It’s definitely time to start acknowledging the elephant in the room! In other words, stop ignoring the obvious…
Since January of 2019, my trivia team has waged 24 different trivia battles (regulation games, not including theme nights or tournaments) in nine different trivia spots. We’ve played a majority of our games on Thursday nights – with six games at Original Gravity and five games at Sticks (there are two different trivia nights at Sticks, for this blog’s purposes I’m only focusing on the Thursday night scene, not the new Monday scene).
In terms of “average” scores? There’s a pretty huge difference between our average scores at Original Gravity (543 total points, six games, average 90.5 points per night) and Sticks (552 total points, five games, average 110.4 points per night). That means on average – we have a score of about 20 points HIGHER each night we play at Sticks as opposed to our games at Original Gravity. That’s…a LOT of points!
Why the difference? We’re battling the same questions at Sticks as other players do at Original Gravity (both shows are Thursdays). Is it because at Sticks we have more of a “home field” advantage from playing closer to home? Perhaps. Is it because we’re more comfortable drinking more at this trivia spot because it’s closer to home (only 1.8 miles away as opposed to 14.1 miles away)? There is something to be said for alcohol’s ability to loosen trivial nuggets from the brain. With the exception of that one time I drank three pints plus a 10-ounce beer at OG in a solo game and drove home tipsy (almost getting lost on one of the roundabouts), I usually drink no more than a couple of pints at OG. Part of this whole “good girl” thing I’m trying out (wink-wink)!
Time of day matters, too. Whenever I try to do a trivia game at night without any booze, I usually have a rough go of it (not the same effect if playing a “day game”, like a tournament game). What can I say? I’m a night owl! Maybe alcohol fuels my circuits a bit, just like Bender in Futurama? Or maybe more like Barry in Beerfest (he can only play “bar games” well after having a few drinks). On second thought, maybe Barry is TOO extreme of an example! TOO much booze can certainly ruin a good trivia game, too.
Sure, those things could be factors, but the REAL “X factor” is personnel! Evan has played every single Sticks game with us, and has played only a couple of games at Original Gravity. There is absolutely NO doubt that his presence on game nights is a game changer! The fact that’s he’s “practically” young enough to be my son (if I got started with the whole mom thing when I was going on 16) helps our team bridge multiple generational gaps – and his sports mojo (and other strong overall knowledge) doesn’t hurt us a bit, either! In fact, when we arrived at Thursday’s game, he was watching the NFL Draft! He said, “It’s pretty much going the way I predicted it would go.” Even the two other players I have on my team who are “decent” with sports questions couldn’t be bothered to take an interest in sports drafts!
Playing in a trivia spot with which you’re really familiar never hurts, either. We started playing trivia games at Sticks in the summer of 2012, and frequently visit Sticks (and Aubree’s downstairs) even when it’s not a “trivia night.” There is something to be said for familiar surroundings – knowing the names of the people who serve your beer (who usually know your names, too).
Sadly, since Evan has moved to Farmington Hills, he won’t be able to play games with us at Original Gravity anymore. If we set out to play there to win every single week and had the right combination of players, we just might be able to do that! For now, OG will remain as an “occasional” trivia spot to visit when I get nostalgic for its small-town vibe! Or I have to work a Friday shift and need to play an earlier show!
Next week, we’ll be playing the Simpsons theme trivia night Thursday at Haymaker Ann Arbor, and possibly after that game finishes up, playing at Sticks. Trivia plans, as always, are subject to change!