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
- Name two pro basketball players who were drafted in 2003.
- 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.