Nationals 1981

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Memories from Kari Brodin

The following recollections were written by Kari Brodin of the national championship team from Renton, WA.

Well, it’s been 28 years since that exciting week in St. Louis, and my memory is not perfect, but here are a couple reminiscences as I remember it.

Round 5 pitted our Renton Assembly team against perennial power Evangel Temple of Decatur, Georgia, with both teams even at the time with 3-1 records. After the 14th question our coach, Russ Barrans, called a time out and said, “Okay, team, you’ve really dug yourselves a hole: you need to get all 6 remaining questions in order to win this thing, and Kari needs to quiz out!” I believe I had three at the time so I still needed three (back in the days when it took six correct to quiz out). We took him at his word and went after it aggressively. When the dust settled after the match, and we had won, Russ told us that actually when he called the time out we didn’t have a chance to win unless the other team interrupted and missed a question in order for us to win--which they had ended up doing in response to our outburst of speed. That was a nail-biter, I’m sure, for everyone involved with both teams!

At the end of the round robin, three teams were tied for first place with 5-2 records. According to the playoff rules, the team with the most points received a bye and automatic entry into the championship round. We were just five points behind Springfield’s Evangel Temple in total points, so we quizzed against Lanham, Maryland, in the first playoff round. For some reason I don’t remember much of that quiz except that we won, but my vague impression is that it was a close match. Then it came down to us versus Springfield. Again, I don’t remember a lot of details, but after the 18th question, I think it was, Russ called a time out and told us there were a 10 and a 30 left, and that, since I had five correct (two 30's and three 20's, as well as one 20 incorrect), as long as I got one or the other we would win, because my ten bonus points would clinch it even if it were the 10-pointer. When play resumed, it was the 30-pointer that came up first. I remember the words: “Quotation Question. Quote the three verses which contain the questions Jesus asked in the section of Matthew entitled…” I buzzed in as the quizmaster formed the next word, and heard (and saw) the word, “Ask.” I remember being overwhelmed by the realization, “This is it, and what a thrilling passage to end on!” I finished the question loudly and clearly with the section title (“Ask, Seek, Knock”), then quoted Matthew 7:9-11 (KJV): “Or what man is there of you, whom, if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give good things to them that ask him?” The quizmaster announced that it was correct, and a quiz-out. Everyone in the room (and there were a lot of people because Nationals was held in conjunction with General Council at that time) then knew that we had won, and I’m told there was a standing ovation, which I didn’t really notice amid the hugs and tears of our team. I also remember being so blessed by the sincere and heartfelt congratulations of the Springfield team, and particularly the kind, gracious, and encouraging words of Drs. James and Twila Edwards, whose son was on the Evangel team. I truly understood that the bond of unity and fellowship in the Word is vastly superior to the competitive aspect of Bible Quiz.

Kari is still involved with Bible Quiz and coaches the team from Bothell, WA.