The Final Four
The Napa Ultimate Sports Trivia Challenge contest has its final four today at Dave & Buster's. Just for fun, here are bios of the four contestants, culled from interviews yesterday for today's column about Royden Muranaka's recent dominance of this event. The "action" starts at 5 p.m. today at D&B, and stick around for the celebrity contest; Stephen Tsai and I will match our catalogue of useless sports knowledge with that of Bobby Curran and Gary Dickman representing ESPN-1420 and Jackson Wheeler and Charlie Wade representing UH.
BRANDON MATSUOKA (plays Kimo Silva in semi)
First time in the final four, made it to the elite 8 one year before being knocked out by Royden Muranaka. … Brandon, 27, is single, works at the Blood Bank, and lives in Kalihi. He is a Farrington graduate and a senior at the University of Hawaii majoring in anthropology, 3,06 GPA. … "I'm pretty excited about making it to the final four. I didn't play sports in high school but I always had a huge passion for sports. When I was younger I wanted to become broadcaster. My favorites are the Miami Heat, LeBron James, Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, Oakland Raiders, North Carolina Tar Heels. And can't forget UH. I try to go to as many UH games as possible, but sometimes I work on weekends." … Preparation: "I watch SportsCenter, I read Wikipedia, lists of past Super Bowl winners, MVPs, Masters winners, things like that. Going to school now actually helps me prepare. You have to have a sharp memory, and being in the mindset of school helps me." … Cheering section?: "Probably not. Just going to go in there and try to answer the questions as fast as I can."
ROYDEN MURANAKA (plays Edson Toma in semi)
Three-time winner of the contest, 2006, 2010, 2012. Three other final fours, including two runners-up, in past six years … First entered contest in 2002.
2002 … Royden is sales manager of University of Hawaii Press. … Played football, basketball and baseball at Waimea High School on Kauai. Royden is 55 and single, and still enjoys fast-pitch softball, golf and fishing. … He is a graduate of the University of Hawaii. ... "Some of the old stuff you just remember, I look at sports almanacs, just browse through it." … Biggest surprise answer: "One from the early 70s, something about who was second to O.J. Simpson in rushing and I said John Brockington. I was surprised I knew it." … Secret to success: "A little luck I guess. When you gotta play six matches, it's like March Madness, in one of those six something bad will happen. A wrong question for you, but strong for the other guy. Odds are you will have one bad match." … How started: "The first time a friend of mine entered me. I didn't know he did it until the station called me."
KIMO SILVA (plays Brandon Matsuoka in semi)
Another first-timer to the final four, Kimo made it to the sweet 16 "two or three years ago, but got crushed by Royden Muranaka." … He is a 38-year-old accountant from Hawaii Kai. He played volleyball, tennis, basketball, baseball and track at Damien, graduating in 1992 with future Major League Baseball player Chris Truby. … He is married to Alesia and they have a 4-year-old son, Seth. … Preparation: "I just picked up a lot of useless knowledge watching sports with my dad and having the internet to look things up took it to another level. I play fantasy football and fantasy baseball and follow minor league baseball closely. … Embarrassing wrong answer: "Breland Almadova is a friend of mine, but once I got a question of what school he went to and I froze. For some reason I said Kamehameha instead of Iolani." … His cheering section today will include Mike Chow, one of Hawaii's two World Series of Poker bracelet winners.
EDSON TOMA (plays Royden Muranaka in semi)
Edson, 42, is also a first-timer to the final four. He is a bank loan officer from Waikele. The bank loan officer is married to Allison and they have two children, Sarah and Chase. Edson competed in wrestling, judo and cross country at Waipahu High School and went to college at Seattle University. … He says he is very surprised to have made it this far in the competition. "Every time I thought this was my last match. Pretty close games and I got lucky at the end. I just don't want to embarrass myself. I usually don't get past the second round." … Preparation: "Nothing. I don't know if you can prepare for it. I just told my wife, 'I know what I know, if I don't, I don't.' I ready some sports magazines and play fantasy football. Just football. And in this contest it's not always what you know, but how fast you can answer."