Trivia or Trivial



What’s the difference between the words “trivia” and “trivial?” Technically, just one letter. But, for me, that one letter can make a big difference. For example, here’s a baseball question: Name two pitchers who played on the 1963 World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers. Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale come to mind immediately –at least, for a baseball fan. That’s a “trivia” question. But here is a “trivial” question. Name all the pitchers who played for the 1963 World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers used 14 pitchers that season. Did your answer include Dick Calmus and Ken Rowe? No? I’m not sure the Dodgers’ manager could answer that question. (I looked the answer up on the internet.)

IMO, a “trivia” question can usually lead to “fun”, but a “trivial” question often leads to “frustration.” For example, here are 10 questions about sports. See if you can spot the 5 “trivia” questions and the 5 “trivial” questions. The 10 answers follow the questions. Feel free to “cheat”, if necessary

  1. Name two pro basketball players who were drafted in 2003.
  2. What 1950 Phillies player had an incident in his career that made its way into the book, “The Natural.”

3. Name the first black baseball player.

4. What 1951 New Your Giants baseball player had an incident in his career that made   its way into the book, “The Natural.”

5. Name the first Hispanic baseball player voted into the Hall of Fame.

6. What NFL football player had the nickname “Sweetness?”

7. Who is generally considered the last “60 Minute Man” in the NFL?

8. The last Philadelphia Eagles NFL Championship was in 1960. Who was their    quarterback?

9. Vince Lombardi, as a head coach, lost one Championship game. What team defeated him?

10. The 1955 Philadelphia Warriors basketball team won the NBA title. Name the two 20+ point scorers they had.


Answers: the odd numbered questions are “trivia” and the even numbered questions are “trivial.”

What’s that? You want the actual answers? OK. 1 – LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade. 2- Eddie Waitkus was shot in a hotel room by a woman he did not know. 3 – Jackie Robinson. 4 – Bobby Thomson hit a home run in the last inning to win a playoff game and the pennant against the Dodgers. 5 – Roberto Clemente. 6 – Walter Payton. 7 – Chuck Bednarik. 8 – Norm Van Brocklin. 9 – The Philadelphia Eagles. 10 – Paul Arizin and Neil Johnston.







About rcarmean

Two things... First, why have I decided to establish this blog? I like to put essays together. I research an idea or topic looking for information, statistics, stories, quotes, pictures, etc. I enjoy the process and seeing a finished product. I’m told that as I get older, new activities can help maintain energy and keep my brain alert. In other words, I am not doing this for money or fame. Second, regarding the gentleman in the collage of pictures's not me. Those are photos of Christy Mathewson. Why him? When I was young, my primary activity was being sick. It took up much of my time. Eczema (a case so bad I was written up in a medical journal showing doctors what their patients COULD look like), asthma, and allergies. You know allergies: don’t eat this, don’t wear that, and, for Heaven’s sake, don’t touch any of these things (eg, dogs, cats, horses --I only saw horses in cowboy movies and TV shows, dust, swimming pools, my brother --OK, that’s an exaggeration, Rick was a fine brother). In my spare time between doctors' appointments, pills, and ointments, baseball kept me sane. In the 1940s and 1950s, when I grew up, pro footballI and basketball had not yet become extremely popular. Baseball truly was “the national pastime.” I listened to games on the radio (remember it? TV without the picture). I read magazines, books, and newspaper accounts of games. I collected baseball cards. I learned about the game’s history, as well as present. The same with its stars. One man stood out: Christy Mathewson. He was a great pitcher for the New York Giants in the early 20th century. But there was much more to him. At a time when professional athletes made little money (yes, there was such a time) and ball players were considered on the same level as actors, artists, and prostitutes, Mathewson stood out. One of his nicknames was: “The Christian Gentleman.” Most men is baseball drank, smoked, cursed, and fought —with other players, umpires, and fans. The fights were physical, not just verbal. Mathewson did none of these things. But he earned the respect of other players who did them all. Even Ty Cobb and John McGraw. There’s more. He was a college graduate (Bucknell University) when most men were lucky to have a high school diploma. He played other sports, including pro football which you wouldn’t recognize. He was handsome. He played in New York City, then as now, the largest city in the country. Excellence and popularity there meant fame and money. He dressed well. Today, his commercials would rival LeBron’s. And, finally, a hero’s life must have tragedy. After his playing career ended, WWI arrived. He suffered from influenza and was exposed to mustard gas. Chemical warfare. His lungs were damaged and he required treatment for the rest of his life. (Like my Grandfather who also fought in The Great War.) He died in 1925. He was 45 years old. I have his picture here because you need to know more about him than me. He was what an athlete could be. Players like him and their accomplishments got me through a sickly, painful childhood and can still sustain me in difficult times. *****
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