This coming weekend, I’ll participate in The World’s Largest Trivia ContestTM. As per tradition, this week is filled with idle reminiscing about memorable answers in past years. This time around, I’m focusing on the Music Question, which asks teams to identify songs on the basis of short snippets edited together.
Among my clan, the Music Question is often a group effort. We pride ourselves on being perfect — or at least near-perfect — with this particular chunk of 90FM’s Trivia. So when we’ve successfully ascertained the titles to seven of the songs, leaving one persistently stubborn outlier, all hands are called to the proverbial deck. Under normal circumstances, that means team members slipping in and and out of the area dedicated to working the Music Question, listening repeatedly to the elusive couple of seconds and trying out theories. Of course, circumstances were far from normal last year, and the April contest was delayed to October and repurposed to make it easier for teams to participate by collaborating through online video chatting rather than cramming into a book-laden basement together. When we reached the third and final Music Question in that recent contest, we figured out seven of the eight snippets relatively quickly. Only one was missing from our answer sheet. It was entirely comprised of a singer yelling “Hey!” Everyone toiled away, occasionally offering unconfident ideas. Finally, one team member made a cheerful announcement from his Brady-Bunch square on the screen. With just a whiff of gloating — which was certainly fair and wholly understandable — he said he had it. He told us to listen to the very end of “The Bears Still Suck Polka,” a ditty that appears on the 1991 album Raise It!, by the Happy Schnapps Combo. A novelty song that is surely the definition of obscure in most parts of the country, the jubilant disparagement of the pigskin warriors from the Windy City is a beloved hit in the dairyland when the Green Bay Packers are practically the state religion. With not much time to spare, the last title was added to our answer submission. Not only did it ensure an eight-for-eight performance on that Music Question, the answer “The Bears Still Suck Polka” earned us 400 points, the second highest point value available and an indication that we were one of only two teams, among the hundreds participating, that got it right.
More info about 90FM’s Trivia can be found at its official website or at the radio station’s online home. There’s also a feature documentary about the contest, but it’s fairly hard to come by these days. To see how my team is faring over the weekend, Twitter is probably the best bet.