Trivia Weekend 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Banks of phones and computers help volunteers score the contest

Banks of phones and computers help volunteers score the 50-hour contest.

Poster for Trivia Weekend 2012 The Golden Urn, the KVSC Trivia Weekend trophy Banks of phones and computers help volunteers score the contest Empty pizza boxes at the 2007 trivia contest 

St. Cloud State's 50-hour trivia contest on KVSC 88.1 FM returns Feb. 10-12 with a vinyl recordings focus.

"33 1/3: Trivia Long-Play" is the theme for the 33-year-old contest, which drew 71 teams in 2011.

As of Feb. 2, 56 teams were registered, including defending champion Mustache and past winners Pull-Start Diesel, Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women, and Sigma Phi Nothing.  

This weekend expect questions on LPs, 45s and 78 RPM records and all the nostalgia that comes with them.

Volunteers can expect to work three-hour shifts and are needed throughout the weekend. About 40 local businesses provide food for volunteers throughout the weekend. Volunteers who put in 15 hours or more get a free 33 1/3: Trivia Long Play T-shirt.

Since 1980, the contest has evolved into one of St. Cloud State's most vibrant subcultures, a heady brew of alumni, friends of the university, employees and students, bound together by friendship, competitive urges and a fascination with facts.

Subculture? Witness the eccentric team names that grace the Golden Urn, the Stanley Cup of collegiate trivia contests: Ultra Voilet Catastrophe, Stefan's Dreamsicle, the Mime Radio Conspiracy and Those Meddlin' Kids.

Music sets St. Cloud State's trivia contest apart from competitors such as the Williams Trivia Contest at Williams College, Williamstown, Mass., and the Great Midwest Trivia Contest at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis.

KVSC has a house band, the Shake a Hamster Band, that performs during the contest and at the wrap party. The Shake a Hamster Band is a collection of semi-anonymous, professional musicians who've worked the contest for more than two decades, writing, recording and performing parody songs, including "Trivia Tom," a hilarious knockoff of Peter Schilling's 1983 one-hit wonder "Major Tom." Core members include Muggsy Lauer, Jeff Engholm, Nathan Nesje '98, George Maurer and Ted Chopp '94.

Wesley Beskar and Derrick Silvestri '06 designed the "33 1/3 Trivia Long Play" artwork. Beskar, who hails from Eagan, is a UTVS/Husky Productions engineer and producer. Silvestri, the UTVS advisor, manages the television studio.

UTVS, the university's student-run cable television station, is seen on Charter channel 21, and streamed live at Husky Productions manages home hockey broadcasts from the National Hockey Center.

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