Those who have asked for an official "Who's the greatest team ever?" verdict are doomed to disappointment. There are just too many criteria to weigh, and too many differences between eras which need to be compensated for, but cannot. The difference between Carter's 20-point win in 1968, and Take the Cannolis' 65-point romp twenty years later, is not so terribly great as the raw numbers appear.
Any unilateral choice suits only the person who makes it. Highest score? Greatest percentage of points claimed? Most contests won? Longest stretch of top-level play? Most top players on board? Perkiest abs? And besides, any discussion of an "all-time Trivia team" must include the venerable Manhattan Skyliners, who have never come close to winning.
No, like religion, politics, or one's favorite Ramone, each person must decide what they consider to be the truest hallmark of greatness. However, in an effort to keep the debate percolating, hereās one cache of useful ammo: a list of various champions' victory margins over their 2nd-place competition. Not all contest scores are available, alas. Sixteen of the vitctory margins are currently unknown. But this gives a pretty good idea of a pretty good amount of 'em.
Again, this is a case of statistics for statisticians. The total points that are even available in a contest is something out of the control of the players, and that has a huge bearing on what sort of margin is possible. Also, a team's margin of victory is obviously, utterly, and necessarily dependent on the #2 team. Play with the following digits at your own risk.
Leave the Gun, Take the Cannolis by 65 over Ralph the Wonder Llama
I Say It's Duck Season, and I Say "Fire!" by 63 over I've Got Spain Up My Nose
Phasers on Stun: The Next Generation by 58 over Beaker, I Find You Hauntingly Attractive
I'm Oxford Dot Com by 54 over Des and Dom's Bucket List
Elvis Needs Boats! by 46 over Vicious Chicken of Bristol
Click Here to Get Huge by 39 over Funny, These Fries Don't Taste Like Freedom
A Dead Postman Doesn't Deliver Much Mail by 35 over I Got My Head Shaved By a Zamboni
How DARE They Challenge Us With Their Primitive Skills by 33 over There'll Be No Blaming Mother Tonight! and Sinusoidal Tupperware with Gumption
The Purpose of the Military is to Kill People and Break Things by 31 over A Thermos of Phlegm
Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Revenge of the Terror of the Attack of the Evil Mutant Hellbound Zombified Flesh-Eating Subhumanoid Living Dead Part IV by 29 over Rule 6.1
I've Got Ives in My Pants by 29 over Why Did Those Seagulls Take My Sister?
Morgan by 29 over Bascom
Awesome Sauce: Grammar For Pussies Like You by 28 over It May Be Quiet on the Western Front, But It's Rowdy As Hell Out Here in EAST
Worker and Parasite by 28 over Bacchae Aphasia
BOMO by 28 over Buda Bear
Gratuitous Use of the Word "Belgium" by 27.5 over Rule 6.2
Suite, Suite Lovin' by 27 over Mother of Epoxy
Joanie Loves Trotsky by 26 over Culminating in a Spectacular Final Battle on the Surface of the Moon
The Ubernebulous Space Otters of Alpha Centauri by 24 over I'm Oxford Dot Com
My Second Favorite Organ by 23 points over Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems
Phasers on Stun by 22 over Death Frog
Your Plastic Pal Who's Fun To Be With by 21 over I Want To Come Back As Your Trousers
Can't..... Do..... Plaid..... (thud) by 20 over The Weak and Cowardly Have No Place in Shuffleboard
Carter by 20 over Gladden
Deine Mutter ist Geekenvermachtstaffle by 19+ over Penn 15
Neutered Vampires Who Cheat at Kitten Poker by 19 over Please Don't Shoot the Violist
Pokemon Labolatory by 19 over Obi-Wan Cannoli
Spring 1992 (**)
Phasers on Stun: The Next Generation by ~19 over Unadulterated Mayhem for a Good Cause
Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius by 18 over General Tsao's Chicken
Mortal Wombat by 16 over Human Hindenbergs
Alphabet Soup by 16 over BOMO
Smedley Terrace by 15 over Odds and Ends for 20, Art
Rule Six by 15 over The Rest on Gift Certificate
Oxygen is for Losers by 14 over Miserable Fat Belgian Bastards
Gladden by 13 over The Grand Duchy of Fenwick
Holy Sack and the Resident Vomit Specialists by 12 over Not Everybody Can Experience the Glory That is Steve's Mom
The Pros From Dover by 12 over Maximus Drott
Silence in the Hub by 11.5 over The Inaugural Balls
Free Tumblers by 10 over The Grand Duchy of Fenwick
Gentle Tongue-Tongue, He Weeps, For He Has But One Tongue with Which to Taste an Entire World by 10 over Bob Ross III: Pimpbot 2000
Local 12 by ~9 over Paul Lynde to Block
Cunning Linguists by 9 over Alphabet Soup
BOMO by 9 over Maximus Drott
Maximus Drott by 9 over Alphabet Soup
I Don't Have to Answer That Question! by 9 over Venezuelan Beaver Cheese
BOMO by 8 over The General
Chicago 60609 by 8 over Round Up the Usual Suspects
A Bunch of Mindless Jerks Who'll Be the First Up Against the Wall When The Revolution Comes by 7 over Uncle Doobie, Goodtime Slim, and the Great Frisco Freak-Out
Stink, Stank, Stunk! by 6 over Ephraim's Army
Laymen JC Superstars: Take Me Caiphas! by 6 over The Ubernebulous Space Otters of Alpha Centauri
At 200 Miles Per Hour, There is No Diplomatic Immunity by 6 over Mark Taylor Has Only One Ass. He Is Of No Use to Us. We Must Burn the Room, Burn the Room!
The Great Impostor by 6 over BOMO
Buda Bear by 5 over General Bumble
General Morgasm by 5 over BOMO
Oh No, Bette Midler! by 5 over Huh-Huh-Huhhh-Huh-Huhhhh!!!
Make Way for Ducklings, Motherfucker by 5 over Reduces Mouse to a Souplike Homogenate in 0.3 Seconds
The Funk of 40,000 Years by 5 over We Have a Pregnant Geologist, And We're Not Afraid to Use Her
Alphabet Soup by 4 over BOMO
Grape Nehi by 4 over Giga
Phasers on Stun by 4 over Walter J. Zwircon
Chthulu Matata by 4 over The Challenge of Mr. Sparkle
Williams B by 4 over Bryant House
Harry "Snapper" Organs by 3 over There Can Be No Dialogue with Fungus
A Judo a Chop Chop Chop by 2 over Lick My Love Pump
Minnesota Pigpen by 1.5 over Ace Deuce
Winter 1991 (***)
Not Everybody Keeps Their Genitals in the Same Place by 1 over Play To Win and I'll Kill You
The Giant Pygmies of Beckles by 1 over Chernobyl Homeowners' Association
AND THE NOTORIOUS OVERTIME CONTESTS:
Spring 1972 (****)
Bayonettes by 2 over The Grand Duchy of Fenwick
Spring 1996 (*****)
We Make Holes in Teeth! by 1 point over Certain Unnamed Persons in Taffeta
Winter 1986 (******)
We Begin Bombing in Five Minutes by 1/15th of 1 point over All The Sugar, Twice the Caffeine
(**) Final scores were only anounced live at Baxter, and are since lost. However, most scores for bonuses, Q's, Actions, etc., are known, as is a scoring update from late in the contest. Phasers:TNG's margin has been extrapolated from these hard numbers and estimated at circa 19.
(***) Play to Win's score changed from +3 to -1 when they declined to run the contest.
(****) The overtime was held on a one-question-at-a-time basis. The tie was broken on the very first OT question when Bayonettes successfully named both the answer and the song. The Grand Duchy missed both.
(*****) A 3-questions-at-once playoff (no song point) was held with We Make Holes in Teeth! winning, 2 answers to 1.
(******) A 5-questions-at-once playoff was held (no song point), with each team getting the same 3 correct and the same 1 wrong. On the fifth question, which required a three-part answer, We Begin Bombing successfully answered in full, while All the Sugar got 2 of the 3 parts correct, missing the third. The 1/15th of one point difference is unlikely to be challenged. Interestingly, the same All the Sugar team would win the contest two years later as Leave the Gun, Take the Cannolis, thereby claiming the Williams Trivia records for largest win AND tightest loss.
(Some of the above margins of victory have stories behind them which are recounted in the respective contest's sections)