by Greg Akers
Tomorrow, Knowledge Bowl kicks off another season of local trivia competition. A staple of Memphis Saturday mornings on WREG News Channel 3 now about to start its 23rd year, Knowledge Bowl pits teams of area high school smartypants against each other, in tournament fashion, stretched out over the school year. Thirty-two high school teams start the season. One stands victorious in May. (This season's final airs May 29, 2010.)
Across the Mid-South this fall, teams have been built at each participating school. One of the fun things about watching Knowledge Bowl is getting to meet these talented young adults, and, for the winners, seeing them grow and change throughout the season. The best of the best get more confident and comfortable on TV as the tournament progresses.
They don't play for nuthin. Scholarships and bonds are given to every kid on every team, the amount increasing as the team advances. This year, each member on the winning team will get a $5,000 scholarship.
This year, consider SING ALL KINDS to be your Knowledge Bowl headquarters. We'll be providing game-by-game analysis; absolutely nobody has requested such in-depth coverage, but if high school football can soak up so much time and devotion in the local media, ain't it time for the nerds, geeks, cool-kids-who-are-also-smart, and every other brave soul who goes on the air to get their due? It's way past time.
In light of the tournament structure of Knowledge Bowl, it seems a little ridiculous to not fill out a bracket in advance of the season. It's incredibly difficult to handicap Knowledge Bowl, because probably more than half of last year's kids were graduating seniors. Not knowing I was going to be covering this year's season so closely, I didn't watch last year's contests closely enough to know who's got underclassmen returning. Oh well, next year's predictions will be a little more firm.
So, for what it's worth, here's my bracket for the 2009-10 Knowledge Bowl. (Most of my picks are based on past performance.)
Final Four: Germantown, ECS, St. Benedict, and Collierville. Just playing the odds, here. Wouldn't be surprised if it was four different teams than these.
Championship Game: St. Benedict, ECS.
Knowledge Bowl Winner: St. Benedict. Last year's runner-up takes it over the top and wins the thing. I seem to recall they had some underclassmen in their starting four. That can make a big difference.
Tune in each week to get a recap of the games. First up: Kingsbury versus Houston! Saturday, October 31st, 9 a.m., Channel 3.