Jim Gray, Director of Operations at KVSC, said, "I think you could call it super fandom." People start "bugging" them about what the coming year's theme will be as early as August.
KVSC finally announced the space theme in December, and the 62 participating teams embraced it with team names like Take Me to Your LDEr, Galaxy Girls, and ET.
UTVS hosted the trivia marathon with 50 hours of live television over the weekend. Students stayed through the night to keep the live telecast going. They hosted talk shows, played improv games, and even slept on the set to entertain viewers late at night.
Crew members spent months creating a replica of the starship Empire from Star Trek for the television set, and KVSC spent months writing space-themed trivia questions as well as perfecting their alien noises for the broadcast.
Teams from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Washington, New York, and even Norway and Australia, tuned in to hear the trivia questions. They called the volunteer phone bank to check their answers and earn points.
Even members of the phone bank sought to entertain, answering the phone with quirky sayings like, "Queen Bee. Let yourself bee heard," or "Hi, I'm Delirious. What are you?"
Gray said around 200 to 300 volunteers helped in the radio station, TV studio, and phone bank during Trivia Weekend. "This is a major alumni event for us. We have a lot of volunteers that come from across the country to participate in the event just from the operational side."
While team size is unlimited, Gray guessed that several thousand people participate on trivia teams each year.
And, unless you live somewhere far away, attendance at the awards ceremony on Sunday night is mandatory. Gray said, "Any team that doesn't show up gets scorned by the crowd."
St. Cloud's snow emergency made it more difficult for teams to get to the awards show.
Trivia Weekend participant Gwen Ruhoff said, "Most people will try to have some representation, because if you're not here, you get booed. And nobody wants to get booed."
Many teams were booed that night, especially teams from the St. Cloud area who failed to attend the awards ceremony.
But the eight inches of snow in St. Cloud wasn't enough to keep the "die hard" trivia participants from coming. Those in attendance received cheers and applause, not matter how they placed.
Ruhoff said, "It's not about winning. It's about playing and being with family and friends. It's about the camaraderie."
by Natalie Davis