Since I was a middle-school student in Chicago, I had an unhealthy obsession with trivia. Box scores, football and baseball almanacs … and Alex Trebek were part of my daily existence. I read the backs of trading cards to learn players’ hobbies and hometowns. Mr. Trebek was like that crazy uncle in the corner spouting off facts and figures about places and things you’d think he was making up during a holiday party. Interestingly, several friends and industry colleagues have battled wits on “Jeopardy” and experienced SNL-like moments with the esteemed host. I’ll revisit those stories at another time.
My point is that, to this day, I’m consumed by minutia and trivial facts. That’s quite obvious, or I wouldn’t be watching a ton of tape, scrawling tiny notes in the margins and living in Excel. Nor would I have the ability to connect actors and actresses from bit roles to much later roles, particularly if they appeared on “Law & Order” or “Saved By The Bell.” I have crazy range as a walking version of IMDB.
Most of my friends and work colleagues are as obsessed with statistics, box scores, rankings, award winners, league leaders and champions as I am. A quick work meeting or dinner devolves into a multi-hour debate about the heroes and villains of the sporting world, framed, of course, by the cities in which the participants were raised. Naturally, those “meetings” tend to occur at establishments with a ton of flatscreen televisions and ongoing trivia games.
I received an invite from a friend to check out a new competition that began in Week 1 of the current NFL season. It’s called “The Season” and builds off of the long-established Buzztime platform. You know. Those are the screens you’re watching as you wolf down wings and suds at HOOTERS or Buffalo Wild Wings. You always leave the establishment feeling a little smarter and puffing your chest out. Don’t lie. That 1965 AL MVP knowledge (Zoilo Versalles) had to come in handy sometime.
Anyway, “The Season” unites fans of teams across different bars and time zones. Jersey-clad participants team up to answer trivia questions against fans of that week’s opponent on the actual professional slate. (There were an inordinate number of Raiders jerseys at the bar I visited, priming the pump for a “Why the Raiders should come back to LA” column.) Fans answer multiple choice trivia questions and earn points based on the speed in which they buzz in correctly. The game is divided into quarters and includes football staples such as the “Hail Mary” and “Two-minute Drill.”
It’s your chance to represent your favorite team and show off your knowledge. Embrace your inner Cliff Clavin. Perhaps there’s a fellow triviaphile that catches your eye as you dominate a round of trivia while ensconced in a Vince Wilfork jersey.
If you can’t shake yourself free of “bath night” for your kids or get stuck in traffic, you can chime in on your smartphone.
Think of yourself as Joe Montana or John Elway … or that crazy uncle who would have been your “life line” to put you over the top. Your team needs you!
I’ll be down at the end of the bar.