Athens NYC Fallout

I start this column the way I wrapped up my previous column. “What a way to begin 2005!” There were 31 teams at the NYC tournament this year, and I think every single one of them deserves dap. Sometimes we get caught up in evaluating team performances and that is inherently a science where a third of the teams are above average, a third below average, and there is a middle third that is average. Sometimes we need to step back and look at the big picture. First, all 31 teams had at least one win in the day!!! That is incredible.

Let me start by saying I appreciate those of you who have sent emails of thanks. This is a tough job, which I am not particularly good at, and people are always sending me hate mail, so it is nice when I receive those few nice emails that brighten my month. Also, it continues to amaze me when teams and individuals are consistently irritated at a 5th place vote or the like. A quizmaster at NYC kept reminding students as they progressed that there were teams (and he would even say the number) willing to trade places with them. Everyone works so hard for Bible Quiz and only one team can win, so let’s appreciate what we have.

In my last column, I allowed Matt West to temper what I wrote with his retorts. In a retort that went unpublished, he mentioned that FBCCF (the team I have ranked #1 for a few months now) was like his team from 1993-95 (the team I have ranked #1 of all time for a few years now) in that they felt they could be better if they worked harder and sometimes quipped about their own laziness. Not only is this a scary idea, it is also significant, because it shows us that there is no perfect Bible Quiz team, nor will there ever be. Michael Fox has been quoted as saying, “I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence I can shoot for. Perfection I leave to God.”

Every team that didn’t win will always blame themselves for not working harder, and we at are always quick to point out their faults. But, ultimately, a quizzer who memorizes Scripture and never answers a single question is far better off for the memory work. A coach who gets many quizzers motivated to memorize that Scripture and never wins a quiz over a 10-year career is a champion in my book. A director who invents new ways for people to particpate or new age groups or ministries to join has an extra room in his heavenly mansion, I believe. A man who loses a Christmas break every year, so he can throw one of the best tournaments around is a person we should all thank instead of complain to.

Now that the dust has settled from the rankings and reviews of NYC, I challenge every quizzer to thank someone who has impacted their love for Bible Quiz that they usually don’t thank. I challenge every coach to send a note of encouragement to that quizzer who inspires them to keep it up after they realize the money they lose every month coaching may not be worth it. Directors, I challenge you to thank the coaches, whom when you see them your heart skips a beat, because they make your job easier. We should all thank the Jack Bamford’s of the world. I said in my column of greatest coaches ever that his contribution outside of coaching was starting the whole thing of mainstream tournaments before April. He rarely gets the dap he deserves.

Some frequently feel slighted in the dap department from me, because I always attempt to separate the truly great from the very good, but I would not do this if I didn’t feel the need to give everyone dap. While my manner may lead you to say, “This guy is disrespecting me,” my intent is always to give credit to all and more credit to some. Unfortunately, we live in a world where people are naturally defensive, exclusive, and biased. I was saddened at the NYC finals when I heard unattached fans leave disappointed after the finals, because I know they just witnessed one of the best rivalries ever. Maybe I live too much for the moment, but I felt honored just to be there.

If I haven’t said it before, all 31 coaches at NYC, you deserve incredible props for your consistent sacrifice. To the 20 judges–quizmasters and scorekeepers, you deserve credit for your sacrifice to arrive and your quality that made this one of the best tournaments ever. To the statisticians and assistants who worked behind the scenes, you deserve a definite exclamatory remark for your efforts. And most of all, to the 152 quizzers, you deserve all the credit in the world for hiding God’s word in your heart.

If I mentioned you at all in an earlier article, I think you are in contention for one of the best teams I have seen this year, and so far, I have seen at least 85. That is certainly dap-worthy. If you were offended by a 2-place slighting, let us know, but don’t let your irritation override our main thrust that we think you are all great!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.