Behind The Scenes

New generation of trivia buffs hoping to stump ‘The Schwab’ in UNITE playoffs

In other words, it’s good to be “The Schwab.”

Front Row sat down with him to discuss “The Schwab” playoffs that start tonight during UNITE on ESPNU at midnight ET. The field in this bracket has been narrowed from 27 to nine college contestants who will represent their respective conferences in the semifinals of the late-night show’s sports trivia game.

You are known not only for your sports trivia knowledge, but also your sports paraphernalia. How do you decide what to wear each Wednesday for the show?
The first show there was significance as I wore a St. John’s jersey. That is my alma mater. I often picked a jersey that did not conflict with the conference of the contestants. The Tim Tebow Florida jersey meant a lot because I have a lot of respect for him as a person as we have met several times over the years.

After being out of the game show business for a few years [he starred in ESPN’s game show “Stump The Schwab”], what was the biggest surprise in taping “The Schwab” with the new generation of contestants?
I have enjoyed it so far, and I don’t really think there has been a big surprise for me. There have been some very good contestants, a few that maybe surprised me with some of their misses, to be honest.

Did you have a favorite question so far?
I think this new format has had some challenges to be diverse in both sports and social media/pop culture. I think the questions have tested our contestants, which is something I have enjoyed being a part of.

What advice would you have for future contestants?
Have fun with it. Relax and think!

Any predictions for the playoffs?
Right now, I would say someone named Smith may win . . . Four of the nine players that made the semifinals were named Smith . . . odd, but true. I will go with the odds at 44 percent that a Smith will win. Seriously, I have been impressed with several of the youngsters named Smith.

“The Schwab” Semifinal Rounds:

Wednesday, May 1: Michael Smith (Utah), Jake Abrahams (Williams College), Andrew Marchetti (UMass)
Wednesday, May 8: Ibrahim Jacobs (Temple), Taylor Smith (Maryland), Evan Berkowitz (Texas)
Wednesday, May 15: Ryan Smith (Ole Miss), Dan Smith (Penn State), Michael Benson (Northern Illinois)

The three semifinal winners will travel to Bristol, Conn. to compete in-studio in the finals on May 22.

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