Tell me that you haven’t watched an episode of “Jeopardy” and mocked the contestants after they missed an “easy” question.

Tell me that you didn’t hear a question and say, “Don’t pretend that you knew the answer to that one, Trebek!”

Several of my friends have been through the “Jeopardy” process and have appeared on the show. They acquitted themselves quite nicely while answering a wide range of questions. One of my friends owns a “five-timer” card. Oh, wait. That’s a “Saturday Night Live” skit. He was a five-time champion.

Perhaps you don’t want to go through that process. You fear encyclopedias. You just want to show off your mastery in the break room. You can dominate while doing your social networking through MindSports Football or myriad options on Facebook. Or, you can trek to any number of bars and restaurants to find a game. In an age where many are retreating to virtual hotspots, local establishments have boosted their businesses by hosting trivia contests.

It falls in line perfectly with my line of work. Sports talk radio, sports opinion sites and blogs are all about shouting from the rooftops, crunching numbers and retaining trivial facts in our respective domes. Fantasy sports leagues fill the same need. Everyone has their own area of expertise, be it a specific team, conference, player, television show or movie. … And they want to let everyone know it.

I’ve noticed the notes announcing trivia nights on the message boards outside of establishments here in southern California for some time. Recently, I received a press release from a partner that promised know-it-alls and sports fans a chance to do just that.

Longtime readers/listeners of my work know of my desire to track the dollars and cents associated with the leagues and player contracts. In addition to dissecting the legalese of the recent NFL lockout, I started to explore the trickle-down effect on businesses whose livelihoods are tied to game days. The press release I received spoke of a creative way to deal with the challenges.

Buzztime, producer of the FOX Sports Trivia Challenge, began a competition to crown “America’s Smartest Bar” this spring. You probably know the Buzztime ( products, but might not know the company. They’re located in over 3,900 establishments, including many HOOTERS and Buffalo Wild Wings locations. While you wait for your wings or beverage of choice, you can join the action.

This particular contest forced participants to flex their mental muscles by answering questions in these categories: The Sciences, The World, The Shows, The Past, The Games and The Arts.

Don’t have an aptitude for Science? Turn to your friend at the stool next to you. Regional pride contributed to a more involved customer base and fierce head-to-head competitions between establishments. Buzztime reported an increase in games played of over 10% compared to the month prior to the contest. When you contemplate those numbers against the breadth of the Buzztime network, there’s a sizable pot of gold to be had at the end of each competition. More games translate to longer visits, additional food and drink orders and full tills on slower nights. It’s a means by which to make a mid-week, non-football night an experience.


The regional winner out West was Danny Ks Café and Billiards, an establishment located across the way from Angel Stadium in Anaheim. Two Canadian establishments made the list, as well as a Buffalo Wild Wings location in Ames, Iowa, home of the Iowa State Cyclones.

In addition to playing the “pride” card, there are prizes to be had. Regional winners claim prize packs, hosted parties and hardware. The National Champion cuts down the proverbial net and flies to Vegas.

The next round of the competition will take place in September as the nation descends on bars and restaurants to enjoy the return of college and pro football.

Study up by rolling through your Netflix queue, The History Channel or Nick at Nite and get ready. Find a local competition on the Buzztime network here .