OH ODD, YOU DEVILS: The Schmoedown History of The Odd Couple!

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“And your winners… and NEW Movie Trivia Schmoedown Champions of the World: Marc “The Android” Andreyko and Jeff “The Insneider” Sneider, The Odd Couple!”

With those words from Kristian Harloff, The Odd Couple became the Schmoedown’s 6th team Champions after defeating the Shirewolves. While a new champion is always a momentous occasion, this win had extra historical significance as it marked the moment that Marc Andreyko became a champion for the very first time, while Jeff Sneider became the first competitor to win the Teams Title with two separate teams.

Even though The Odd Couple have only been a team for less than a year, Sneider and Andreyko have a long history in the league, full of triumph and controversy that is worth looking back over.

Genesis of the Patriots

The Insneider was the first of the pair to join the league in May of Season 3, taking on Umberto Gonzalez. After a close Round 1, Sneider pulled away in Round 2 and strategically went to multiple choice on his final question to make it mathematically impossible for “El Mayimbe” to avoid a KO with a 16-4 scoreline.

Just weeks later, JTE was in search of a new teammate after deciding to move on from Finstock and, having been rejected by Clarke Wolfe, joined with Sneider to form the third new team of The Decision: The Patriots. On a high, Sneider took on Samm Levine but an unfortunate spin of Marvel Movies in Round 2 saw him fall to a 10-14 loss.

Following The Patriots’ formation, they were told that two wins would earn them a title match. Their first match together was against JTE’s former partner Finstock, in his team Megapowers. What followed was a 19-3 KO victory and a match so one-sided it led to a revamp of the rules for the Teams Division. Next up was Team Heroes and while they put up more of a challenge, The Patriots found themselves earning a Title Shot with a 15-11 TKO victory. Before they could play for the title, it was back to Singles for Sneider, who went to war with Jason Inman for a 13-6 TKO victory, before a 12-13 loss against debutant Chris Stuckmann.

Between Sneider’s two Singles matches, Marc Andreyko made his debut against fellow debutant William “The Beast” Bibbiani. In one of the most impressive matches in Schmoedown history, The Beast played a 100% accurate match, while Andreyko could hold his head high knowing that a 23-20 loss left him with the highest points total in a loss at that point in the Singles Division. Looking for revenge on Bibbiani – who had joined the Four Horsemen – Andreyko joined Sneider, JTE and Finstock at Spectacular to form a rival faction: The Lion’s Den.

The Den and the Horsemen had the chance to face each other immediately as The Patriots took on Top 10 for the Teams Title. John Rocha and Matt Knost fell behind in Round 2 and though they always kept themselves close, Jeff Sneider managed to pull the correct answer for their 5-pointer to win 18-17 and become the new Team Champions going into Season 4.

The Rise of the Lion’s Den

After Finstock chose to leave Josh Macuga to create the Lion’s Den the pair agreed to a stipulation match that would see the loser banned for a year. However, the Lion’s Den didn’t play fair and when “Finstock” emerged, it was clearly Marc Andreyko under the mask while Tom Dagnino stood beside him. “Findreyko” led by a point going into the final round, but Macuga shocked the world by emerging with the victory, 14-17.

The Patriots were forced to defend their title against Team Trek without their manager and at the end of 5 rounds, the scores were level at 27-27. At this point, Sudden Death would see a question asked on the buzzer and the team who got it right would have the chance to win by answering the next question correctly. Controversy reigned with the first buzzer question as Josh Macuga ruled that Sneider had buzzed in first, while slow-mo replays suggest that Scott Mantz was probably the first to buzz. The Patriots missed on their chance to win, but were successful in the second round of Sudden Death, defending their title by the narrowest of margins to win 28-27.

Andreyko’s second (official) match came against Jay Washington, which resulted in a 12-10 win for The Android. This match was an undercard, with the main event being a match between Sneider and Macuga that would see Tom Dagnino (but not Finstock) allowed back into the league. Dagnino certainly owed Sneider a couple of drinks that evening as he came out with a 19-16 victory to bring his manager back into the fold.

The inaugural Free 4 All saw mixed fortunes for the pair. Sneider was part of the initial table of competitors and scored 9/15 points before being eliminated after 3 rounds. Andreyko’s exploits in the event will be forever remembered in Schmoedown history, however. Coming in as the 25th entrant to a table containing John Rocha, Dan Murrell, William Bibbiani and Drew McWeeny, Andreyko was the only one to go perfect in his first round, while the others all ended on 4 points, leading to the table clear that has become known as XX5XX. Poetically, he was eventually eliminated in Samm Levine’s table clear after scoring 22 points in 6 rounds.

The Jungle Rules the Kingdom

Sneider was soon back in action, defeating Drew McWeeny 19-14 before taking on the Wolves of Steel with JTE. A 2-point lead for The Patriots after Round 4 was the largest points differential at any point in the match, but the Champions came out victorious again. 26-25. Andreyko also continued the Lion’s Den’s success with an 11-8 TKO victory over Free 4 All MVP John Humphrey.

The Horsemen/Lion’s Den rivalry continued in the build-up to Collision as Top 10 tried to win their titles back. Sneider got a perfect opening round (though he missed the bonus), giving The Patriots an early lead that Top 10 couldn’t overcome, Rocha missing his 3-pointer to earn The Patriots a 27-20 TKO victory. A few days later, Sneider took on Kristian Harloff as part of his revenge tour in a #1 Contender Match at Collision. The pair could not be separated in either of the first two rounds, but the Commissioner got the luck of a 5-pointer in one of his strengths (Scores & Soundtracks), which saw Sneider fall to an 18-21 loss.

While Collision did not go as the Lion’s Den had hoped, they took advantage of the Four Horsemen falling apart to pick up Robert Meyer Burnett as a partner for Marc Andreyko, forming the team Blofeld’s Cat.

The Patriots were soon defending their title again, this time against MODOK (formerly Rotten Tomatoes). The Patriots led through every round, aided by Matt Atchity’s inexperience in the buzzer round, but MODOK pulled the score level in the final round to take the match to Sudden Death. Sudden Death had by now been changed to what we have today, with questions being asked in the same style as Round 1. On the very first question, JTE was the only one to write down the correct answer and the Patriots defended again, by a 33-32 score.

August saw the beginning of the 2017 Ultimate Schmoedown Teams Tournament to determine the next opponents for The Patriots. Blofeld’s Cat defeated Heroes 27-23 in their first round together, but went out in the quarterfinals to Top 10, who set a new points record to win 29-34. Jeff Sneider warmed up for the Singles Tournament with a Celebrity Match with the cast of “Party Boat”, where he and Beau Mirchoff fell to Rocha and Brett Davern 25-27. His first round match in the tournament was against Matt Knost, who he defeated 17-15, before losing to his own teammate JTE in the quarterfinals, 19-21. Andreyko found himself up against Rachel Cushing in the opening round and while he put up a good fight, “The Crusher” emerged with the 15-18 victory.

Defection

As Spectacular II approached, Tom Dagnino revealed to the world that Ken Napzok had joined his side. Appealing to her teammate’s better morals, Rachel convinced the Pitboss to join her for a match against Blofeld’s Cat to convince him that the Lion’s Den weren’t right for him. When the match came around, Napzok was nowhere to be found and due to the contract they had all signed, Cushing was left with the choice of a 2v1 handicap match or forfeiting. She chose to play the match and while she fought hard, 2 heads proved better than 1 and Blofeld’s Cat won via a 19-18 TKO. As the match finished, Ken Napzok arrived to announce that he was fully part of the Lion’s Den and that he had never intended to team up with Cushing again.

Blofeld’s Cat’s win over Cushing did not seem to sit well with Andreyko, who went behind his faction’s back to get himself a new manager: Emma Fyffe. This allowed her to enter Spectacular II’s Managers Bowl, which she won and in the aftermath, Andreyko appeared to enjoy revealing his defection from the Lion’s Den and his turn from the ultimate heel faction to a new faction of faces. The Patriots managed to prevent the event being a total disaster though, by defeating Ultimate Schmoedown winners Above The Line in a 33-32 thriller that saw them complete a full calendar year as Team Champions.

Looking to make another run for the Singles Title, Sneider took on Mark Ellis early in Season 5 and defeated him 17-15. Next up was another title rematch against Top 10, which became one of the most controversial matches of the season. With the Patriots ahead 23-19 after 2 rounds, Round 3 saw both teams betting on a question in the category of Westerns – a strength for Rocha. The Patriots answered wrong, losing a point, while Rocha’s answer of “Jane Fonda” was correct but hardly legible. The points were initially given to bring the score to 22-22, but Sneider challenged that the rules of the round direct competitors towards having to write legibly in the time limit.

While the arguments went on, he also suggested that the fairest option would be to re-spin the wheel and start the round over, something that was eventually agreed by the judges. This led to a new category of Will Smith, which the Patriots answered correctly for 3 points and Top 10 got wrong for -3 points, setting Sneider and JTE up for a 28-15 KO victory.

With Andrew Ghai banned for the early months of the season, Ben Bateman began to establish himself in the Singles Division, leading to him taking on Marc Andreyko, who had impressed by scoring 22 points over 5 rounds in the 2018 Free 4 All. Team Action had a reputation for trying to get in their opponents’ heads, but Marc Andreyko could not be phased and arranged a slight redecoration of the set to put Bateman off. Whether this got in ben’s head or not, “The Boss” could not pull out the victory and Andreyko won 18-16.

Rocha defeated JTE at the first live event and set his eyes on taking down the rest of the Lion’s Den, starting with Sneider, however The Lion’s Den were left celebrating again as Sneider won 20-17. A week later, The Patriots looked to defend their title again (and go 10-0 in the process) in a rematch against Above The Line. While The Patriots ended up of the wrong end of a controversy in this match, as Samm Levine changed his answer after initially giving the name of a film rather than actor, they still led going into the final round, but were unable to hit their 5-pointer, bringing their reign to an end with a 31-35 loss.

The End of the Lion’s Den

Bibbiani cashed in his prize for being Free 4 all MVP by arranging a #1 Contender Match against Sneider in the build-up to Collision. 4 points down after Bibbiani’s spin in Round 2, Sneider spun away from Coming of Age Movies and ended up with 70s, a category he clearly didn’t look pleased with. What followed looked like he had given up as Bibbiani stole all 4 questions for 7 points, to KO him 7-18. He later clarified on the Rundown that he had made educated guesses on the first 2 questions and made a mistake blurting out an answer on the third, but that by the time he reached his final question, he was so far behind that he effectively gave up.

In this same interview, he mentioned that he didn’t feel like he got the support from his faction in this match, however they were back for the Patriots’ automatic rematch against Above The Line (earned as a reward for 2 successful title defences), which the new Champions had declared would be an Iron Man Match. This played into Above The Line’s hands and they went on to win 48-57. Following the match, the Lion’s Den came to an end as both Ken and Sneider announced they were leaving due to disagreements with Dagnino’s management style (Jeff had found out Dagnino was trying to trade him to the Viper Squad), however JTE stuck by his manager, bringing an end to The Patriots.

Collision was more successful for the Fyffe Club, where Marc Andreyko took on Jeannine “The Machine” and “Sassy” Stacy Howard in a Triple Threat match, emerging as the victor by a 14-13-11 score, which set up a #1 Contender Match against Ethan Erwin. The rookie sensation was looking near-unstoppable with a 3-0 record, but despite going 5-9 down in Round 1, Andreyko came back to win 22-18 and set up a rematch with Bibbiani for the vacant Singles Title. Andreyko led his old rival for much of the match, but a 5-point question on the film “Ready to Rumble” saw him fall to an 18-19 loss and Bibbiani winning the belt for the first time.

Anarchy

One of the biggest moments in the history of Season 5 was the announcement of Anarchy for the Ultimate Schmoedown: all existing teams besides The Shirewolves (the new Champions) were broken up and teams were pulled out of a hat. Jeff Sneider was paired with his former stablemate marc Andreyko to form The Odd Couple and it was clear he was happy with the draw as he could be heard cheering the moment his partner was announced. The final person drawn into the team was Roxy Striar, who came in as the team’s new manager.

The Odd Couple started the tournament with a match against Team Seb’s (Scott Mantz and Sean Gerber) and took advantage of a poor match for Mantz to win via a 20-10 TKO. Next up was The Paddington Two (Matt Atchity and Alonso Duralde) and once again, Sneider’s attention to detail proved a crucial factor in the match as he noticed that their opponents answered the 5-pointer “Brunhilde” rather than “Broomhilda”, which helped The Odd Couple to a 29-24 win. This saw them take on The Harris Brothers (Lon & Jonathan Harris, who had replaced the injured JTE) in the semifinals, where a perfect first round and bonus for Lon, followed by The Odd Couple spinning Opponent’s Choice in Round 2, resulted in a 26-29 loss.

With a smaller field for the 2018 Ultimate Schmoedown Singles Tournament, Andreyko was the only one of the pair to make it into the tournament. A 21-18 victory over Drew McWeeny set up a semifinal against Fyffe Club stablemate Clarke Wolfe, who emerged victorious courtesy of “Ready to Rumble” once again featuring as a 5-pointer, this time answered correctly by Clarke Wolfe. This tournament was the first time a 3rd place playoff was introduced, and this saw Andreyko take on a Dan Murrell who was beginning to hit his stride after recently returning to the league, leading to a 14-15 TKO loss that ended Andreyko’s season.

Sticking Together

With Emma Fyffe winning a role as Commissioner of the Teams and Innergeekdom Divisions going into Season 6, she had to step away from managing her faction, which led to Marc Andreyko sticking with Sneider beyond the Anarchy tournament and asking Roxy Striar to continue managing them. Andreyko’s knowledge base was being improved by Sneider’s tactical mind and the team continued to show their strength with a 19-16 TKO victory over the Scream Queens in the inaugural Schmoedown Throwdown, despite Roxy’s absence after she was allegedly sent to the wrong location by KOrruption’s returning manager Grace Hancock.

Andreyko returned to Singles in a match against John Rocha, which ended with a 17-19 victory for “The Outlaw” after Andreyko’s challenge on Rocha’s 3-point question failed. Next up for the pair was the 2019 Free 4 All live in Los Angeles. Andreyko was the 25th entrant and 30th eliminated, having lasted 8 rounds and scoring 24 points. Sneider was right behind his teammate at number 26, but scored 33/55 points, going out after 11 rounds as the 33rd eliminated.

Their next match was another live on stage as they played Who’s The Boss in a #1 Contender Match live in Chicago. With plenty of rivalries on the go, this was always going to be a big match and a perfect round 1 including the bonus from Andreyko helped set The Odd Couple up to win 27-26, though the result was somewhat forgotten after manager Roxy Striar slapped former beau Ben Bateman in the face. This action led to her being banned for 1 match – Sneider’s upcoming Singles bout against Ben’s teammate Mark Reilly – but if Sneider lost then she would also miss the match against the Shirewolves. For the second time in his career, Sneider found himself playing for his manager’s future and once again he delivered, winning 22-18 despite spinning Opponent’s Choice and Reilly spinning Spinner’s Choice.

And this brings us to the title match. The Shirewolves held a 6-0 record and in many people’s eyes were the favourites in this match. So many things went wrong for Marc and Jeff in this match: saying “Letters to Iwo Jima” instead of “from”, saying “Apu” not “Abu”, Sneider having to take a 3 pointer in Musicals that Andreyko would probably have hit… and yet they still came away with a 25-22 victory.

What’s Next?

Two successful title defences for the Shirewolves means that they have earned an automatic rematch, which will be at Collision on June 26th. Sneider is making another run for the Singles Title off the back of beating Reilly and it’s highly likely that Andreyko will be stepping back into the division soon.
It’s highly likely that things aren’t over between Roxy and Who’s The Boss, so the Horsemen will likely be coming for them, while Roxy’s previous history with both Kalinowski and Grace means that KOrruption will be looking for trouble.

Right now, you have to imagine that a title defence with The Odd Couple and another strong run in Singles (where he is currently 8-5) would mean he has to earn a spot on the Schmoedown Mt Rushmore, while a title victory for Andreyko has moved him from the conversation of “Best to have never won a belt” to top-tier competitor.

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