Sunday, November 1, 2009

Knowledge Bowl: Houston Mustangs vs. Kingsbury Falcons

Posted By on Sun, Nov 1, 2009 at 8:55 PM

Knowledge Bowl, Match 1: Houston Mustangs vs. Kingsbury Falcons. Aired October 31st, 2009.

Sebastian (Captain), Senior
Daniel, Senior
Faith, Junior
Clayton, Senior
Alternate: Scott

Urica (Captain), Senior
Orlando, Junior
Audrey, Junior
Chawan, Junior
Alternate: Mary

Round One: Houston 170, Kingsbury 0
Round Two: Houston 160, Kingsbury 0
Round Three (Lightning Round): Houston: 80, Kingsbury 20
Final: Houston 410, Kingsbury 20

Kingsbury High School
  • Kingsbury High School
With the correct answer “The Battle of Britain,” given by Houston’s Sebastian, the 2Xrd season of Knowledge Bowl began. I say the 2Xrd, because there’s some mild confusion I’ll have to clear up tomorrow: A Channel 3 employee told me this was the 23rd season, in response to my inquiry last week. And yet, KB host Jim Jaggers opened his mini-monologue with the information that he had been told this was the 24th season. Controversy! I’ll have a definitive answer for you next week.

If you didn’t watch it, you might look at that score and think Houston dominated the game. You wouldn’t be wrong. But it’s worth noting that the Falcons seemed to have gotten shy after the first round. It’s one of the most underrated things about KB and, I presume, all TV game shows: the paralyzing fear and stage fright. I recall, before each of the three games I started back in 1993-94, waiting in the Channel 3 lobby for our turn on the stage, my overwhelming anxiety and how I had to excuse myself to the restroom. Too much information? Absolutely. I’ve never told anyone that before. But it’s wise to keep in mind that that’s the kind of stuff being experienced by the kids before and as the cameras roll. Respect.

The second round was a wash for Kingsbury. It's why there are so many lopsided victories in KB. Teams get overwhelmed and struggle to recover. But Kingsbury showed life again in the Lightning Round (“the fastest four minutes in television”) and delighted the crowd — and themselves — when they scored their first points. And Kingsbury junior Chawan had the answer of the game after a question about what MLGW is giving customers in six select zip codes in the future. “Outrageous bills?” Chawan answered. Awesome. It was ruled incorrect, thought you could make an argument that it should have been accepted.

Houston looked good. Faith rocked the house. Look out, Kyle Rote Jr. Region.

Of note in this new season was the inclusion of all-new bumper music. The jaunty music was almost carnival-esque. It will take me a while (if ever) to get used to it. I was a fan of the understated, bass-y tones of previous seasons.

Also noteworthy is the change in sponsors from last year. The University of Memphis, McDonald’s, First Tennessee, Le Bonheur, and the Assisi Foundation of Memphis all return and are joined by first-time sponsor Links. (I'll have to find out more about who they are.) Gone were two sponsors from last year: Dobbs Ford and Accredo Health.

Dr. Richard Ranta, Renaissance Man: After we get to know the kids, Jaggers and Knowledge Bowl judge Ranta hold brief palaver where Ranta tells about some other nonprofit/initiative/community effort he’s involved in. It’s quite funny, en masse, getting a handle on all of the things Ranta participates in. This week we learned how he’s on the Beale Street Note Committee. (Come to think about it, he may have talked about that one last season, too.)

Also, I’d like to point out that I have no idea who’s going to win these games, but there are a lot of people out there who will know the results in advance of each broadcast. Out of respect for us Knowledge Bowl enthusiasts and purists, please keep your spoilers to yourself. Next week’s match has been taped already. Two more matches will be taped each week until the first round has buzzed-in its last. Especially when we get to the later reaches of the season, when there’s a two-month lag between the championship game taping and broadcast, please keep your victory celebrations to yourself.

So much to say about contemporary KB in general, but I better pace myself. One match down, 30 to go. Tune in next week. Saturday, November 7th, 9 a.m. Bartlett Panthers vs. West Memphis Christian Black Knights.

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