I honestly don’t know where to start! It’s been an insane ride – this thrusting myself headfirst into pub trivia addiction, which continues to this day, even if the trivia isn’t happening in actual brick and mortar pubs. Do they make pubs out of things besides brick and mortar? I digress…
It all started innocently enough with some of us finding out that a new bar we’d been frequenting was offering trivia nights – Wolverine State Brewing Company in Ann Arbor, MI for inquiring minds. I want to say that was…2010? Eventually, we would wind up playing in dozens and dozens of trivia spots. I can’t remember them all any more than Wilt Chamberlain can remember all of his one night stands! Or CAN he remember them all?
Since that time, I pretended I was a “team captain” and assembled a ragtag group of friends and acquaintances for the purposes of enjoying some drinks while answering silly questions about U.S. presidents, geography, pop culture, various types of performance awards, sportsball (ugh), TV, movies, music, Flip Wilson and more. We eventually competed in two different local trivia leagues in more than 20 regional tournaments, winning money in only six of those. And yes, I am counting that December, 2016 tournament where I “hired” a team of “stunt doubles” who won money playing under our name! Pesky thing, that – who knew we’d be double booked for two trivia tournaments on the same day? Decisions, decisions! To this day, I still maintain an amicable relationship with those players. One of them even helped us qualify for a tournament last minute in July, 2017! I’ll never forget this player – an Oklahoma native – being the hero on a question about…rodeo movies!
We wound up with two different T shirts designs (thanks to my graphic designer husband Mike and team founder Sam, who managed to organize the T shirt ordering and all of the other details we didn’t want to touch with a 10 foot pole…
While I maintained a good squad of “regulars,” there were plenty of memorable moments with them, too! Longtime regular Dave K. had this to say about his experiences with our team:
“What I’ve always loved about the Pods is that we’re open to guest appearances, don’t get too down when we screw up, and have the bitchinest fight song around!!!”Dave k., talking about playing with our crazy team
He also mentioned that time in 2015 when he did a “victory lap” at a Belleville bar called Johnny’s Grill. Why did he do such a thing? Because he helped us get a final question about baseball – which got us some prize money. Sure, I would wind up using that prize money a bit later to pay off a “guest star” for helping us qualify for another tournament, but I was happy to do it! And since my teammates are so awesome and trusted me enough to follow me into any trivia battle – they didn’t mind that I did that either!
Our longtime regular player Brad also mentioned the fight song when he was reminiscing. I promised him I wouldn’t mention anything about how off key he sung it (which I just did, LOL)!
Without further ado, here’s our fight song:
Our fight song:
Bright are the stars
When the stars are right
Hurrah for the Purple and Green!
Into the darkness
That swallows the light
Hurrah for the Purple and Green!
Oh, when the Dead City rises
Full of watery surprises,
And Cthulhu stirs from his Cyclopean tomb,
We’ll dance by the light of the blood red moon.
And Cthulhu will swallow your soul!!!
Iä! Iä! Fhtagn Iä!
Hurrah for the Purple and Green!Fight song for miskatonic university fighting cephalopods, written by mike r.
Back to the subject of “guest stars.” I have joked that we had more “guest stars” on our team that in the entire run of “The Love Boat.” Which probably isn’t true. For purposes of clarification, when I mention “guest stars” in this blog, it refers to players from other league trivia teams whom have stepped up to help us in our various hours of need.
Here’s a roundup of some of our notable guest star appearances on our team over the years, in some cases I will omit names in respect of privacy (hey I have some class):
- Archie and Mike from our friendly rival team Corn Fritters. Archie would go on to help us in numerous trivia games and tournaments over the years until his untimely death in 2019. I dedicated a tournament game in December, 2019 to Archie’s memory since I felt that his ghost helped me get a tiebreaker question about Harley Davidson motorcycles correct (he was a Harley aficionado).
- At least three different players from rival team More Beer Less Pants. One of them mentioned having strange dreams the night before he played with us for the first – and only time – in 2015 (helping us advance to a regional tournament). Another of them pointed out problems with our team’s dynamic – when he saw that one of our players was getting picked on by another player too much. I took his advice and talked to the player about that. A third player helped us when a handful of money at that tournament I mentioned earlier that I dedicated to Archie’s memory. Funny story from that tournament – I had asked the “guest player” to wear a purple, green or black shirt, he chose to wear a green shirt from his own team – which irked a player from his team – whom was playing on a rival team as a “guest player!” What can I say? If you’re a good enough player, you’re going to get around!
- Kevin from team Ennui, who helped us in a handful of tournaments. I even helped play with his team in late 2019.
- David C., whom played a team I believe was called Keerok, which is a Saturday Night Live reference or something. He actually reached out to me in the days leading to a July, 2017 My Trivia Live tournament offering his services. He virtually showed me his Learned League profile, which I presumed meant he was a good player. He helped us win our only first place trivia prize ever at of all places – an Applebee’s restaurant. I had to ask one of my players whom had agreed to play in this tournament to step down, which he graciously did. As a gesture of good faith, I shared some of the prize money with him – and with another of our players whom had helped us qualify. Sadly, we have since parted ways with that last player I mentioned. I cannot forgive being called a “fucking asshole.”
- Four players from Teamy McTeamface, whom played under our name at a tournament in December, 2016. The agreement was that they would be able to keep 75 or 80 percent of any prize money they won. I held to that agreement and was happy to let them have that money – since they did the work to earn it!
- Stacy L. from the Squirrels team (My Trivia Live), whom along with Kim S. from the Sporcle team Sparty On – joined us for a tournament in 2017, which gave us the most female heavy lineup we ever had. We didn’t earn any prize money, but it was the most fun we ever had in a tournament! I would also play as a “guest star” with Kim’s team on a few occasions, and on Stacy’s team at a tournament in April, 2019, which I will not speak of again for…reasons. I did help them place fourth at their first ever tournament!
- Evan from the team Trump 2020 – Make America Great Again. Though he came to me as a player from that team offering his services for a tournament in August, 2017 – he wound up becoming a defacto member of our team – helping us in countless regular season games – and tournaments – helping us win money in April, 2018.
Sometimes the “guest star” experience turned itself on its head – and I would end up being a guest star myself! In July, 2016, my husband and I were to meet with a friend named Amy and join her trivia team when they were trying to qualify for finals. The initial plan was for me and my husband to be on the “B Team,” and let the “A Team” do the heavy lifting. I was really looking forward to a no stakes trivia game! But then…
Amy told me one of their players had to bail, and that it was decreed by their captain that I would join the A Team – none of the players I’d ever met before! Amy sat the game out, she said she was not one of the team’s strongest players. OK! Long story short, I did wind up helping them qualify – and as a nice little punchline – my husband and Amy played as their own team – and wound up winning some prize money, too by wagering zero on the final question! Good times…
Over the course of a decade, we played in two different trivia leagues, and even launched a “spinoff” team called Generation Double X – which an unnamed “guest star” wisely suggested I shorten to GDX. For a few months in 2016, I played with a female player named Angela at a local bar called the Wurst Bar. One time, we were joined by another female named Kim, whom I had met for the very first time – and we all won first! Later, the all-women’s meetups would continue, but only sporadically – maybe 2-3 games a year or so.
When the pandemic slammed the globe in March, 2020 – bars and restaurants were all shut down, and our state was placed on a voluntary “stay at home order.” A couple of months later, we played a virtual trivia game for the first time – and have stuck to virtual games exclusively since then. We played only two in person games since that time, both of which resulted in their own little disasters – one of which was me having to take a COVID test – and the other resulting me in finding out the hard way that I was not quite ready for going out for an in person trivia game. Some things are better left unsaid – and I said them on this night!
Will we ever go back to “in person” games? All I can say is “Well see.”