Barge photo

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"Chris Ray barges into my crowd shot" - Lily Vonderheide

The barge photo is an image of a hallway of the Old Union building of Stanford taken by Lily Vonderheide during Cardinal Classic XVII on February 2, 2008 that features a number of quiz bowlers milling about as then-Maryland player Chris Ray "barges" onto the scene from the left.

While the reasoning for its popularity as a joke and much of the original discussion about the photo have been lost to the annals of the IRC, it is clear from the number of references in the years since it was taken that many quiz bowlers found this image very amusing. The use of the phrase "barging" continues to see significantly higher usage in quizbowl contexts than in the real world.


Within two months of the image being taken, a meta question on the photo was written and included in the Minnesota + Westbrook packet of the 2008 MUT, whose main site was held on March 29, 2008.

22. The walls in this work are a mustardy color, and the artist displays a knack for perspective in the lines in the ceiling and the two square columns behind this work’s most prominent figure. At the center of this work, a man in a black trenchcoat faces away from the viewer, looking towards a grey-clad man holding a phone to his ear, while a green “Exit” sign is on the ceiling above them both. A bluish object hovers in this work’s lower right corner, and to the left of center is a profile of a man identified only as “Steve from Chicago.” The central figure’s expression has been likened to that of Kim Jung-Il, and that figure has been comically photoshopped into a Kill Bill poster and the 9/11 attacks. For 10 points, name this masterpiece of Lily Vonderheide, that depicts a certain figure clad in his signature maroon-and-gold Redskins windbreaker barging onto the central scene.

ANSWER: That picture of Chris Ray barging at the Stanford Cardinal Classic [accept obvious equivalents]

The above question was manually skipped by readers at the VCU site of the tournament, but its presence in the packet was nonetheless revealed after the game to the Maryland teams, leading to one of the most notorious incidents in the 2008 Maryland saga.


The following year, the tossup became a topic of conversation in the "Bad Negs Again" thread, where Steven Wellstead related how he had negged the tossup with "Oath of the Horatii,[1] and Chris Ray revealed that they had never actually seen the photo in question. This prompted Michael Arnold to post it on his Flickr, where it can be found to this day.

Wait a minute, that's the picture? It's a candid crowd shot. . . how can you barge into a candid crowd shot? Man, you guys had me feeling bad for the last year and a half for dickishly walking in front of a team photo or something. Barging doesn't even seem that accurate of a description - I guess it's somewhat better than "Chris looking like a snapping turtle," but stI AM BARGING INTO YOUR POST CHRIS RAY

-Chris Ray[2]


The 2012 packet submission set BARGE was head-edited by Chris Ray and named in direct reference to the photo.

David Seal predicted that Maryland would lose to Yale at both ICT and ACF Nationals "despite the packet containing TU's on the Chris Ray Barge photo, the Diary of Chris Ray, MLB reliever Chris Ray, Esteban Cordoza, and a dream Chris Ray had the night before about a world in which Dr. Pepper Ten is not for men but for women."[3][4]


Andrew Hart reposted the photo as part of "The greatest quizbowl photos" thread, calling it "perhaps the most iconic quizbowl photo ever taken."[5]

The 2013 and 2014 VCU Open packets all contain a small copy of the photo at the top of each packet. The photo was set as the placeholder for a never-created set logo in 2012, with the intent that it would be replaced before anyone outside of the writing team ever saw it. Unfortunately, this is how users discovered that the ability to edit or delete a set logo was never added to QEMS. While everyone agreed that the joke was long past funny at this point, the only way to get rid of the image without commissioning the development of this function would have been to delete the entire question set and re-create it.

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