Trivia Bowl XV is tomorrow…

Hey, you know what’s happening tomorrow?  Yes, it’s the fifteenth annual Trivia Bowl, the showcase of top trivia talent in the Capital District, as 40 teams compete and one team walks out with the Trivia Bowl trophy.

And the Street Academy trivia team … a two-time Trivia Bowl winner …

Is sitting this one out.

I’ll give you a couple of moments to pick your jaw up from the floor.

That was not a typo.

It’s February 1st, not April 1st.

No, the blog hasn’t been hacked.

For the first time in nearly 15 years, I’m sitting out the Capital District trivia championship.

And let me explain why.

First off, there’s no beef or disagreements between myself and Trivia Nights Live, the trivia company operating the trivia event.  Kevin Baker and I are good friends, and he’s done an amazing and tremendous job in taking a once-a-week game and turning it into a company with trivia games throughout New York.  Much props to him.

I have no beef or disagreements with any of the teams out there.  In 99% of the cases, it’s more of a “good luck to you, if you beat me you beat me at my best and you deserve the trophy” moment.

But why am I taking a sabbatical from this year’s championship?

It’s a scheduling thing.

I’m currently co-broadcasting the Albany Patroons basketball games.  Albany has a home game tomorrow night against Jamestown.  That game starts at 5:00 pm.  Realistically, in order to prepare and get ready for the game, I need to be at the Armory at 4:00 p.m.

Trivia Bowl starts at 1:00 p.m.  In Latham.  With 40 teams in the building, and all the questions and scoring and statting and chatting and all that … the final question might come up at maybe 4:00 p.m.  If I’m lucky.

So I would have to answer the final question and then burn rubber to get from Latham to downtown Albany, find a parking spot at the Armory (ha!), get inside and get my pre-game briefing prior to tipoff.

And if trivia runs long- I might not even have the chance to answer the final trivia question before scooting out.  That’s disrespectful to the game and to the other teams and to my teammates.  “Hey, I got you here, it’s the bottom of the ninth, and I’m not going to take the court because there’s a card game going on in the clubhouse and I’ve got three aces and you guys can win the World Series without me.”

We all have lives, and sometimes life doesn’t mesh up with our schedule.  Heck, a few years ago I limped to Trivia Bowl after a surgical procedure that the doctors told me I had to stay in bed.  Yeah, I’m that nuts.  I get it.

And I did offer to provide my services to a couple of teams who might need an extra hammer player, but their squads were already filled and didn’t need any more players.  So that’s fine, I’m not so vainglorious that I would tell any other team to kick out one of their players who’s been on the squad for an entire year just to make room for me.

And it’s not like I’ve given up the trivia game.  I’ll be back, for sure.  Heck, I’ve survived everything else in my life – surgeries, emotional collapses, divorces, car crashes – and trivia has always been a constant source of camaraderie and strength.

This doesn’t mean, however, that I’m skipping Trivia bowl XV entirely.

I’ve offered my services to the trivia hosts to act as a proctor (keep those cell phones turned off) and as a slip-runner (taking team answers from the table to the scorer).  So I’ll be there, and I’ll be part of the OTHER side of the trivia game.

This way, I can participate – I can see all my friends and competitors and wish them well – and I won’t deprive them of the opportunity to do their usual “BOOOOOO” when the Street Academy trivia team’s name is mentioned.

Besides … I’ve gotten my name on that trophy twice.  Very few teams have done that.  Nobody’s going to take those awards away.

This year … I just have a full day and I need to budget out all the fun parts of the day.

Next year for sure.  Trust me on this.