Observations on Trivia Hosts, Coming Back To Powell’s, MTL Trivia, Etc…

Editor’s note: A full recap of Monday’s trivia game is coming soon! 

My husband and I paid a visit to Powell’s Pub Monday for its My Trivia Live trivia night. It had been almost six whole months since we “walked away” from this trivia spot (for multiple reasons). One of our other players said he didn’t want to play here anymore, we were having some issues with the host George and for me, the trivia nights there had become more of a “chore” than they needed to be, ergo had ceased to be…fun. Truth be told, I was also going through some mental health issues at the time, which required, among other things, stepping back a bit from competitive trivia games. This proved to be a process taking some time! While I “thought” I was ready to try playing a MTL spot late last fall with hopes of qualifying for an end of season tournament, that just wasn’t the case. I wasn’t up to the “chore” of playing in one weekly trivia spot for EIGHTEEN WEEKS (ugh)! So I decided that until further notice, MTL games would be “on hiatus.”

Quite a bit changed at Powell’s in the past six months! Team “Dan Smith” is no longer playing here (they always occupied the corner by the “pedestrian” entrance). Another change is that the previous host, George, has stepped down – and Stacy L., whom also hosts in a few other local MTL spots, has taken over the mic. My husband was initially not happy with this development, because of the “Elmer’s Glue Incident” which occurred in December, 2017 when we were playing at the Wurst Bar. “Cow” was NOT accepted as a correct answer for a question about what animal served as mascot for Elmer’s Glue. Stacy only accepted “bull” or “bovine” as the correct answers. Had this been the only time we’d had issues with questions and this trivia host, we would’ve just brushed it off – but it… wasn’t. Too often Stacy would refuse to offer additional clarification on trivia questions when asked to do so, even if a simple Internet query would probably suffice. Players were routinely told to just “email the league” if they had concerns with poorly worded questions (the MTL league is kind of “famous” for its strangely – and in many cases – poorly worded questions).

Telling players to “email the league” does nothing to provide “satisfaction” on the spot and would instead just leave some players feeling frustrated. When prize money and tournament spots are on the line, trivia players can get a bit…testy in these situations! Case in point, a player at one of host Stacy’s other shows (McShane’s Pub in Ypsilanti) dumped a beer on her laptop several months ago. Though I don’t know all the circumstances surrounding this incident – and DO NOT take his side in the matter – I can’t help but wonder if this player had simply asked for clarification on a question or disputed an answer she deemed incorrect that should have been deemed correct. No matter, this player was reportedly banned from playing any of Stacy’s other trivia shows. I am unsure if she attempted to go to small claims court for this, though I know she filed a police report.

For the record, I like Stacy as a person – and have socialized with her a few times outside of trivia nights. She has always treated me and my trivia team well – in fact, better than any other trivia MTL trivia host we’ve played with. She even joined my team for a Sporcle Live tournament in April, 2017, and she’s joined my team in a few trivia games. I’ve also had multiple conversations with her, and she’s expressed frustration to me about MTL questions being poorly worded multiple times. Just last Friday, she told me there was a question about which Elvis song shares its name with a 1995 Michelle Pfeiffer film (I don’t know if it was a final question or regular round question). I’m going to just sit here and see if anyone sees the problem with this question…

The 1995 film was called Dangerous Minds. The Elvis song was called Suspicious Minds. Had I been the trivia host on this night, I would have either re-worded the question on the spot – or thrown it out and replaced it. Sure, hosts shouldn’t have to “vet” the questions – and most probably don’t have time to do so – but this kind of question is just pure BS. It should not have made it on the question sheet.

While I agree with my husband about Stacy being a bit too much of a “stickler” when accepting answers, I don’t let this make me not want to play any of her trivia nights. I think – if I remind him that our “focus” at MTL trivia nights is to drink cheaply – and win prize money to at least partially cover those tabs – he will eventually be able to get over his issues with Stacy. We had a $4 total beer tab last night (won a $10 prize  and ordered two $7 pitchers of beer). THAT helped put him in a better mood! 🙂

Sadly, spilled beer on a host’s laptop  –  isn’t the ONLY “ugly” incident involving trivia nights! Though it’s just rumor (which Stacy mentioned  on the mic on a trivia night) – and I don’t know any of the details – MTL players are not allowed to call “shenanigans” on questions anymore. Previously, players could call “shenanigans” on questions – and if the host said that all teams got the question wrong – and no other players objected – the question would be thrown out and replaced with a different question. Well, apparently some players got into a fistfight over a “shenanigans” ruling on a trivia night, which is why they can no longer be called on questions. I myself have gotten “testy” when other players deny shenanigans on questions, so I can kind of empathize a bit! Would I ever punch someone because of it? Of COURSE not! Sigh…it takes all kinds.

What’s the verdict? If my husband can get over his Stacy issues, we may play at Powell’s occasionally. I’m not going to push to play here every week. In fact, I don’t think we’ll be playing in “tournament contention” in either trivia league anymore. Honestly, that ship has sailed. Our team has nothing to prove anymore, and being able to have flexibility with planning trivia nights – and playing when/where we want with nothing but booze money on the line – is pretty…sweet!

Speaking of, our next trivia night will be the Star Trek theme night on Thursday! I only have three players lined up for this – and I’m not hoping for too much in terms of prizes – but it will be a completely different set of trivia questions – and I’m really excited about THAT!


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