Campus Fragmented; Rival Teams Bear Armadillos


The Lawrentian, February 8, 1974.

For the first time, the Ninth Annual Midwest Trivia Contest is about to begin. With the Armadillo nightmares behind us, and the prospect of Lizard singing their Saturday night "Barbara Ann" yet to come, this year's battle promises to be better than ever.

Stung by their close defeats in past years, the Phi Taus have amassed a veritable arsenal of trivia power to unleash over the phones at unsuspecting Trivia masters. With the taste of near victory in their mouths, (apologies to Deep Throat) and the possibility of poisoned cookies well in the back of their minds, the Phi Taus vowed to take this one "running away." "We've been in second place long enough," cried one desperate brother, "never again!"

The Taus have good reason to be optimistic. They have complete notebooks on past questions and answers and have filed some away for quick reference. The Phi Taus maintain it's good for getting morale up for the match and priming new freshmen who have never experienced Lawrence Trivia before.

While they were optimistic, some were also lamenting the cut-throat nature of Trivia. "We got a real shitty deal last year with those laxative-laced cookies," said the Tau representative. "We even had people calling us up from Science Hall to jam our phones. It's just a game, God. Why sabotage people for a ten gallon jar of mustard?" because the Trivia masters are tightening up the rules for this year, the Phi Taus regretfully predict there will be lower scored and less campus involvement.

Despite their hopes for a win this year, the Taus are hampered by a loss of some real pros through graduation and only a two-phone system. However, their references and past experience might offset these problems.

Grabbing on to Tom Oreck's idea of the past two years, a number of enterprising Junior's have formed a team entitled "the Mark," sponsored by the beer and pizza joint of the same name. For the effort of staying up all night to answer esoteric questions on just about any subject, "the Mark" will receive several free pizzas and a half-barrel of beer.

Their big bonus this year is the size of the team - three floors of Freshmen and two floors of upper-classmen. Mark Charette, team spokesman, explained that "the more people you have, the more answers you get... We haven't got any specific resource books - just the usual movie and radio song books." "The Mark" will be operating out of Coleman, with three phones operating, they could be a real threat this year.

"Leangelo Mysteriouso" will be operating out of Ormsby. They're new-comers on the Trivia scene - really rank amateurs, but they hope to have a good time - and get some studying done as well. They have no organization and no reference material. "From what I've heard of the organized teams," said Charles Ellingboe, "we don't stand a chance...If we don't win we'd like to wish luck to the John Keltner fan club."

In contrast to "Leangelo Mysterioso," the Delt team (unnamed as yet) has reams of reference material and a list of past alums who might return for the weekend. They're really playing it by ear this year, but they have a lot of past experience from which to draw. "We're just going to stay with it as long as we can... We're only here for the beer."

The Fijis, like the Delts, approach Trivia in an "off the cuff" manner. Some die-hards play around the clock - others stay up just for the company and to get some work done. One good innovation that has worked well in the past is a specialties list where house members put down their areas of competency - and get aroused in the middle of the night to give answers. "We really don't give two shits about the game itself... We just play to have fun."

One of the great names in Trivia, LIZARD, will again be pounding the phones with speeding-bullet-like quickness. Said a spokesman, "We plan to do alright." LIZARD, it has been learned, organized the Armadillo phenomenon of last year. "We felt that the social environment of the campus needed something uplifting," modestly replied the spokesman, who preferred to remain unidentified, as he lit up another cigarette.

LIZARD relies on no formal method of organization and preparation. "For the past two years we successfully cooperated with indigenous elements to form the winning combination," another member chirped in, "this year we will have to rely on a relatively untested yet astonishing amount of potential. We plan to do alright." LIZARD will operate from Trever Hall, and expects to use its technical expertise as well as latent trivial skill to "the utmost possible advantage, with the rules." Lighting a cigarette, another stalwart LIZARD added, "We plan to do alright."

Of course, most smart money will be on a newcoming team this year. The Lawrentian staff, we have heard from admittedly unreliable sources, is to be expected to demonstrate that its linguistic and investigative skills are not limited to the mundane goings on on campus. A high official, who preferred to remain anonymous, simply stated, "We plan to do alright."