The first thing to do in today’s blog is congratulate the winners of the Spring Trivia League, the team of New Phone Who Dis? who fought their way up and nailed the final question, “In what decade were the Grammy Awards first presented?” (1950’s), and congratulations also to the second-place team, The Fist, who also took home some prize money.
In the end, my one-man Street Academy trivia team finished third in the tournament, but that was only because I also got the Grammy question right – after floundering all evening with wrong answers and “talk myself out of right answer” scenarios.
And in the end, therein lies a choice.
And I’m going to make that decision now.
I first played competitive bar trivia way back in 2006, the Tuesday night game at Hooters. Did well that first time out, won third place and a big plate of wings for my efforts.
From there, it’s been an up-and-down ride. Two Trivia Bowl championships. Three Summer Bowl championships. Two Elbo Room championships. A perfect game. Successful runs at Brown’s Brewing and Revolution Hall, at Old Chicago and Wolf’s 1-11, banned from play at Recovery Room, only to come back two years later and win the inaugural Summer Bowl there.
And the friends I’ve made throughout those twelve years… amazing teammates, diligent opponents, gracious hosts. Good stuff all around.
My run at trivia as the Street Academy team has also allowed me to branch out, to play on the 2017 National Champion Stir Crazy trivia squad, to also help win charity money for the Trinity Alliance of the Capital District trivia team…
But this year, trivia feels different. Maybe it’s a combination of factors – the car crash last year, the surgery to repair my foot, my exit from the Times Union blogging crew last April … and somewhere down the road, the weekly games, for me, don’t feel as fun as they once did.
I don’t know what it is. But I do know that maybe it’s time to move forward.
And by “move forward,” it means take a break from the weekly game.
You heard me. Chuck won’t be back at the trivia game next Wednesday, or the Wednesday after that, until further notice.
A few things. I’m not quitting the major championships. Trust me, as a past champion, I have a lifetime ticket for those events, so I’m showing up at Summer Bowl 8 in three weeks. And I’ll be at Trivia Bowl next February.
And I’m also participating in Stir Crazy’s defense of our national championship next year. And there’s something upcoming called the Geek Bowl in March … always wanted to try that.
And who knows? There might be new opportunities for me down the road … maybe instead of playing trivia, I might want to host a game. That might be fun. You can all yell at me about whether your answer is either “right” or “technically right” or “alternative facts right.” Ho ho.
Before someone says to me, “Oh, Chuck’s just pissed because he didn’t win the Trivia League this time around, he’s taking his ballpoints and going home,” rest assured. I had a really great time this year with the Trivia League, the new video format is fun and inventive and adds a different dimension to the game. And the opposing teams were tough and worth battling each week. No goof squads in the batch.
In all honesty … I have to step away for now. Give me time to recharge my batteries. To consider a new path, a new adventure.
I’m not giving up on trivia entirely.
I’m just taking a sabbatical.
I mentioned it to a few people last night, and the overall sentiment was, “Don’t quit, you know you love the game, you’re the team we all want to beat, we may not have won the Trivia League but we’re at least happy you didn’t win it either.”
Thanks. But in all honesty, this has been my weekly jones for over a decade. Trivia games helped me through an ugly divorce, and through a series of very bad personal relationships. And it helped me through some other dark, confusing periods in my life.
In other words, even though I’m leaving the weekly trivia game, it’s not truly “goodbye.”
Let’s call it “See you soon.”
And we’ll go with that. 😀
See you at Summer Bowl.
And then I’ll see you soon after that.