Monday night. Several of the trivia teams are participating in a post-tournament banquet and dance party. And the cool thing about this is … I’m having fun.
Look, I can have fun at nearly every trivia tournament out there. This time, however, was different. I wasn’t the one-man-wrecking-crew Street Academy trivia team, nor was I the “big bad” previous champion that other teams wanted to knock off the championship pedestal. This time, I was the outsider to the tournament. And even with that, I was welcomed not only by the Stir Crazy trivia team, but by the hosts and organizers of the World Tavern Trivia Championships. I also met with more than a few players from rival squads, all of whom came over to congratulate us for a strong finish in the tournament. And if we can put together a strong, vibrant finish after two days of grueling trivia questions… that’s fine in and of itself.
Now comes the tough part. We still don’t know how we did. We know we finished in the top five… but are we #5? #4? #3? We aren’t completely confident in our final totals.
The host brings the top SIX trivia teams up to the dance floor. Then, after summarily and good-naturedly clowning the #6 trivia team (which finished out of the money), the top five teams are honored. #5 gets money. #4 gets money. #3 gets money.
Now there’s only two trivia teams left on the floor – Stir Crazy and That’s What She Said.
And in the end… even though we gave it our best shot… we finished as the #2 trivia team in the world championships.
And I’ll take that any day of the week. First thing we did was applaud That’s What She Said and shook all the teammates’ hands and congratulated them for an amazing trivia game. We then posed for pictures with the tournament host and organizers, and then we received our big prize for second place – $2,000 in cash.
My cut for two days of trivia? $333.
But honestly, this trip wasn’t about the money. Hell yes I can use the money. Anybody could use the money.
The truth is, it’s tournaments like this and Trivia Bowl and Summer Bowl and all the others that make me appreciate not only the game of competitive team trivia, but also the work that goes into organizing such an event. And the dedication and support from all the teams and the hosts. This was a great trivia game and it was a fun two days in Atlantic City.
Oh yeah, and one final thing. Thanks so much to the Stir Crazy team – Tim, Tom, Nick, William and Leah – for allowing me to join their squad and to have a great time playing trivia and swapping stories. This was fun, and I hope we get to do it again some day. Maybe next year.
Right now, though, I’ve got a road trip back to the 518. Maybe I’ll stop by one of the slot machines and drop a few coins in the one-armed bandits. Not too many coins, though…
That, and a lot of great memories and moments this weekend.
It really felt good.