It’s been a while since my trivia team truly had its ass kicked in a trivia game by worthy adversaries. I’m not talking about trivia tournaments – since you tend to be playing against the “best of the best” in those games, it’s pretty much a given, that unless your team is really, really super awesome (and I know of some teams like those) – you’re GOING to get your ass kicked!
Last time we played in a tournament in August, we got our asses kicked. But there was no thrill in it, because it was a tournament, and it was… to be expected. Only once did my team kick the asses of all of the other teams in the room at a tournament. And even then, it wasn’t that thrilling (I guess I am kind of a tough customer, aren’t I). In fact, I still have a hard time believing that this game actually happened, and if it really did, I kind of wish it didn’t!
There’s just something missing from the trivia games I’ve been playing lately. Last Tuesday, we played at a bar in downtown Ann Arbor called Haymaker, and it was pretty much chock full of what I’m going to call “college kids,” because I was old enough to be a mother to most of them, so they were all “kids” to me. “Dime a dozen” is a phrase I’d use to describe the teams there. Just a bunch of undergrads, post-grads, maybe some post-doc/master’s degree owners who are all pushing the snooze button on life’s alarm clock to avoid having to get a (the horror) REAL job. That is how a “post doc” student described this experience to me years ago. People don’t really use “alarm clocks” much anymore, but I still think that is a good way to describe this! It was kind of a nice change of scenery, because in a game we played the week before, we were the “younger” people in the room! There were cheers galore from a team called “The Old Brigade” when they knew a tough bonus question answer involving the Francis the Talking Mule film series!
We didn’t really make any “noise” at this “college” trivia spot other than wagering smart on a final question and winning $50 in gift certificates. For ONE game, I’d say $50 is pretty good haul, (and we’ll be using some of that money next Wednesday). But it also wasn’t really a thrill either to beat them – or to be beaten BY them. An eight-person “megateam” wound up dominating the scene there. Meh…being beaten by a team that is good only by virtue of sheer numbers does NOT impress me.
In last Thursday night’s game, by some weird magicks, we wound up in a tie for second for the night with the team that is currently topping the bar’s standings. This is kind of a “hybrid” team, if you will. Two of the players have played under the name “Big Heads Big Hearts” from the very beginning – when this bar started serving up trivia in March, 2016. They were joined by a third player about a year ago or so who has previously played with another league team – and has also played solo games many, many times.
Honestly, the last time I really felt like a “win” in trivia meant anything was in early July, when I played and – and won first – in an ’80s movies theme night. Why? Because there WAS good competition in the room! In this case, two players in particular – one from a very good Oakland County team – and another whom is usually a “lone ranger,” but also sits with some “ringer” teams for tournaments. Now that was a win that really meant something because there were truly worthy adversaries in the room – not a bunch of people playing a theme trivia night for shits ‘n giggles.
About a year ago or so, I randomly ran into an older woman in the women’s bathroom at Original Gravity. She said to me, “I always worry when I see that you’re playing because that means my team’s going to lose.” I never wound up finding out which team she played on or anything, but it was still kind of amusing. ME being a threat in a trivia game? Hey…it’s all relative, I guess? Some players at the Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti have made similar comments, too – one of them even jokingly offered to bribe us to throw the game not too long ago!
I’ll get right to my point…I would love to see this “third” guy playing with his “old” team again! Even if only for one night – and even if he only plays with just ONE of the other players. And I would be delighted to have this “team” kick our asses once again! This is a “crew” that kicked my team’s ass more times than I can count. On the times when my team went toe to toe with their team, there was just nothing QUITE like it. It never failed to light a fire under my players’ asses in their desire to be the best when playing against them. It was friendly, respectful rivalry at its very best. Some games would only result in one point’s difference between the teams!
If getting “the band back together” isn’t possible? Then maybe a nice solo night out for trivia for this player will do. I have no idea…I just know how I feel when I’m stuck in a trivial “rut” and the things I do to relieve the monotony. I need to get out for solo games every now and then too, even though I do like playing with “the guys.”
There’s still a little “taste” of that old rivalry on Thursday nights. It’s still good competition between the “hybrid” team and my team, though I thought it was more interesting when this “third” player was still playing by himself – and I also played by myself (in some games). But it’s really just not the same. I was aghast when a player on that other team said to me last Thursday, “Wisconsin doesn’t touch Lake Superior.” I don’t like being “that” person, but I said, “Uh, yes it does.” He immediately started clicking on his phone like he didn’t believe me. I went on to explain further, “The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is in Wisconsin – and on a clear day in some spots in the Porcupine Mountains (in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula), you can see them.” He’s a nice enough guy, mind you – and my husband and I both enjoy talking to him. It just went to show how the “heavy lifting” for answering questions on that team isn’t shared evenly among the players!
Wisconsin doesn’t share as much shoreline with Lake Superior as its neighbors Michigan and Minnesota, but being able to boast having the Apostle Islands (a huge destination for paddlers) more than makes up for it! Duluth’s “sister city,” Superior, is the most populous Wisconsin city to border Lake Superior.
I’m only speculating about all of this, of course. I have no idea whether he even wants to play with “his” team again – maybe he doesn’t. And really, it’s none of my business. I know life can make it difficult for teams to get together for trivia nights. Boy do I KNOW that! One of my players will ONLY play local games on certain nights. Trouble is, the “local” trivia scene has gotten stale for the rest of my players. I’ve virtually left him out of the trivia equation for now, but I will definitely call him from the “bench” when we do decide to “play local.” I plan to do “local” games maybe once a month or so just to keep him in the game.
Wednesdays/Thursdays seem to be the best days these days for me to summon a “team” anymore. Our next “team” game will be Wednesday at Haymaker in Ann Arbor. I tentatively have three players, and have invited a fourth. I’ll be perfectly happy going out there and winning prize money again, but…
I’ll let a Joe Pesci meme (from My Cousin Vinny) do the rest of the talking…