Monday, January 10, 2011

Trivia Time-BCS Championship, Pasta and Cotton Candy

When I lived in Atlanta in the late 1970's there was a great radio show on Monday nights that was called the Quiz Kids.  The radio show host had 4 or 5 regulars.  They all had day jobs.  A couple of them were attorneys as I recall.  What they had in common was an encyclopedic knowledge of trivia. 

The premise of the show was that callers would call in and try to stump the panel with some type of trivia.  However, one of the ground rules was that it had to be interesting trivia.  There had to be some "ah ha" element or "twist" to it for it to be considered good trivia.  Just calling in and asking how many pounds of pasta an Italian eats in a year would not qualify and get rejected out of hand.  Providing that number and then asking the question which country consumed the most pasta after Italy would be welcomed.  (Answer below). Or what was the occupation of one of the people who invented cotton candy? ( Answer below).

I am a big fan of trivia but that show made a big impact on me.  I am always looking for that little twist you do not expect.  When I share trivia with you I will try to live up to that standard.

With that in mind, and the BCS National Championship Football game tonight between Auburn and Oregon, I came across this little tiriva gem in USA Today.

Who has more former players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Auburn or Oregon?

My initial reacton was clearly Auburn.  SEC.  Something like 11 undefeated seasons. A lot of great players have passed through over the years including Bo Jackson, Tucker Fredricksen, Pat Sullivan, Wayne Gandy, Cadillac Williams, Ronnie Brown, James Brooks, Rudi Johnson etc.  Oregon is better known for track and field, right?.

Wrong.  Oregon has actually had 6 Hall of Famers.  Auburn just 1!  I had never even heard of the lone Auburn honoree...Frank Gatski who played Center for Auburn in the 1940's and played most of his pro career with the Cleveland Browns.  It turns out he did not even play his entire career at Auburn.  He started out at Marshall University.

Oregon's Hall of Famers are Tuffy Leemans, Mel Renfro, Norm Van Brocklin, Dave Wilcox, Gary Zimmerman and Dan Fouts.

Answers to the two trivia questions above:

Country with the 2nd highest per capita pasta consumption after Italy......Venezuela (12kg per capita per year.  Italy is at 26kg.  U.S. is 9kg.)

What was the occupation of the person credited with inventing Cotton Candy.....Dentist  (Sounds more like strategic marketing.  He actually gave it out in his dental office)

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