Too Much Trivia in the Pants

New phone, who dis?

§ Friday, June 23, 2017 @ 4:19 PM

Man, I swear I’ve seen this guy somewhere before…

#GMTC52 Is Almost Here!

§ Friday, January 27, 2017 @ 8:04 PM

The start of the contest is now less than two hours away, the team is registered, and we’re starting to gather. As some of you may have heard, this is year twenty for Too Much Trivia in the Pants, and we’ll be celebrating that fact all weekend long.

Too Much Trivia in the Pants would like to thank our sponsors Dr. Jekyll’s and Marley’s Smoke Shop, without whose generous support we would be unable to achieve our goal of Making Trivia Great Again. Thank you!

For those who are joining us this year, feel free to drop in at any point and claim your spot in the War Room.

To all the other teams, best of luck this year… but not too much luck.

k!

Three Days until #GMTC52

§ Tuesday, January 24, 2017 @ 12:12 PM

Hola Los Pantalones and Friends of The Pants!

Trivia is only three short days away, so of course that means it’s time for LarryU’s official trivia press release to drop. For your reading please I have quoted it below:

Lawrence’s Great Midwest Trivia Contest offers 52nd test of cerebral fitness


It seems a no brainer that Ridley Tankersley would eventually hold the exalted title of Trivia Headmaster of Lawrence University’s ultimate test of cerebral fitness.

Heck, he almost was named a trivia master before he was even a Lawrence student.

As 2017’s Trivia Headmaster, Tankersley, a senior studio art major from Phoenix, Ariz., will oversee 50 straight hours of outrageous competition all in the name of fun during the 52nd edition of Lawrence University’s Great Midwest Trivia Contest.

Older than the Super Bowl and liberally sprinkled with questions that make explaining the Higgs Boson look easy, the Lawrence trivia contest is the nation’s longest-running salute to all things obscure.

The contest returns in all its inconsequential glory Friday, Jan. 27 at its customary 10:00.37 p.m. start time and runs until midnight Sunday. The contest, just as it has for the past 11 years, will be webcast worldwide from the control room of wlfmradio.

Nearly 400 questions will be asked over the course of the contest, with hundreds, if not thousands of trivia addicts playing for on-campus and off-campus teams, calling in answers to the WLFM studios. Last year, 86 teams battled it out for the off-campus title, which was won by Hobgoblins of Little Minds, a team based in North Carolina. Among on-campus combatants, David and the Bucky’s Batallion Diabolically Antagonizing Tortured Brood-Makers, Basically Building Batteries, Bungee Jumping Blindfolded, Bizarrely Bludgeoning Bells and Definitely Ascending toward Brilliance By Dastardly Battling Together outlasted 18 challengers for its second straight title.

Tankersley, who went from playing as a freshman to serving as a trivia master the past two contests, tried to pull a fast one in 2012. As a visiting prospective student, Tankersley conspired with a current student to apply as a trivia master.

“We thought it would be funny if we both auditioned to be trivia masters,” said Tankersley, who was a member of the winning on-campus team his freshman year. “I pretended to be a Lawrence student. My visit roommate gave me a fake Lawrence ID number and his room number. I went through the whole process, including an interview. I heard I came close to being picked. I think people were quite surprised when they realized I was back in Arizona finishing high school.”

As he gets ready to settle in to the big chair for the weekend, Tankersley hopes to remind players of the contest’s credo: Trivia is meant to be entertainment and should be perceived solely in that light.

“I’ve seen the focus put on competitiveness, not the enjoyment of playing and I want to see it go back to that,” said Tankersley, who figures he’ll only manage to sneak in eight hours of sleep during the course of the 50-hour contest. “I want it to be on the front of everyone’s mind that people are playing because it’s fun and trivia masters are doing what they do because it’s fun.”

While technology has perhaps eroded some of the contest’s original, simple charm, its core spirit — a weird, yet at the same time weirdly logical experience — remains untarnished.

“You’re in a room with waxing and waning numbers of other teammates, but you’re all there doing the same thing,” said Tankersley, whose dad played as the one-man team “Square Root of All Evil” from Arizona last year. “People take it seriously and it’s inspiring that they do, finding the fun in this weird thing.

“It’s really all about the community of playing,“ he added. “It’s about spending time with your friends on the weekend, and maybe coming out of it with a bad prize. It’s all about the experience.”

Appleton native Kim Stahl knows all about trivia’s “community of playing.” She began playing the trivia contest when she was in elementary school and started a team in sixth grade. Today, she and her best friend Heidi Delorey are co-ring leaders of a team that numbers around four dozen multiple-generation players from as many as 10 states who annually converge on her home — in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Stahl, who has approximately 35 years of notches in her trivia belt, and her merry band of “Hobgoblins,” have benefited from the contest’s switch from an over-the-air broadcast to its current webcast, allowing her to maintain a beloved, decades-old tradition.

“We just love playing. We love the contest. It’s a lot of fun and it makes for a wonderful reunion,” said Stahl, a 1991 graduate of Appleton West High School. “And we love the fact that all of these Lawrence students have kept it going all these years. It’s such a unique college tradition.”

Despite her long history with the contest, Stahl first cued the DJ to play “We are the Champions” in 2015, the contest’s 50th anniversary. They successfully defended their title last year and now are gunning for a coveted “threepeat.”

“We are firmly intending to hit the hat trick this year,” said Stahl, whose own personal trivia tradition involves filling her front yard with pink flamingos the weekend of the contest. “After never expecting to win for the first 30-some years, that would be a crowning jewel.”

Following trivia tradition, Lawrence President Mark Burstein, will start the fun by asking the contest’s first question, which, also by tradition, is always the final — and virtually unanswerable 100-point “Super Garruda” — from the previous year’s contest.

For one of the few times in the contest’s history, last year’s Super Garruda was correctly answered by the Trivia Pirates…Aaarrrggh. They somehow managed to come up Earwigs Rule to the question: In 1964, a band pretended to play Beatles songs at a battle of the bands called the Letterman Show. What is written in the top right corner of the page that features the band in a KWSS DJ’s copy of the lead singer’s 1965 high school yearbook?

Here are a few “softballs” to help everyone get warmed up for this year’s contest.


  1. In 1988, students at the University College in Dublin broke a record by debating, for 503 hours and 45 minutes, what statement?

  2. At this toy themed amusement park in San Diego, what guards the entrance to the ride immediately south of the easternmost green roller coaster?

  3. The leader of a one-man comedy synth punk band also has a website dedicated to images of a certain household object. What is BigJerk’s lamp thinking?

(1. “Every Dog Should Have Its Day” 2. A 16-foot tall LEGO pharaoh 3. “I hate the zoo.”)

On a side note related to the press release, we are very excited to read the quote above where “Headmaster” Ridley says, “I’ve seen the focus put on competitiveness, not the enjoyment of playing and I want to see it go back to that.” We Pantsians would love to see the emphasis of the contest return once again to fun and tradition. In the last few years the contest has been highly sterilized and stripped of all fun and tradition in favor of a focus on competitiveness and cramming as many questions as possible into the weekend. We look forward to seeing what The Joker has up his sleeve!

k!

» Lawrence’s Great Midwest Trivia Contest offers 52nd test of cerebral fitness [Lawrence University News]

Too Much Trivia Finally Score!

§ Thursday, January 19, 2017 @ 10:42 AM

Or, erm, we’ve been around for a score (of contests)? Yeah, that’s probably more appropriate. Anyhoo…

Hello, Pantsians and Friends of the Pants!

It’s true what you’ve heard (or maybe not heard): Los Pantalones are back for year twenty.

Year TWENTY?! Yes, it really has been that long—we (the team) really are older than many Lawrence students. While we are, indeed, a little older and a little grayer, I can guarantee you that we are in no way wiser. If we were wiser we wouldn’t be spending a weekend participating in a fifty-hour-long trivia contest, amiright?

If you’ve played with us at any point dating back to 2012 you already know where to find us once again this year down on West College Avenue. If it has been a little longer since we last saw your bright, smiling face on trivia weekend we definitely encourage you to join us again this year. Don’t know where to find us? Send me an email at toomuchtrivia@yahoo.com and I can give you all the gory details.

I hope to see you all eight days from now!

k!

Making a Murderer—Lost Footage

§ Sunday, January 31, 2016 @ 9:34 PM

This was our third-place-winning entry for the off-campus sci-fi action question. Unfortunately, apparently not one single trivia master has seen “Making a Murderer” so they didn’t really get it, but they still gave us third place, so we won’t complain too much.

Epic Political Rap Battle Video

§ Sunday, January 31, 2016 @ 8:15 PM

This was our second-place-winning entry for the off-campus rap battle action question. Patrick (“Bernie”) came up with the whole concept and scripted both sides. Props, Bernie.

Captain Hamerica!

§ Sunday, January 31, 2016 @ 12:58 PM

This was our second-place-winning entry in the off-campus Mask Hour action question. We had the patriotic bandannas already, so all it took was a little porcine inspiration to reach the pun. A package of sliced ham from Walgreens and a Captain America sweater fished out of the hamper later and we had our entry.

Two Days!

§ Wednesday, January 27, 2016 @ 3:07 PM

We’re down under 55 hours now until the start of GMTC51, and Larry U just dropped their annual press release. Not bad, not bad, but I do have to take umbrage at one particular sentence: “It goes without saying, though, no one will be able to answer a single question off the top of their head.” How dare you, sir, how dare you? Them’s fightin’ words! There’s at least one question every year which somebody on the team knows off the top of their head, and it’s always a triumphal moment of pride when that person gets to exclaim, “Oh shit, I know that! It’s…” (Unless, of course, what you’re saying is that everyone will know at least two answers off the top of their heads. We can get behind that statement.) C’mon, man, it’s trivia—it’s all about knowing random stuff you’re not supposed to know. But it’s okay—we still love you!

» Trivia Time: Lawrence sets the bar when it comes to all things obscure, inconsequential [Lawrence University News]

Newbies Not Wanted

§ Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 8:54 AM

That’s the message to potential new trivia players in this year’s Post-Crescent article. Brilliant! A choice nugget:

Maybe you’ve played Trivial Pursuit with the family? Or team trivia games at a bar? This is nothing like that. At all.

Since its inception in 1966, the Great Midwest Trivia Contest has received national attention from the likes of Playboy, the New York Times and ABC’s “Good Morning America.” You don’t get that kind of press by asking questions about best-selling albums or NFL rushing records. This annual endeavor is made up of elaborate, multi-layered mysteries that can only be found in the deepest corners of the Internet or in primary source materials. Novice Googlers need not apply.

So, is he wrong? Technically, no, though it’s a stretch to claim that “elaborate, multi-layered mysteries that can only be found in the deepest corners of the Internet” are the reason Trivia was written about in Playboy.

What’s missing from this year’s article is the human perspective. Oh, there are a few quotes from Grand Master Jon, but there’s no mention of the teams that play or why they play or that playing trivia as a team is about much more than spending 50 hours straight on Google.

No offense to the author—he tried—but he also missed the point. So let’s try this again: Play trivia! Do you like Trivial Pursuit or bar trivia games? You just might love Trivia! Novice Googler? You just might love Trivia! Couldn’t care less about trivial knowledge or searching for answers? You still might just love Trivia! You’ll never know unless you try it. No, trivia isn’t for everyone, but let’s not discourage people from even trying.

See y’all next weekend!

» How absurd: Lawrence trivia contest returns [Post-Crescent]

This Team is Getting Old

§ Saturday, January 9, 2016 @ 2:00 AM

Not us, mind you, just the team.

Sure, so the contest is hitting its 51st birthday this year, and we have nothing on that, but it still occurred to me earlier this evening that our team is more than half my age—this actually happened already last year, but I wasn’t really paying attention to mortality,— a milestone which will never go back in my (our) favor. Basically, I can’t believe that Too Much Trivia in the Pants is only a year away from our twentieth contest. Has it been that long?! I certainly wouldn’t have believed it if the evidence weren’t there.

Jinkies!

We’re less than three weeks away now—stay safe, y’all!

k!

The Cat Light

§ Wednesday, January 6, 2016 @ 10:10 PM

Just kinda thought this video needed to make its way onto the blog as well…

(Note: If you’re not signed in to Facebook the video probably won’t display and you’ll just see an error message.)

The New Website is Here! The New Website is Here!

§ Wednesday, January 6, 2016 @ 9:40 PM

Hello all!

Well, here we are—the new website is live. It’s lighter, it’s brighter, and it’s completely redesigned. I hope you like it! Since the previous design had been in use since 2007 (can you believe it has been that long?!) I would say it was about time for a redesign.

Probably the biggest change in terms of content is the exclusion of our current score, which was a feature of our website ever since the very first version debuted in time for the 2000 contest. So, where did it go? Or, rather, WHY did it go? In short, it was a feature that had outlived its usefulness. When we first started posting our score to the site one had to actually listen to the contest in its entirety to perhaps catch an update on our score. Since we were keeping score anyway, it wasn’t a big deal to go ahead and post an update to the site whenever we got a chance. However, this is 2016, and for several years now the trivia masters have been posting the scores for all the teams online in the form of a downloadable spreadsheet instead of reading them over the air. Since posting our own score updates online is just overkill, it has been axed on our new site. C’est la vie. The rest is still here, but totally redesigned and updated and modernized for 2016. Woohoo!

And in case you aren’t actually following along at home, trivia is only 23 days away, so get your vacation bids in if you haven’t already. If you’re a team member on our mailing list keep an eye on your inbox, and everyone else keep an eye on our Facebook page, as we’ll be sending out the annual pre-trivia email and soliciting your input in making our plans.

Huzzah!

k!

A New Update

§ Friday, January 1, 2016 @ 10:55 AM

Happy 2016, y’all!

If any of you happened to read the blog post I published yesterday, please disregard its content. If you didn’t, you didn’t really miss anything. The gist of what I wrote was a rant about Movable Type, WordPress, and the future of this blog. I don’t regret the post, but after some time to contemplate the future of this blog I have determined that the message was not fully accurate. So it’s gone.

Here’s what you really need to know. First of all, Trivia LI is only four weeks away! Yes, really, so plan accordingly. We are returning this year, same place, same time. Watch for updates on our Facebook page and/or the annual pre-trivia email coming soon. Second, I am in the process of redesigning this website, and the updated site will be finished soon. And third, in the process of redesigning the site I had to reconsider the purpose of this blog. It’s a long story, which was all explained in yesterday’s rant, but ultimately not that important. Anyway, the conclusion I came to is that this blog will continue to exist and get updated, but mostly for the purpose of conveying important information and/or news about the team and the contest. As such, I am no longer concerned about the fact that the commenting system does not work because we have better ways to interact with you through our social media presence. So that’s that.

I look forward to seeing you all four weeks from today!

A Little Reading Material…

§ Friday, January 23, 2015 @ 12:11 PM

Bored waiting for trivia to start? There’s tons of reading material for you out there concerning this year’s contest. Here are just a few:

Lawrence trivia contest celebrates 50 years [Post-Crescent]

Lawrence University's trivia contest thrives in the age of Google [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

Fifty Years of Lawrence Trivia Archived at Appleton Man's Home [WBAY TV]

Happy 50th! Lawrence celebrates a not-so-trivial birthday [Lawrence University Press Release]

The Weekend of Trivia L Has Arrived! [Lawrence University Weblog]

Happy reading, and we’ll see some of you in a few hours! Safe travels!

♥k!

ELEVEN DAYS!

§ Monday, January 12, 2015 @ 5:35 PM

Yes, for those who haven’t been paying attention, the fiftieth edition of the Great Midwest Trivia Contest is only eleven days away. The trivia team known by the name Too Much Trivia in the Pants will be in our eighteenth year of existence this year, which is nothing compared to the fifty years this contest has been in existence, and yet we are proud to have played a part in the long history of this contest. For team members young and old, we hope you can join us this year for the weekend of January 23–25, but if you cannot I hope you will follow along with us here or on our many forms of social media presence. As for those who will be available to join us for the contest, we will be in the same location we have been for the previous three years, and if you haven’t joined us in a few years and want to know where that is please drop us an email at toomuchtrivia@yahoo.com and we’ll fill you in. Hope to see you all eleven days from now!

♥k!

A Little Light Reading

§ Thursday, January 23, 2014 @ 9:28 AM

Hola! We still have over thirty-six hours yet until kickoff, but if you need to kill a few minutes between now and 10:00:37 tomorrow night here are links to a few articles about this year’s contest.

We’ll start with this article from the Scene, which contains quotes from a couple teams about their annual traditions:
Extreme Trivia and Tradition: Lawrence University’s Great Midwest Trivia Contest

Next, we have the annual press release from Lawrence, complete with a typo wherein Garruda is misspelled as “Garradua”:
The Ultimate Intellectual Scavenger Hunt: Lawrence University Trivia Contest Turns 49

And, finally, we have this year’s article from the Post-Crescent, which is just a copy-and-paste job of the press release you just read (complete with the misspelling of garruda), except they excised a few lines and added an aside noting that the Iowans (who they didn’t mention by name) were not able to get their answer to the Super Garruda in before time was cut short:
LU to kick off annual trivia contest Friday

Enjoy!

Find Us on Social Media

§ Monday, January 20, 2014 @ 1:55 PM

Howdy, folks!

In addition to our Facebook (established 2010) and Instagram (established 2013) accounts, Too Much Trivia in the Pants is now on Twitter. Just like everything else involving Los Pantalones, I’ll go ahead and warn you now that our new Twitter will probably be NSFW and not recommended for the kiddos.

One Week!!!

§ Friday, January 17, 2014 @ 3:57 PM

A little under 174 hours until go time (but who’s counting?).

It’s Official—Trivia XLIX is on

§ Tuesday, January 7, 2014 @ 6:46 PM

For those of you on our email list, I will be sending out that annual pre-contest epistle shortly, but for the rest of you I can confirm that Trivia XLIX will be January 24–26, 2014. Too Much Trivia in the Pants will be gathering same time, same place as last year, so I hope you all can make it out.

Third Place!

§ Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 10:10 AM

Wow, we were not expecting this. I mean, sure, we were leading through 100 questions, and we were still second late in the contest, but we fell behind and couldn’t quite keep up with the top three. Going into the Garrudas, we knew that we were going to need to snag the Super Garruda to catch the top three. And then we stumbled upon this:

Yep, there’s the answer to this year’s Super Garruda, “BIG UNIT JIZZBOT”—just to the left of “LULU”—in a photo posted on Flickr. We called it in, and the celebration began. We knew that 100 points was enough to catapult us into the lead, and all it would take was at least one of the top three to not find this for us to find our way to the podium. But the wait was on. And then GM Ethan Landes interrupted the Super Garruda, said some knucklehead had posted the answer on Facebook (SERIOUSLY?!), and the time was being cut short as a result. As we listened to Ethan read off the teams that called in with the correct answer, we thought we heard him read off all three teams ahead of us. Eh, fourth place would still be our best finish ever, and we’ll always be able to say we got a Super Garruda, even if 18 other teams did so, too.

Even if we came up just a little short, we still showed up for the awards ceremony, like we do every year, just to see the spectacle. And then Ethan started reading off the off-campus teams. And he read our final score. “That can’t be us!” we thought. And then he read our team name. Holy crap! Third place! Matt run up there with the flag in hand, grabbed our prize—a giant block of cream cheese with candy canes sticking out of it and wearing a mask,—and the celebration began. We partied late into the night to celebrate finally finding the podium. Sure, we fell short of winning, but top three is nothing to sneeze at. I mean, we never imagined we’d be able to get anywhere near the top three; not with as disorganized as our team is, and not with how many fewer people we have than the other top teams. But we finally did it, and it feels like winning to us.

I’m so proud of the way our team did more with less this year, and we can’t wait to return next year!

Oh, and I almost forgot to include the link to the P-C article mentioning the winners:
Winners named in LU trivia contest [Appleton Post-Crescent]

Waiting on the Garrudas

§ Sunday, January 27, 2013 @ 10:50 PM

Sorry we didn’t keep you all updated this year, but we were a little busy. Our numbers were significantly reduced, and yet we’re looking at our best finish ever. In fact, we were even in the lead through 100 questions! Unfortunately, we couldn’t keep pace with teams fully stocked with dozens of people, but we’re incredibly proud of what we accomplished this year. New members joined us for the first time, and old friends gathered around once again; old traditions were carried on, and new ones were created. And, most importantly, everyone had fun.

And now for the Garrudas…

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