Monday, September 28, 2015

My First Season In The LearnedLeague

I finished my first season in the LearnedLeague and it went as I expected...sort of. I expected to be overmatched and ended up finishing 25th out of 30 in my division, but I did not plan on losing 11 straight matches to end the season. I feel like I deserved a slightly better fate though. I talked myself out of several correct answers (see below), but overall, I got a little unlucky. Of the 30 members of my division, I was 19th in total correct answers. Not great, but not terrible either. My big problem was that I had the hardest strength of schedule in terms of Correct Answered Allowed. My opponents answered more questions correctly against me than anyone else in my division. It also didn't help that I had the 4th "Most Common Wrong Answers" in the division, meaning that I was in the right ballpark (though still wrong) with many of my answers.

Before I proceed, a quick explanation of The LearnedLeague. This is the trivia league of trivia leagues. Ken Jennings is in this league (naturally in an A division), but finished 20th of 26 in that division. The LearnedLeague is played in 25-match seasons, where players compete against one another head-to-head. Each match consists of 6 questions. Besides trying to answer them correctly, you also assign a point value to each question: 3, 2, 2, 1, 1, 0. That is the number of points your opponent gets for correctly answering the questions. The winner of the match is the player who scores the most points. I actually did a good job defensively. Not quite the Steel Curtain defense of the 70s but perhaps at a Greg Lloyd-Kevin Greene level.

Back to me, I've found that I definitely have my strong and weak categories. I was 5 out of 5 in business/economics questions (I guess my International Business minor is finally paying off), 8 of 10 in pop music, 3 of 4 in current events and 4 of 6 in American history. Conversely, I did terribly in literature (3 of 13), geography (3 of 13), science (3 of 16; why are there so many freaking science questions!?!?), 1 of 8 in art (I dominated the Andy Warhol question), 1 of 11 in food/drink and 1 of 12 in world history. That's a lot of bad there. Basically, if there's a question about pop culture, including sports (though I don't understand how I got a 4 of 10 in television), I'm in decent shape. Anything else (especially science), my opponents should feel comfortable assigning me 2 or 3 points.

So now, I'm going to participate in some mini-leagues about college football and 80s pop music until the next season begins in November. I expect to do better in these specific leagues than the next regular season where I'll be in an E division. I feel like I could become an E division regular, particularly since there's not an "F" division, with some potential to get promotion into a D division with some luck. I'm never getting to the A or B divisions, but I've found the competition and the trivia a nice way to start the day. Plus, I think I could break a record for most consecutive losses!

Here are examples of when I out-smarted myself.

What is the common medical term for the mass of lymphoid tissue, considered vestigial in adults, that is sometimes referred to as pharyngeal tonsils?

My son had his adenoids out last year, so my thought was that it couldn't be adenoids since some of these terms would be familiar. I went with goiter since I thought that was in the tonsils ballpark. The answer was adenoids.

While it sometimes includes all modernist painters between the two World Wars, the "School of" this city is a term typically applied by art historians to a certain group known as les maudits, including Amedeo Modigliani, Marc Chagall, Chaim Soutine, and Jules Pascin. Name the city.

I thought Chagall spent time in Paris and figured "les maudits" was French, but Paris seemed to be too easy of an answer. I went with Marseille. The answer was Paris.

Don't forget that you can always like Sean's Ramblings on Facebook. You know you want to!

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