The Independence Day Speculator, A True Story

Lindsay ALREADY wrote an article, Jesse, you don’t need to write one! I know, I know. But I would like to provide a perspective from someone who experienced the tournament as a participant (as I did not see Lindsay’s name on the list this year). By no means do you have to read this article and even if you do, you do not have to agree with me. I would like to go in-depth with some of the major teams that were there; why some succeeded and others struggled. Additionally, I want to give you the very best in play-by-play coverage of the final 5, which (to me, at least) is the most exciting. Off we go!

First though, a quick understanding of how this year tournament was run. After around 15 rounds of Round Robin 3-team quizzing, the teams will essentially separated out by points, and then by preference, to see who would qualify for the championship tournament and the consolation tournament. This way, instead of teams focusing on achieving a high or a middle, teams would focus on points, and walking out of a quiz as the high winners means very little if your team score was low. This method eliminated the need for a direct ruling regarding jumping to purposefully error, as doing so would hurt your total team score. 12 of the teams qualified for the championship tournament, the other ten were placed in the consolation tournament.

Note: Both tournaments were run in the following manner: the teams were broken into 2 or 3 divisions and were sent to quiz 5 to 7 rounds. The team in each division with the highest points would advance, and then teams were added according to amount of points and high/middle/loss record until there would be 5 or 7 teams in the finale. Again, the strategy is more points based and less high/low based, to once again discourage purposeful erroring.

The Consolation Tournament (the teams):
Note: The 7 qualifying teams were placed in a single elimination tournament to determine the consolation championship.

Dad of Emilee and 7th Plaque: New father Matthew Jordan teamed up with a strangely familiar presence in Jason Hales. The two of them did not qualify for the consolation finals, but they were funny!

Quesacuna McCloud: My college team member Nathan Tindel teams with my brother Andy in an attempt to duplicate the success of last year’s achievement in coming second in the consolation tournament. Unfortunately they also failed to qualify.

Excellent Glory: Ashlee and David Gunsalus, a brother and sister combination from FBC-CF, did well in the morning rounds, but were unable to qualify for the consolation finals.

Two Amigos: It was this pair’s first showing at this tournament, and qualified for the consolation finals, achieving 7th overall for the day in the consolation rounds. Props to them for proudly wearing the Master’s Academy shirts!

Wonderful Words: Kayley and Anita Alto were also newcomers to such a tournament, and they placed 6th in the consolation finals: an accomplishment for being so new.

Heilsgeschichte: It’s German. The team of Melissa and Ashley got 5th in the tournament. Unfortunately, I only saw the team with just Melissa on it, but I hear they did well in the later rounds.

Euroclyden: Joshua Austin from Calvary teamed up with newcomer Graham and got 4th in the consolation tournament. Joshua Austin indeed has a bright future ahead of him as one of the top quizzers from Calvary.

Like Father Like Son: Another multigenerational team in Juan and Coleman Bernal. They achieved a few solid high wins and achieved 3rd, competing in the last 3 team consolation round.

King Quizzers: Lewis and John both came from FBC-CF and had a fair shot at winning the consolation tournament, but were beaten by:

Spare Parts: One of four Tyrrell teams. Led by Daniel Tyrrell, he and Jenny were able to claim the victory over King Quizzers in the final rounds. A very good team that stayed consistent the whole day.

The Championship Tournament:

Note: The top 5 teams from the championship rounds competed in a double elimination tournament. Of course, if it was single elimination, then Heather and I would’ve won, but you know….

Minute Men: Samuel Green and Daven Davies were acknowledged as a good, solid team, with Samuel Green placing a nice individual score, but they were not good enough in the afternoon rounds to crack into the top 5.

Dynamic Duo: Living up to their name, Kelsey Davies and Brittany Austin were beginning to look like a real threat and possibly an upset coming into the championship rounds. Keep in mind that this duo was able to give a loss to the entire 2005 National Champions at the Kickoff 2006. Unfortunately today, they were unable to qualify for the finals.

Yankee Doodle Dandies: A Tyrrell team in Andrew and Samuel, both of which proved to be solid quizzers. However, the final 5 was very cutthroat, and this team fell by the wayside.

L2: Luke Brigham and Liz Webster were both from FBC-CF, and they gave it their all, but was unable to make it.

The Past and the Present: A bit of a problem developed with this team before the event began, as Lynn Warren’s younger sister Paige, her initial partner, was running a high fever and was unable to attend. Thus, Lynn recruited Andrea D’Amico from Open Door. Andrea did well for considering the sudden position she was placed in, and Lynn was a great quizzer, but they couldn’t get enough points to qualify for the finals.

Amazing Grace: A team of Matt West and Grace D’Amico that was considered by many (including myself) to be a great team, yet (shockingly, I might add) missed out of qualifying for the finals. What happened? I don’t know, but they looked great against us.

Spineapples: Another favorite that had the potential to take the tournament. Breanna Richardson and Praiselynn Santos were both former National Champions, yet in a difficult ruling it was decided they would be the last team cut from the finals. Major props to the both of them for a great day of quizzing.

The Final Five:

Quiz 1
The Marvelous Marriage–High
Double Entendre–Middle
Lady and the Tramp–Low

Quiz 2
Lady and the Tramp–High
Assistant Director Coalition–Middle
Fervent Heat–Low

Quiz 3
Fervent Heat–High
The Marvelous Marriage–Middle
Double Entendre–Low

Quiz 4
Lady and the Tramp–High
Double Entendre–Middle
Assistant Director Coalition–Low

Quiz 5
Fervent Heat–High
The Marvelous Marriage–Middle
Assistant Director Coalition–Low (5th place)

Assistant Director Coalition: A team made up of Alex D’Amico and Brant Callaway, that gave the Carbonells their first (and only loss) in the finals. Very strong performances by both men throughout the tournament. Of course, a weakness of their team was the fact that they were error-prone, and that proved to be their downfall in their two last quizzes. It is interesting to note though, that while the ADC gave Fervent Heat a loss via purposeful erroring, the Carbonells returned the favor by doing the same, eliminating Alex and Brant from the tournament.

If you look at the rounds above, no team was willing to die in this tournament, and so we had five rounds in which two teams were given a bye. Teams that got a loss would continue, and teams with the middle and high would get a round off.

Quiz 6
The Marvelous Marriage–High
Double Entendre–Middle
Lady and the Tramp–Low (4th place)

Lady and the Tramp: David and Joanna Tyrrell got their first loss in their first quiz, yet, they hung on, giving a loss to the Carbonells and Assistant Director Coalition before getting eliminated themselves. On a side note, major props to David for being the highest quizzer in the finals, and winning (as a predicted) the Andy Gropp quizzer of the day!

Quiz 7
Fervent Heat–High
The Marvelous Marriage–Middle
Double Entendre–Low (3rd place)

Double Entendre: A very, very good team with a great quizzer Elizabeth Tyrrell. She and her brother Joshua exceeded everybody’s expectations by getting 3rd place. Nevertheless, the two best teams advanced to the finals of this long and intense tournament:

The Finals:

The set-up was this: The Marvelous Marriage, without being able to claim any flat-out win against Fervent Heat, had the advantage, as Fervent Heat already received a loss. After a quick strategy conference with my partner Heather, we were ready to emerge victorious. However, a rule change was placed in effect that changed the entire game. A quiz out was at 5 (instead of 6, like last year), and the quiz ends after question 15 if or until both quizzers on a team quiz out. Erroring counts as a question, but a bounce-back rule was instated, which meant that if chair 1 on one team errors, chair 1 on the other team listens to and must answer (as another question count) for either 20 points or an error. Understood? Yeah, neither did we. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, they teams were:

The Marvelous Marriage: Heather and I are getting married, and through this joy we were able to enter the finals with no losses. We had a decent morning, losing a bit, winning a bit, nowhere as good as:

Fervent Heat: A great team, Abby and Annabelle, both of which are former National Champions, and are undefeated at this event.

Quiz 8
Fervent Heat–High
The Marvelous Marriage—Low

It was CLOSE, and I mean CLOSE. Errors on my part gave Fervent Heat an advantage, but Heather worked to counteract my mistakes and almost succeeded, when on the “last” question, she guessed wrong on a one out of three shot. Very good quiz, and Heather really did great.


Minimal errors by both teams this time, but both Abby and Annabelle were working on all cylinders (you all know what I’m talking about), and we had some catch-up to do when I and Abby quizzed out about the same time. The score was about 180 for Fervent Heat and 140 for Marvelous Marriage, and Annabelle was a question away from quizzing out, and effectively ending the quiz. Heather, however, got up before her and got it right to bring the score to within 20 points. Annabelle jumped next question but was up too soon, and was (eventually) called as a foul. Heather would hear the whole question. Go figure, the one chapter she didn’t know (chapter 3) was asked and Heather guessed, but was unsuccessful. The bounce-back went to Annabelle, and regardless of her answer, the quiz was over. That makes the Carbonells a 4-time IDS Champion!

Final notes: Major props to the Carbonells for giving us a reason to study so hard, props to Heather for some amazing quizzing in the finals, and props to the officials: Paul West, David Douglas, and Matt West for putting together a successful event.
The final question that remains is this: Are there any out-of-state teams that can muster up enough courage to come down here and compete? We welcome competition, folks, so come on down next year and show us what you got!


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