Day 1 of the 2017 World Tavern Trivia Championships

Last year, I participated with the Stir Crazy trivia team in the 2016 World Tavern Trivia Championships in Atlantic City.  We came in second place – just barely nosed out by a squad called “That’s What She Said” – and we vowed to return in 2017 and improve our status.

For me, it’s nice to play alongside an established trivia squad, and I get to have some fun in the process.  And since this year’s theme is “Western” – we even wore cowboy hats for the trivia tournament.

The Stir Crazy Trivia Team.

Before the tournament commenced, we met at a boardwalk cheesesteak restaurant and went over strategies and possible questions and topics.  We quizzed each other on Western books, Western movies, Western TV shows, everything we could think of.

“They might do a round on Cowboys and Indians,” said team captain Tim Rich.  “Maybe it’ll be a sports round – questions on the Cleveland Indians and the Dallas Cowboys.”

Maybe.  But who knows?  I’m thinking they may do questions on people with the word “West” in their name, or maybe there will be questions on the rise and fall of Western civilization.  It’s a topic that can encompass so many different categories and options.

Time to register.  We picked up our badges and lanyards, and set off for Game 1.  Each of the four “Games” have six rounds, and each round has sixty questions.  And as I was going to Saint Ives, I met a man with seven wives… sorry, just had that nursery rhyme stuck in my subconscious…

The first round was a general knowledge multiple choice category, and it helped that Tim Rich – a major basketball fan – knew that Nate Robinson won the NBA All-Star Game slam dunk championship three times.  It also helped that teammate Tom Cairney knew the Hindu god with four arms and an elephant head was Ganesh; and I knew there were twelve teams in the WNBA.  First round – perfect score of 100 points.

The second round had questions with the worlds “Wild” or “West” in them.  Yep, that included answers like Kanye West, the song Wild Thing (both the Troggs and the Tone Loc versions), and my knowing the company run by Joe Francis that went into bankruptcy in 2013.  Do not ask how I know this answer.

During a mid-round break, several teams sent representatives up for a little “Wild West” competition.  The host would name the first half of a movie title, and two players would have a “duel in the streets draw yer guns podnah” at each other, whoever drew first and could finish the movie title would continue to the end.

Yep, I went up there.  And every time the host rattled off a title, I pulled out my imaginary six shooter – you know, the Wild Windy Bill McKay Storytown U.S.A. Ghost Town six-shooter made out of my pointing my finger at the bad guys – and it sorta went like this.

“The Man Who Shot …” (BANG) “Liberty Valance.”

“Heaven’s…” (BANG) “Gate.”

“She Wore A…” (BANG) “Yellow Ribbon.”

And in the end… your man won a door prize for outshooting the rest of trivia gunslingers.  Aces.

We continued on with the rest of Round 1.  There was a music round; we nailed eight of the ten songs, and we even got lucky with one track, guessing correctly that the fragment of music was D’Angelo’s slow-groove track “Untitled (How Does It Feel).”  We raced through the last three portions of the first round, nailing 29 out of 30 possible answers – and fininshing with a grand total of 660 points for Game 1.

We were a good 50 points head of nearly every team.

I say nearly.

Because although we were in first place…

We were actually TIED with another squad, who also garnered 660 points.

Yep.  That’s What She Said was matching us, stride for stride.

Game 2 was an old-fashioned trivia pub crawl, as we had to answer questions at several different bars, taverns and eateries throughout the Resorts Casino campus.  At each spot, the host would hand us a question sheet, which we had to answer in five minutes or less … and then proceed to he next trivia pub destination.

Our first stop again encompassed the Wild West theme – sorta – as we had to identify ten different people with the surname West.  You know, Jerry West, Adam West, Dottie West, Yeezus… And in that round, we did quite well.

One round involved horse trivia – famous horses in movies, in TV, in song and in culture.  Who was the jockey in the Seabiscuit movie?  Tobey Maguire.  What is the name of the horse on the Netflix animated series?  BoJack Horseman.  What comedy group starred in a movie called “Horse Feathers?”  These guys.

And in the final round the trivia pub crawl, the host handed us our final round of questions.

The questions were about cowboys and Indians.

Yep… questions about the Dallas Cowboys and the Cleveland Indians.

Tim called it.  The guy is prescient, I’ll give him that.

We think we did well in the pub crawl game… but due to the game ending so late, we didn’t get a chance to see how we stood against the other teams.  We should find out this morning, when Games 3 and 4 are played.

Stir Crazy is ready to go.

Wish us luck.

We still have a long way to travel.

And the finish line is still in sight.