Time for the Trivia Unification Tournament

Nothing like waking up on Sunday morning in Boston … driving through nasty roads and snowy terrain to get back to the 518 … and competing in my second consecutive trivia cham0pionship competition.

And there were some wins … and losses … in my effort to claim the first-ever Capital District Trivia Unification Tournament, a summit of forty trivia teams from dozens of local bars and taverns.  By achieving the best score at my local trivia location of choice – Rivers Casino – I received an invite to the show.

And this event – from my perspective – was a much bigger challenge.  When I’ve played other championship competitions – such as Trivia Bowl, Summer Bowl, the World Tavern Trivia Championships or Geek Bowl – I’ve either fortified my one-man Street Academy squad with teammates, or I’ve been the hammer on another trivia squad.

Well, this time I’m going in by myself.  Straight up, no chaser.  Because I qualified for the tournament as a solo player, I couldn’t add any teammates that didn’t play on my team during the preliminaries.

That’s fine.  I’ll make like Helen Reddy.  Me and me against the world … 😀

The format was as such.  Each trivia company had their own themed round, and there were five questions in each round.  The first four questions were worth one point; the fifth question was a five-pointer.  And you could double a round ahead of time, but you could only double that round BEFORE you heard the questions.

During the introduction of the categories, I heard that one of the categories – a “silent video round,” where music videos were played with their sound removed – required two answers, one for the artist and one for the song title.

I asked, “Hey, does that mean if I double it I could get more points than if I doubled another round?”

The host said, “Sure.”

Okay, that’s it.  Throw my double on that music video round.  That way, if I start screwing up other rounds, I at least have a chance to nail the music video round and save my ass.

First few rounds – decent runs.  I’d pick up eight out of nine points in one round, four out of nine in another.

Then came the music video round.  And sure enough …

My gamble paid off.  I hit the correct answers on the four 1 (2) point videos, and the 5 (10) point video at the end – I knew it was the Prodigy, but I had had the wrong song (the video was “Firestarter,” but I thought the song was their other hit.  Yeah, I know, The Prodigy had “hits.”  Yeah, I’m shocked, too.)

That music video round helped my bacon, because the last two rounds of the tournament – “Food and Drink” and “Portmanteaus” – hurt me.

But, after nine rounds, I was tied for eighth place – and all the teams in the Top 10 went on to the sudden death round.  Super sweet.

Oh, and all the champions from each local bar received a case of beer.

Okay, don’t know what a teetotaler like me is going to do with a case of beer, but I’ll think of something…

As I brought the case to my table, I noticed something on my table that, in the Rivers Casino ballroom’s dim light, I hadn’t previously noticed.  There were a pair of black gloves on the table, most likely left there by a Rivers Casino employee.  The black gloves were used by the employees to handle food or to protect their hands for light, menial work.

Nice gloves.  I tried one on.  And like Johnnie Cochran said, if the gloves fit, you bogart that shit.  Hey, nobody claimed them …

First round of sudden death questions.  Get the question right, you play on.  Miss the question … you’re eliminated.

“Billy Joel wrote Uptown Girl for what girl?”

Easy.  Christie Brinkley.  Still in the tournament.

“Who won America’s first Olympic gold medal in PeyongChang this year?”

Easy.  Chuck didn’t know.  Out of the tournament.

That’s it, folks.  My one-man Street Academy squad played hard, won a case of beer (and a pair of black gloves), but I did NOT know who won the first damn Olympic gold medal for the USA.  Urgh.

Oh well.  No harm, no foul.

A few more sudden death questions were asked.  Three teams remained, including the squad Woo Hoo a Go Go, who I played against at Elbo Room and at Graney’s Stout.

Final question.  This time, you bet your points.

“In overall medals won at the Olympics all-time, where does the USA rank against all other countries?”

All three teams wrote that the USA was first overall.

And they were right.

Meaning that Woo Hoo a Go Go – who led all tournament, and made it through the sudden death round …

Are undisputed champions of the first Trivia Unification Tournament.  How about that?

Much congratulations to Woo Hoo a Go Go on a well-fought and challenging victory.  They received $500 in cash and a championship wrestling belt for their efforts.

As for me … I’m glad I participated and I’m glad I did as well as I could in this tournament.  Heck, for one guy to achieve as far as I did … that’s damn impressive.

Oh, and I gave my case of beer to another team who didn’t win their local tavern’s qualifier and who made this tournament in an at-large capacity – apparently one of their teammates had a birthday on the day of the tournament.  Happy birthday, kid.  Drink and be merry.

Besides … I’ve still got these nice black gloves.

Works for me…