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Posts Tagged ‘Superbowl’

footballMaybe you know this already, but the Baltimore Ravens is the only pro sports team named after a work of literature: Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.”  (In fact, the team’s mascot is apparently a bird named Poe.)  With that curious bit of trivia in mind, we present a football-themed literary quiz.  Maybe you can break it out in between plays at your Super Bowl party?  (And yes, we acknowledge that it would have to be a pretty lame party if you’re asking your guests literary questions….)

  1. In Death of a Salesman, what is the name of Willy Loman’s oldest son, the star football player who never graduated from high school?
  2. And where was this character supposed to go to college?  (He threw into the furnace his sneakers imprinted with the name of the school.)
  3. What novel takes place during World War II at the Devon School, where students invent a game named blitzball, a combination of rugby and football?
  4. This young-adult novel which features a character named Darry, the captain of his high school’s football team who could have gone to college on a football scholarship; however, after the death of his parents,  he gave up on his dream to take care of his brothers, one of whom is named Ponyboy. What is this novel?
  5. Who is the narrator of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, a Native American ex-football player who now pretends to be a deaf-mute?
  6. Which Tennessee Williams play features a former professional football player named Brick, whose possible romantic feelings for his former teammate Skipper may be the source of his current alcoholism?
  7. Toughie: What was the name of Brick and Skipper’s team? (Hint: it’s fictional.)
  8. I am an American author who played high school football and, during World War I, drove an ambulance in Italy for the American Red Cross.   I later drew on these experiences when I created Nick Adams, a former football player and World War I soldier, who is the protagonist of more than twenty short stories.   Who am I?
  9.  “When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.  When it healed, and Jem’s fears of never being able to play football again were assuaged, he was seldom self-conscious about his injury.” These two sentences begin which beloved American novel?
  10.  The film Stand By Me features John Cusack as Dennis, a star high school football player whose death haunts his younger brother Gordie.  On what Stephen King short story is Stand By Me based?
  11.  On the Road author Jack Kerouac had a scholarship to play football for an Ivy League university, but after cracking his tibia and squabbling constantly with the coach over his lack of playing time, he dropped out of college completely.  Which university was it—Brown, Columbia, or Princeton?
  12. In The Great Gatsby, what is the name of Daisy’s husband, “one of the most powerful ends that ever played football” at Yale?
  13. I am the sixteen-year-old male narrator of a great American novel.  My story begins as I am standing all alone on Thomsen Hill, next to a Revolutionary War cannon, as my school Pencey Prep’s football team plays Saxon Hall.  I am just about the only one not at the game—except for the kid who lives next door to me, an acne-ridden senior named Ackley.  Who am I?
  14. Which Pulitzer-Prize-winning author, famous for his “Rabbit” novels, has written a short story called “In Football Season”?
  15.  Which Robert Cormier young adult novel opens with high school freshman named Jerry Renault throwing up after trying out for the football team?

Answers

  1. Biff Loman
  2. University of Virginia
  3. A Separate Peace
  4. The Outsiders
  5. Chief Bromden
  6. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
  7. Dixie Stars
  8. Ernest Hemingway
  9. To Kill a Mockingbird
  10. “The Body”
  11. Columbia
  12. Tom Buchanan
  13. Holden Caulfield
  14. John Updike
  15. The Chocolate War
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