Captain’s Corner: Drew Feldman and Robert Gray

Jake Eisenberg, Sports Editor

Jake Eisenberg: Hello Drew, Robby.  How are you guys today?

Robert Gray: Pretty good.

Drew Feldman: Great, great.

JE: How did you two get involved with Quiz Bowl?

RG: Mr. Klaff asked me one Wednesday afternoon in tenth grade.  Swim season was over so I figured, “why not?”

JE: And you, Drew?

DF: Robby told me to do it.  He was like, “Yo, do Quiz Bowl.” And I was like, “OK.”

JE: How many members are there on Quiz Bowl?

DF: Eight, and there are four that “start.”

JE: At these competitions there are four of you on the stand and there are varied questions, in a Jeopardy-like format?

RG: That’s only for The Challenge.

JE: What are the other kinds of things that the club participates in?

RG: It was previously a competition that was similar to The Challenge, for instance, we’d have buzzers and stuff like that and the format was the same.  We would compete against other schools in a tournament format, but since budget cuts, there’s no longer the funding for buses to the hosts, like Great Neck South.

JE: So it’s just The Challenge now?

RG: We also do an online trivia competition called Knowledge Master.  Hopefully next year the team will be able to travel again.

JE: Let’s talk more about The Challenge.  I know you guys break off into your different categories—there are subjects that each panel member specializes in.  How does that work?

DF: Mr. Gray here focuses on social studies, history, politics, economics, and all that stuff.  I answer all the math questions.  Elana (Galassi) is good with all of the cultural and literature type questions, and Miles (Kurtz) does everything else, like science stuff.

JE: When does it air on MSG Varsity?

DF: December 9, at 6:30 p.m.

JE: I heard that the team was “sworn to secrecy” about the show?

DF: No, not at all.  We played Manhasset and won.

RG: Yeah, we beat them by one-hundred something points.

DF: 140 points, which on the scale of the show, is pretty large.

JE: Now, The Challenge, it’s not just one competition, right? It’s more like a tournament bracket?

DF: We go back in January for the second round.  We have the potential to become Nassau County champions if we win enough.

RG: After that, there’s eventually a Tri-State Championship, and the winner of that I believe goes to some sort of national competition.

JE: So if you win, what’s the ultimate prize? Is it just bragging rights, or money for the school?

DF: Tri-State Champion gets you $10,000 to your school.  You also get an awesomely huge trophy.  We don’t get digital camcorders anymore!

JE: Digital camcorders?

DF: There’s a round with 180 points up for grabs and it used to be that if you swept the round, your team got individual prizes.  Originally it was box tickets for the New York Knicks, but then they changed it to digital camcorders.  Now, there’s no prize at all.

JE: Now these questions range from “Who wrote Charlotte’s Web” to—

DF: C.S. Lewis.

RG: No, it was E.B. White.

DF: Right, C.S. Lewis was the Narnia thing.

JE: Thanks Drew.  So they range from that to “political scandals of the 16th century in Prussia?” I bet that’s Mr. Sepulvida’s favorite topic.

RG: It ranges all over.  Even to the Defenestration of Prague.

DF: Despite the variety, none are so impossible.  If you didn’t prepare for it you’d still be able to answer them, just not as quickly I guess.  For instance, if they ask: “What story is the Big, Bad Wolf from?” and I say “Little Red Riding Hood,” I certaintly didn’t learn that from taking AP Lit.

JE: Who’s the host of the show?

DF: Jared Cotter.  Funny enough, he was also a Top 20 finalist of American Idol, Season 6.  But he lost.  And that’s his claim to fame.  Now he hosts a high school game show, and writes songs.

JE: Anything I might’ve heard?

DF: He actually co-wrote that song by JaySean, “Down” I think?

JE: I know that song! Why is he hosting The Challenge if he had such past success?

RG: Who knows?

JE: What drives you to participate, other than college and face-time on television?

RG: Well, Mr. Klaff annoys me when I don’t.  But also, when you’re up there, it’s actually a lot of fun.  Like Jeopardy, but for younger, smarter people.  It’s legitimately fun, and I promise you, it’s not social suicide.  Just look at me!

JE: Alright guys, thanks for your time.

DF: No problem.

RG: Our pleasure.