team-up: 12 Years a #TriviaWeekend w/ A. Dunkel

I strive to paint with broad strokes when it comes to Trivia Weekend. Make the ethereal attainable, without spoiling the mystery. I do, however, wish I had the ability to capture like a photograph, some of the details of Trivia Weekend. The exacts. The minutiae. The history. But I’m the artist, not the scientist.

But I also got the scientist.

So for even more coverage of KVSC’s Trivia Weekend, we go to local meteorologist Anthony “The Prestige” Dunkel, founding member of Enjoy the Man Explosion, already on the scene!



12 Years A Trivia Weekend
A Write-up by Anthony Dunkel

Wow. A dozen years of Trivia Weekend. How can I even sum up 600 hours of this madness in words?! Well, I’ll try, but with nowhere near the eloquence that Mikel paints with his wordbrush. Comparing us is like comparing our trivia team to Stefan’s Dream (the 3-time defending champion and now all-time TW victory leader with 6). But I’ll do my best!

Since our team’s inception in 2004 in Hill-Case Hall, I look forward to Trivia Weekend each year almost as soon as the previous one ends. This year however, I was PUMPED for this sleep-deprived, caffeine-riddled, snack-fueled marathon of mindless questions more than probably any other. That’s because last year I was painfully absent, I went on a Caribbean cruise with my best friend. Now, to 99.9% of the population, a frigid weekend indoors vs a tropical vacation, that’s a slam-dunk no-brainer of a decision. I am the 0.1%. It pained me to miss last year’s festivities. Agonizingly, I wrestled with abandoning my team for a good 3-4 days before I gave the go-ahead to my friend. That’s how much this weekend means to me. I wasn’t a complete no-show last year however, I was there for the first 14 hours before I had to leave. And as if almost right on cue, the final question asked before I headed out the door to the airport was a meteorology question regarded storm chasing. The looks on my teammates faces as I blurted out the answer and walked out the door was one of heartbreaking amazement. Mic drop.

Anyways, I anticipated this year’s festivities with such gusto I haven’t felt in years. I stockpiled snacks. I secured our annual cache of Utz cheeseballs. I stared at the Visual Trivia images until they were burned into my retinas. I brought my giant white-board that we use for question tracking, which thanks to technology is becoming obsolete, but is still used as a writeable monolith for pertinent info. Also this year, we had a new teammate, Kell’s girlfriend Kate. I wondered how she would handle her inaugural entry into our timeless sleep-deprived tradition, and a couple of times I could tell, as she gazed at us from her comfy chair perched near the front door, that she thought we were all completely bonkers for doing this. However, she was awesome all weekend, from making us food to finding us answers…but not at waking people up. More on that later.
As far as Trivia Weekends go, this year’s went extremely smooth. There was no “OMG THE INTERWEBZ IS BROKEN!” or “OMG MY COMPUTER ISN’T CONNECTING” or “OMG WE CAN’T GET THE RADIO SIGNAL!!!” moment that nearly derailed trivia contests in years past. There was a “OMG THE BASEMENT IS KIND OF FLOODING” moment Friday morning, but luckily didn’t affect the weekend. A couple teammates couldn’t be with us this year, due to having a baby, or as we call it, Trivia Weekend 2027 MVP. There was the annual “let’s all go to the store and stock up on supplies” run just before it started. The annual “We gotta eat this obscenely large tub of cheeseballs before Hour 50”. The annual “are we sure we have enough soda to get through the weekend” even though we had enough Mountain Dew and Surge to fill up a bathtub. The annual “Mikel’s already making photoshopped memes before the contest even starts”.
Then, it begins.
Even with all of our traditions, we always find new ones. This year we all decided to do shots every 5 hours, one of which earned myself a spot on the Top 5 Best Tweets of #TriviaWeekend list.

Team Ireland joined via Flowdock which was a HUGE help to our squadron of Google monkeys, especially during the early morning hours. Every available surface was covered with empty soda cans that would make an outsider think they walked into a geek version of “Signs.”

Incredibly, after a strong Hour 1 and a super-rare, for our team anyways, Perfect Hour 2, we were in a 3-way tie for 2nd. A mere 20 points behind the Trivia Weekend jauggernaut that is Stefan’s Dream. WE WERE UNSTOPPABLE! This would be the year that Enjoy the Man Explosion! would not only have 50 hours of fun, but we’d also make the trivia elite’s sweat our very presence! Yeah that lasted about 40 more minutes as the trivia gods doled out question after brutal question and we slowly slid down the rankings into the 20s. The dream… was dead.

We’ve gotten better at sleeping in shifts over the last couple of years, so that there’s always at least a few people up and burning the overnight oil (including myself, since I’m a machine, according to Mikel anyways). Sunday morning brought some mild entertainment to myself as Kate went to wake Kell up… and never came back. Then Mikel went downstairs to wake Drew up… and never came back. Team Ireland had gone to bed hours before… and hadn’t woken up yet. For 3 hours, I held down the fort, writing down the questions, Googling what I could and calling in the answers. Even got a rare 90pt question right while everybody else was sleeping. THANKS FOR NOTHING TEAMMATES! I earned that lonesome Hour 35 shot all by myself! It’s all in good fun though, There was something zen-like about being a one-man trivia band for those 3 hours. I figured it was penance for my absence last year. Okay guys, I learned my lesson. Now please don’t do that again next year. Please? Pretty please?!

Our final ranking has never been of any concern to our team, we never really care where we finish up (A very respectable 29th out of 64 this year!). Trivia Weekend isn’t about that for our team. I look forward to  spending a weekend non-stop with some of my best friends. An entire weekend of laughing at Kell’s NSFW answer guesses when our real one was  cruelly shot down. An entire weekend of laughing at Mikel’s meme creations. An entire weekend of sustaining myself on cheeseballs and Mountain Dew and Pizza. An entire weekend of cheering and high-fiving each other when we pull a uber-points answer out of our ass. An entire weekend of laughing at the phone bank volunteer’s silly code names (Steaming Pile, Not Wearing Pants, etc.). An entire weekend of just leaving the real world behind and entering this protective bubble where  time stands still, and this group of trivia-loving buddies just gets to enjoy our time together. That’s REALLY what Trivia Weekend is all about. It’s never really been about the questions persay, it’s the fact that they give us the opportunity for old friends to bond, new friends to join us…and single-handedly make the Magnolia Manor Nursing Home in Columbus, Georgia stop answering their phones for an hour. Seriously. This is what Trivia Weekend does to the country.\

There was “Mogubgub, Mo Problems.”

There was the 2hr wait for pizza Saturday night, because apparently pizza is a hot commodity on Valentine’s Day.

There was myself becoming “The Prestige”, due to Mikel never figuring out how I just appeared at my desk at one point.

There was all of us laughing hysterically at a monkey flailing on a typewriter GIF, due to Lorilei having a concerning amount of increasingly hilarious typos throughout Sunday. (Honestly, I can’t remember laughing at anything so hard during a Trivia Weekend before. You had to be there).


There was Mikel and I battling one another for the love of Maddie, somebody we only knew through Twitter who played for an elite team. Sadly, Maddie chose her boyfriend. How rude.

There was the sheer elation as Kell completely, randomly guessed an answer for a 250-point question, and nailed it.

There was my teammates eagerly anticipating my apparently iconic “thumbs up” when I’m on the phone with the answer bank, signaling a right answer and those delicious trivia points.


There was the audio speed round hour… that was nothing but people screaming in terror and getting eaten.

Most of all, there was the knowledge that in 52 weeks, we’ll all be right back here, doing it all over again. And I can’t freakin’ wait for it.

For more witticisms from this raving lunatic:
And for more coverage of Trivia Weekends past, check out:

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