my opinion.

Anytime "cat" is 1. the answer to a tossup, and 2. considered a genus, there are big problems with the questions. Other answers included "Skunk," "jellyfish," and "wow." I've played Illinois frosh-soph tournaments that are more demanding. CBI is not legitimate in any way.

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Post by kevinatcausa » Wed Apr 28, 2004 10:09 pm

The thing is, I don't think that the people reading this message (and voting in this poll) are those to whom CBI is aimed. Suppose you were trying to design a format that specifically was aimed at the once-a-year players, not to convince them to play more quizbowl but just to give them a fun experience. What would it consist of?

-It would have a sharply limited canon, and answers with vague "general knowledge" content would be much more common than questions on academic material that players would need to have taken coursework in the area to know (this includes survey courses in many of the science/social sciences, since many players don't take those).

-It would have a tournament format which increased drama by not having the winner determined until as close to the end as possible (including being willing to lower the chances the "best team wins" in order to increase excitement).

-It would have eligibility requirements limiting the experience of participants: Though the requirements may be unfair to some, they make it more enjoyable for the target audience.

-It would be timed: Although the likelihood of the better team winning may again be lowered, it increases excitement.

-Questions would be fairly short, both because of the timed format and because, again, the format would be aiming at excitement and a fast-moving game.

-Tournaments at the National level would have qualification rationed out region by region so that the same 16 teams don't show up every year (bad for the 16 best teams, good for the 40+ teams in weaker regions)

ACF, NAQT, and most other formats aim at repeat business and players who participate in several tournaments a year. Even junior birds are usually written for the purpose of introducing players to the world of collegiate Quiz Bowl, and IM's are run as a recruiting tool. At these goals, they succeed admirably, and I much prefer playing on questions from any other format than CBI.

However, CBI succeeds in its niche. The annual IM tournament at my school didn't help much as a recuiting tool, but it did attract over 40 teams. If those 160 people were to play only one tournament and never think about quiz bowl again, they might even enjoy CBI regionals more than ACF fall. As for the voting issue, consider the results: 2/3 of the "serious" quiz-bowl crowd vote that CBI is illegimate. On the other hand, according to shorterqb CBI attracted 174 teams to ACF's 46 (NAQT had 218, but that was including schools sending multiple and grad-student only teams). Some things about the format (variable value bonuses and the behavior of some officials, for example) are indefensible, most changes they could make to increase their legitimacy to people reading this message would go against the purpose I think they are aiming for.

Given this, I don't think CBI would change their questions or their format even if all the visitors to this board decided to boycott it. Perhaps the officials might learn to behave themselves, but it wouldn't (to use the words of one poster) "get rid of a pox on the circuit".

Kevin, who enjoyed himself at CBI regionals despite getting a 20 point bonus at the end of a match when down by 25.

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Post by Matt Weiner » Wed Apr 28, 2004 11:41 pm

kpeskin wrote: What would justify saying that Dr. Jim Bales (moderator for the final match) wanted Virginia to lose and Harvard to win? There was nothing to justify that comment.
You actually used the word "unjustified" to refer to all complaints about CBI in the original post, but even ignoring the pathetic attempt at backtracking, the example that you cite here is not that absurd, given that I personally have been involved in matches fixed by CBI staff. Wondering if another match might be fixed to the disfavor of a team that CBI has a known vendetta against is not "unjustified."

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Post by Matt Weiner » Wed Apr 28, 2004 11:43 pm

kevinatcausa wrote:The thing is, I don't think that the people reading this message (and voting in this poll) are those to whom CBI is aimed.
I agree with most of what you said in your message and particularly with the above thesis. I would add two things based on your premises:

1) Because it's quite obvious that CBI is not for regular quizbowl players, no CBI partisan should object when we say that CBI is not really quizbowl.

2) It is not necessarily the intramural players that CBI is targeting, but a hypothetical television audience. They run the tournament solely in the hope of one day getting back on TV; don't ever forget that.

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Post by bucktowntiger » Wed Apr 28, 2004 11:56 pm

CBI Intramurals at my school has averaged five teams per year over the past three years, with three of those teams coming from Arkansas Quiz Bowl each year (because of the way they select the regionals team). A tournament hosted jointly by the honors dormitory and Arkansas Quiz Bowl drew twelve teams in its first year (and this is just from one dorm).

Maybe CBI really is aimed at all those once-a-year schools in the Rockies and the Pacific Northwest and (frankly) Arkansas. Again, they have a leg up on the sheer number of teams that play Regionals because of their affiliation with ACUI and the fact that many universities will foot the bill for CBI because of this affiliation. Arkansas State, Henderson State, and Hendrix all sent teams way to Houston for CBI Regionals (which cost the schools at least $775 just for Intramural questions and Regional registration and was at least a seven-hour drive for all of them), yet neither of these schools would pay $60 to play at NAQT Sectionals, held right in their home state, despite my fervent efforts to recruit such teams. I personally recruited seven or eight once-a-year schools in my region, including two HBCU's; only one of these schools attended SCT.

Also, if CBI is only aimed at the once-a-year schools and not at those seriously dedicated to quizbowl, then they wouldn't masquerade for so long to universities as the only real form of college quizbowl. When they finally recognize the existence of a better format, they do so disparagingly. The fact remains, however, that even if all the respected circuit quizbowl organizations boycotted CBI, their home schools would still send teams to CBI Regionals, just with weaker players.

I will commend CBI for responding to feedback from players and making changes to their questions and format over the years. However, so do NAQT and ACF, as both circuit organizations generated vastly improved products this year. As far as CBI questions go, I think the 2002 questions were the best I've played on.
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Post by QuizbowlPostmodernist » Thu Apr 29, 2004 12:18 am

Leo Wolpert wrote:On Sunday, it seemed that people were sick of Richard Reid's shit, as evidenced by the (albeit joking) offer on the part of the "Freeze Frame Award emcees" to give him a shirt if (and only if) he didn't say anything further. He started to speak, and everyone yelled at him and people had a good laugh, or something. I certainly didn't; but then again, I'm not the most gracious of losers. Also, playing 19 rounds of ultra-frustrating CBI questions didn't help my mood.
Going on and on seemingly endlessly about stuff that he thinks is meaningful or possibly funny and everyone else thinks is crap?

Clearly Reid=Edmund Schluessel. (See Deb Fuller Awards)

--Anthony

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Post by kpeskin » Thu Apr 29, 2004 9:50 am

Matt Weiner wrote:
kpeskin wrote: What would justify saying that Dr. Jim Bales (moderator for the final match) wanted Virginia to lose and Harvard to win? There was nothing to justify that comment.
You actually used the word "unjustified" to refer to all complaints about CBI in the original post, but even ignoring the pathetic attempt at backtracking, the example that you cite here is not that absurd, given that I personally have been involved in matches fixed by CBI staff. Wondering if another match might be fixed to the disfavor of a team that CBI has a known vendetta against is not "unjustified."
I didn't use the word unjustified to refer to all complaints about CBI, but thanks for altering what I actually said. The word "all" did not appear in my message at all. In fact, I don't believe I even talked about "complaints" about CBI (many of which are justified). I talked about "attacks" of CBI. That is a big difference.

Also, I appreciate that in your two replies to me you use words and phrases like "pathetic attempt at backtracking" and "deranged". This, after critiquing responding to polite debate with insult volleys.

Regardless, I didn't enter into this discussion to debate the merits of CBI (format wars are a waste of time). I responded to Sudheer's post because there was a clear factual error in regards to the historical record, which is understandable as he wasn't playing college quizbowl at that time.

Having made the correction I was intending when I entered into this discussion, I think I will sit out the remainder of this thread. I'm guessing it will only deteriorate further anyway...

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Post by Matt Weiner » Thu Apr 29, 2004 2:31 pm

kpeskin wrote:Also, I appreciate that in your two replies to me you use words and phrases like "pathetic attempt at backtracking" and "deranged". This, after critiquing responding to polite debate with insult volleys.
Sarcastic references to Reid's comments are apparently lost on you...
Regardless, I didn't enter into this discussion to debate the merits of CBI (format wars are a waste of time). I responded to Sudheer's post because there was a clear factual error in regards to the historical record, which is understandable as he wasn't playing college quizbowl at that time.
Don' try to play that bullshit card. This is not some subjective argument about which style of question is preferred. CBI's propensity for outright fraud, fixing games, lying, and treating players like children goes beyond whatever might be wrong with their questions. It's just plain unethical behavior and would be just as wrong if their questions were perfect.

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Post by NotBhan » Thu Apr 29, 2004 2:33 pm

Perhaps Herr Wiener would be so kind as to elaborate on specifically how CBI staff fixed matches in which he was involved. Just wondering.

--RD

P.S. For that matter, does anyone know the specific basis of Virginia's claim about match- or tournament-fixing in 1997?

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Post by Matt Weiner » Thu Apr 29, 2004 2:43 pm

NotBhan wrote:Perhaps Herr Wiener would be so kind as to elaborate on specifically how CBI staff fixed matches in which he was involved. Just wondering.
Sure.

In 2001, I joined in criticizing the way that Region IV was run in a thread started by another dissatisfied team. I failed to realize that the Region IV ACUI coordinator was in the good graces of CBI and in fact was moderating at the national tournament. She was our moderator for a game against Washington (from the state, not St Louis). With twenty seconds left on the clock, Washington pulled ahead of us for the first time that game. The moderator stood there, making small talk with the judge, shuffling papers, and staring blankly at the wall, until the clock ran out. For twenty seconds, from the end of Washington's bonus to the expiration of time, she didn't start the next tossup. Afterwards I attempted to protest to the judge, but was told that the moderator's refusal to read questions is, in fact, not protestable.* Washington, to their infinite credit, expressed nearly as much shock as I did at this turn of events and offered to replay the end of the game, but the CBI staff would not permit it.

This is, once again, something that would be unacceptable regardless of what kind of questions were being read.

*To no one's surprise, another team was allowed to protest a clock decision this year. On-the-fly creation of rules is just one of the many perks of playing CBI.

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Post by mujason » Thu Apr 29, 2004 4:32 pm

Damn, that does suck. That moderator should be banned from moderating.

Jason Mueller

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Post by Chris Frankel » Thu Apr 29, 2004 5:19 pm

What exactly is ACUI and what does it actually do/mean for it to be such a deciding factor for so many schools?

Josh, when you recruited schools for NAQT, did you target the administrative types or the student players themselves? I'm not doubting your efforts, it's just more curiousity than anything else. Seems the best thing to do would be to solicit the fundraisers and raise the issues of cost and administrative flaws in CBI, and just leave the whole issue of question quality/format mostly unmentioned. Of course given that most college administrator types do tend to have a paternalistic "know-it-all" attitude and not care to listen students (like CBI), I can see how you may not have had success.

On that note, I was curious if anyone thought that CBI might be a sort of foil to the largely autonomous structure of the circuit that currently exists. CBI seems to offer the same style that appeals to a lot of pushy southern HSQB coaches, namely the notion that since CBI is run by "veterans" and has historical longetivity and tradition, it must be superior. I'm beginning to think there's no real way to wean a lot of programs from CBI without catering to those demands and risking imposing the circuit to unwanted outside influence. Just a thought.

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Post by bucktowntiger » Thu Apr 29, 2004 6:11 pm

I still have one of the sent recruitment e-mails for SCT... In recruitment, I definitely did not take an antagonistic approach. Whenever possible, I wrote directly to a player on the school's CBI team and told them about the similarities between NAQT and CBI (that both were tossup-bonus, timed format, with four players per team). I mentioned the low, LOW price of NAQT relative to CBI and the guarantee of eleven games, as well as the allowance of multiple teams from the same school and the existence of a competitive division geared specifically for teams new to NAQT. I also mentioned that NAQT would make an excellent tune-up for CBI Regionals. In some cases, I wrote the College Bowl program coordinator (or called him/her by phone), who would usually forward the tourney info to the team captain, who (hopefully) got back with me.

ACUI is the Association of College Unions, International. It is an association geared to the vitality of student unions and planning events to be held in student unions. College Bowl, as a result of its affiliation with ACUI, is usually funded through a university's student activities fee, along with other recreational competitions, such as Poetry Slam, chess, and billiards. All these events are held in conjunction with each other at Regionals, and the entire experience, when put together, makes for a pretty fun weekend. (A few College Bowlers even did some poetry, including one who read an adaptation of a William Blake poem.)
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Post by Steve Kaplan » Thu Apr 29, 2004 9:34 pm

I have some thoughts about CBI in general and this year’s nationals in particular.
I generally enjoy CBI questions; I’ve played two years of IMs and Regionals and Nationals this year. The questions probably wouldn’t cut it at a submission tournament, but for someone with my stylistic preferences they make up a nice and enjoyable change of pace from circuit quizbowl. The Nationals questions this year were essentially pyramidal, if easier than most circuit questions. The variable value bonus questions aren’t that bothersome since they announce the value of the bonus before each toss-up. I was somewhat disappointed by the fact that despite good stats my team wound up taking quite a few “upsetâ€

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Post by STPickrell » Fri Apr 30, 2004 11:20 am

Josh -- What reasons/excuses did you get from the CBI-only schools? Or did you simply not get a reply at all?

I suspect many of the once-a-year teams simply do not WANT to play more than once a year, or that some teams might have their 1-2 best players wanting to go, everyone else demurring, and the 1-2 players thinking they needed to have at least 4 people going.
Shawn Pickrell, HSAPQ CFO

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Post by bucktowntiger » Fri Apr 30, 2004 6:55 pm

I got no reply from some. Some encountered money problems (CBI was paid for by the school, and it was too late for them to get more school funding to come to NAQT), and some had date conflicts. I don't think I specified that only one player was required to substantiate a team; however, subjecting one or two new players to circuit competition would probably scare those one or two players off, unless they did really well. One school (another in-state school) that didn't get back with me actually sent an A and B team to two circuit events this year (Gateway at Wash U.-STL and RBO at UT-Austin), yet didn't attend ACF Fall or NAQT SCT (both at U. of A.) This frustrates me more than missing a tossup with a tiger reference.
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Post by shamsoftabriz » Fri Apr 30, 2004 8:59 pm

I could care less about all this -- could someone just describe the skunk tossup?

Guy

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Post by mbphilp » Sat May 01, 2004 1:21 pm

I don't remember the Skunk tossup other than that it included the Skunk River. The cat tossup had "felis" accepted as an answer as that's what we gave and after checking for a second, the moderator accepted it. As for the merits of CBI, I think most of what's needed to be said has to be said, but I will add one more thing.

When I was an undergrad at Dartmouth (and congratulations to that team for doing what hadn't been done in awhile in Region 1), we were a decent team, but could never put up a full first team that could compete for the championship at most tournaments (I didn't win my first tournament until coming to Michigan). CBI was always, to some extent, our reminder that no matter how mediocre we were on the circuit, we could always crush several other schools who weren't circuit teams (with the exception of the fluke Providence team). At one particular regionals that I remember, we finished 9-3 and didn't come within 200 points of any team all day long.

In addition, with the old rule that an institutional rep had to come along, the only time our advisor saw us play, he/she saw us crushing competition and were more willing to support funding things down the line. Had we not played CBI, I don't think there would have been a funding problem (as the college was very supportive), but it certainly helped out.

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Post by Jeremy Gibbs Paradox » Sat May 01, 2004 2:39 pm

The series of banquets added a surreal quality to the event. As Dwight already mentioned, Richard Reid told a lengthy story about true love at CBI Nationals between a player from MIT and one from WUSTL at Marshall University
About the closest thing that I can find to this fucked up view of reality that Reid has is the 1980 NCT which was held at WUSTL. Since MIT is listed as 3rd place, and WUSTL is 2nd it's possible they hit each other in the semifinal as it was all single elim in those days. Other than that it's like trying to pick at what parts of Arthurian legend are true and what's been made up to sound prettier.

For a funny article from January of 1979 about Reid's gross incompetence and to see how far certain aspects of the game has come the following link is provided:
http://kurzweil.mit.edu/archives/VOL_09 ... 8_P001.txt

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Post by NotBhan » Sat May 01, 2004 3:20 pm

****************
For a funny article from January of 1979 about Reid's gross incompetence and to see how far certain aspects of the game has come the following link is provided:
http://kurzweil.mit.edu/archives/VOL_09 ... 8_P001.txt
****************


Even more amusing in this link is the article further down the page, about MIT alumnus Peter Peckarsky. Not to be missed.

--Raj Dhuwalia

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The Obvious

Post by Scott Francis » Sat May 01, 2004 6:51 pm

Look, if you've played CBI and actually enjoyed it, then it's your money to waste. I'm not even going to waste my breath trying to prove that CBI sucks, because if you don't realize that by now, you're a douchebag. I, for one, have realized that it's just as bad as Knowledge Masters, only without the Auk. We're not little tykes anymore. We shouldn't have to listen to some old fart lecture to us about how playing CBI gives you a healthy dose of skepticism, when all it does is turn your brains to shit and amaze you with how many illiterate people can become qualified to recognize, judge, and moderate. I, for example, was ruled to have pronounced Antoninus Pius incorrectly, a good three minutes after the fact. The judge said she took so long to rule because she had been distracted when I gave my answer. And she was the head judge for CBI Nationals.

Playing CBI when you appreciate ACF is like Cartman entering the Special Olympics. You have to turn yourself into a tard in order to play in the first place, and even then, you lose to the actual tards (teams like Minnesota whose members major in geography and practice for CBI all year long). Every time I've played CBI (too many, far too many), the Cornell people who, for some incomprehensible reason, like the format, tell me to just dumb myself down to the level of CBI. WHY? I've tried it several times now, and it never works. And then, they don't want to go to ACF because it's too hard. Why should I have to lower my standards when they refuse to raise theirs?

The worst part about CBI is how highly it thinks of itself. During dinner, I had to sit through masturbatory speeches about how Portland State University named its Student Union after a College Bowl player. That and some other story about a guy from MIT screwing a girl from Harvard or something. I can only hope that history doesn't repeat itself.

So, now that I've decided to do the right thing and shun CBI, I have a question for those of you legitimate players who are forced to deal with trash and CBI peckerheads on a regular basis: have you found a way to shut them down and put them in their place? If so, how?

Scott Francis, who wouldn't wipe his ass with a CBI question sheet

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Post by bucktowntiger » Sat May 01, 2004 9:14 pm

Having been hosed numerous times on CBI questions (one that sticks out in my mind is a tossup on "the only big cat that cannot roar,") I am usually told by my teammates that CBI's philosophy is that they want to make it a risk to buzz in early, that getting hosed is a penalty for interrupting the tossup, and that I should just wait for a better clue and not buzz so early. Basically, dumb myself down to the level of the questions. To which I say bullfeces. A hose is a hose is a hose is a hose, whether it's CBI, ACF or Big Six Questions. Maybe it is CBI's philosophy, but that means they have a jacked-up philosophy. Another example, from a Regionals game: to the best of my knowledge, a tossup with the lead-in "On June 19, 1865..." would not accept "Juneteenth," "Galveston," or "announcement of the liberation of slaves in Texas" if the answer they're looking for is simply "Texas." (sighs at the question-writing ineptitude)

I was even seen briefly as trying to become a one-man separatist organization around here, simply because I was willing to drive seven, eight, even nine hours one-way to play in an invitational or ACF tournament solo or quasi-solo after receiving no interest from teammates. Lots of date conflicts this semester with my generally up-for-it teammates, but still, CBI Intramurals got as much participation as NAQT Sectionals or ACF Fall, if not more.

BTW, the answer to that tossup was "cheetah"; I negged with "snow leopard," which was once classified in Panthera but has since been found to not actually roar. By definition, a cat is not a big cat if it cannot roar.
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Re: The Obvious

Post by BigFlax » Sat May 01, 2004 9:38 pm

Scott Francis wrote:I have a question for those of you legitimate players who are forced to deal with trash and CBI peckerheads on a regular basis
I hope you're referring to people who are only willing to play Trash (that doesn't make it much better, but better enough) and not to anyone who plays Trash. Trash is, to my mind, basically ACF except that everything is pop culture instead of academics. The biggest problems with CBI are the awful question style and the irritating faux-decorum, neither of which haunt Trash.

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