January was a month of some big changes for my trivia team Miskatonic University Fighting Cephalopods (just call us “The Pods” for short). We’re playing in three different spots and two different trivia leagues. Here’s a roundup of the places and how we’re doing at each spot:
We made a return last month to the “Corner Brewery,” which is where we played regularly for about three years up until 2015. It’s going very, very well on a couple of levels! One, we’re averaging about 127 points a night, and are getting about 60 percent of final questions correct. Prize money hasn’t been stellar, but there are about 20 different teams playing on each trivia night, so it’s very, very competitive. We’ve managed to win just $30 in prizes here during the month of January. We’re in fourth place overall here, and just one point is dividing the teams in third, fourth and fifth place, and we have, on average, abour 4-6 players per night.
I think our chances are good at winning a tournament spot here in April. Most importantly, moving our games back here has kind of reunited the team. The overall vibe on our trivia nights has been great! The response when I said we were moving back to playing here was immediately positive. We kind of split up a bit when we we played a couple of years at the Wurst Bar, since not all of my players liked that trivia spot, or the trivia league. Nonetheless, we managed to win semifinal spots here six times, and a good share of prize money.
A couple of different things prompted me to stop playing at Wurst, but I’d rather not get into them! I’d rather focus on moving forward!
Oscar’s Sports and Grill
We started playing here in the fall of 2016, but only played here occasionally – maybe once a month or so. Last season was the first time I tried to qualify for a tournament here, which we managed to do in November, 2017. It was the strangest tournament we’d ever played in, since we were the only real team we were competing against for a spot! So all we had to do was…show up! It was almost anticlimactic, but I looked at it as a well-deserved break after all the times we’ve had to scrap and fight for tournament spots. We’re averaging about 100 points a night here and have won $30 over the past month, and normally only have 2-3 players.
Last August, we had a player from another team named Evan kind of fall into our laps, if you will! He messaged me on my Facebook page asking if we needed a player for a tournament (he’d heard through the grapevine that we had posted a “help wanted” ad). So he joined us for a couple of tournaments, and did quite well! He lives just a few minutes from Oscar’s, so he’s kind of become part of our “B” team, and has been coming out for most of those games. He’s a trivia junkie, plays well, and is enthusiastic about the game. On the other hand, I would literally have to beg players on my “regular” team to come out to a Saturday game! My husband is not a huge fan of trivia, but he is a trouper and will come out to most games, but even he needs a break now and then. I know it must look a LITTLE weird when Evan and I team up as a duo for games – since he’s 16 years younger than I am. But trust me…it’s STRICTLY BUSINESS! Yes, I run my team like a business, and that business is to win prize money! Plus, I’d be fool to turn away a millennial player, especially for tournaments. We had a millennial player years ago named Alex, who was a great asset – but he wound up moving to Seattle. Bottom line? I wouldn’t know how to be a “Mrs. Robinson” – even if I wanted to – and tried to do it! My husband’s last name is Robinson, but that’s beside the point! Being a “Mrs. Robinson” or a “Stiffler’s Mom” is just NOT in my personality. Even if legendary “Actor’s Studio” coach Elia Kazan were resurrected, he would not be able to get me to play the role of “femme fatale,” or “cradle robber.”
I was going to use a photo of Jennifer Coolidge from American Pie here, but I thought this was more funny…
My husband and I have played here occasionally in the past since it’s very close to home. We decided this season to play here “for real,” and try winning a semifinal spot. It’s going to be a bit of a challenge, but I think we are up to it! We’re not going to have more than a couple of players here for most games, but so far we are doing OK. We’ve won $40 over the past month in prizes. We have 12 more weeks to gain some ground and if necessary, I can send out an SOS to other players on my team to come help out. This will definitely be an experiment, if nothing else!
The scores I have for the three teams in contention at Powell’s so far (not including barhop teams): Dan Smith, 164; Ham Wallets, 159 and ‘Pods, 156. I know that doesn’t look super promising, but the ‘Pods are essentially just a duo – but can bring at least a couple of others to some games. And the other teams have at least six players or more. This early in the season, it’s too close to call, but I’m still viewing this as a very, very winnable trivia spot.
This is all part of my attempt to keep a monthly record of our trivia shenanigans in 2018, so thanks to anyone who bothered to read this!