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A quizper of a bowl

| Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Dear reader,

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening and good night! I hope that you are doing well and are having the time of your life, since that too is how I felt that one Saturday morning, on April 2. After all, in this short story, I was he and they were them. I cordially extend my invitation for you to join me on a short stroll down my memory lane and to feel the emotion, passion and connection of my account of a recent event — “A quizper of a bowl.” Without further ado, here is my absolutely wonderful, unabridged experience:

When he awoke, they were already gone. He couldn’t see them. He couldn’t smell them. He couldn’t feel their warm bodies pressed against his, arms locked together, their hands holding his. Their brainy heads and muscular chests were nestled tightly in a car, peacefully bobbing up and down the highway en route to the Intercollegiate Championship Tournament — the national championship of quizbowl.

Time briefly stood still. He thought of them — gentle Alex DelVecchio, blissful Bryan Fok. Thomas Mercurio, a shiny apricot face framing his dark, illuminating eyes. Anders Lamb, that ephemeral harbinger of rapture. And of course their captain, Stephen Heritage, his long, luscious hair curling round his chest like a swaying shirt, his only physical shield against the entire championship field. Ever so slowly, a sequence of unexpected occurrences had brought them to this reality. A number of graceful declinations from tournament invitees — culminating with Notre Dame cracking ICT Division II’s barriers. Alexander Kuptel, their accompanying Club President, smiled and grasped them close.

The team arrived at the tournament. An opposing team arrived, and another and another … Alexander then spoke five words; five words that melted through his cradled body — “You play Yale’s B-team first” and divulged a sigh. He brought them to the match’s room, carrying these five gorgeous quizbowlers in his burly embrace. He looked at Yale B and felt that lightning had struck his heart, subsequently deciding to keenly let himself go. It was then that he knew; he knew, by some whispered voice in his head, that Yale B would be somehow unpinnable. He let this fleeting thought go and let his hopes for the tournament soar as if they were falcons first taking flight.

Our five heroes played well worth their weight. So serendipitous were the questions and so sweet were their answers. After what seemed like forever, they had played through all 13 of their matches, having won 6 of them. They then drank from the giant quiz bowl, letting their bodies and hearts be rejuvenated by its syrupy elixir.

As the winners and losers of the Collegiate Championship were harkened, Alexander’s mind returned to that prognosticative whisper. He amazedly glanced back; back to that innocent moment of delirious prediction and he never forgot the sublime impact of that ceremony where his prediction of Yale B’s triumph was confirmed.

Days later, he attended quizbowl practice with our five warriors, their chests high but hearts heavy. They wondered, could they train and become good enough to take on the victorious Bulldogs? They would harden their minds over a crackling flame, they would weather the struggles from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the Gold Room of LaFortune for countless moons…

I hope that however cryptic the diction, however painfully illustrative the imagery and however seemingly impossible the situation, you too were able to feel how our team felt on that halcyon day – that is what I believe trivia contests are all about; dramatizing the mundane, making exciting the retelling of events, so that we may never forget what once was.

You too, dear reader, have the chance to live the tender thrills of a quizbowl tournament – by signing up for the intramural tournament we will host at Notre Dame on the afternoon of Saturday, April 9. No prior experience is necessary, our talented members will gently guide and teach you.

Yours Truly,

Gavin Dooley


Secretary, Quizbowl Club of Notre Dame

Apr. 5

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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