A fun discussion developed this morning when some of us staff guys were taking a stroll around the block this morning. Webmaster Eddie Holt mentioned he's got a picture of the bronze medal won by the Bartlesville Barflies (our first champs in 1939, picture of the medal here) when they competed again in 1942, essentially in the same configuration as the Phillip's 66 Barflies. It was just the year before when the 1941 champ Chord Busters declared that they saw no reason to compete again now that they'd won, beginning a tradition that years later became a rule: Champs don't re-compete, and no more than two members of a champion quartet can compete together thereafter. (Thanks for the info, Grady!)
But what if the champs could and would compete in the years after they won? How many championships would the Buffalo Bills (1950) have won had they continued to compete? Based on their singing level through the 1950s, would they have continued to win all the way until the Suntones (1961), or would The Confederates (1955) have stolen a few? Would Dealer's Choice (1973) been a true novice champ if the quartets ahead of them had still been competing? How many championships would Bluegrass Student Union (1978) had under their belts? Would they have beat Boston Common (1974-1980) in 1980?
And can anyone imagine what contests would have looked like in the early 1990s with Acoustix (1990), Keepsake (1992) and The Gas House Gang (1993) gunning at each other year after year?
Take the poll: Who would have won the most medals if champs could keep competing? (Lists are based on MY biases -- if you disagree, put it in the comments. I intentionally left out intact champions, but you can discuss them in the comments also.) I almost created a second poll, but you can answer the following in the comments area: "Which era would have been the most competitive?" (In other words, the era that would have been the toughest in which to repeat?)
Here's a list of international champions to jog your memories.
Let the blood bath begin!