Returning to my trivia roots … premiere night at Skyloft

True story.  About fifteen years ago, I needed to get away from some stress in my home life.  Someone had told me about a competitive team trivia game at the local Hooters in Crossgates Mall.  I had never played competitive team trivia before, so I tried it out.  Finished in third place among 35 teams that night, and won a monster order of chicken wings for my efforts.  And that’s how it all started.

I played those Tuesday night games at Hooters for a few years, until the independent company that owned the Hooters franchises in New York declared bankruptcy and the franchises were closed.  Still, I never stopped playing trivia, and my journey around the Capital District brought me good friends and good wins – Old Chicago, Wolf’s 1-11, Jessica Stones, Graney’s Stout, Pizzeria UNO, Recovery Room, Brown’s Brewing, Rivers Casino, the Ruck, Elbo Room, Duke’s, two Trivia Bowl championships, four Summer Bowl championships, two Elbo Room money championships  …

And then, for some reason, I stopped playing trivia.  At least on a weekly basis.  I don’t know if life interfered or what it was, but I took a break from the game.

Last night, I returned.  And by “returned,” it was a return to Crossgates Mall, as the nightclub Skyloft premiered their Wednesday night trivia game.  And my friend Kevin Baker, who hosted that original competitive Hooters trivia game way back in the day, hosted this funfest.

Wow, how things have changed.

Back in the day, Baker had to keep score on a huge sheet of graph paper.  Today, he’s developed an online scoring system (TrivTrak.com) and has custom-printed answer booklets.  He’s taken his game from one location on one night to dozens of locations throughout New York State.  They say if you enjoy what you do, it’s never considered “work.”  And for Baker, I suspect he’s been involved in trivia for more than two decades and it’s never been considered “work” for him.

It was also great to see some of the other trivia teams I’ve faced return to a Wednesday night game.  Woo Hoo a Go Go, New Phone Who Dis? and Nacho Punch were all veterans of the Graney’s Stout game – before Graney’s Stout shut down over selling alcohol to minors.  But again, there was the opportunity to catch up and see how life has treated everyone.

As for the game itself last night … Baker’s using his newfangled video game with the big screen and animated questions.  Aced the first round, and consistently stayed in the Top 3.  The final question involved nailing down a specific time, and for some reason I knew the answer, was the only team who knew the answer, and claimed a $25 Skyloft gift card for my efforts.  Swank.

So now … when I return to Skyloft next Wednesday night … I’ll have my dinner covered.

Just like all those chicken wings I ate at Hooters a decade ago.

This feels good.

You know what?  It feels like I never left.

Skyloft will have trivia most Wednesday nights when there isn’t a band scheduled.  First question is at 7:30, and the game usually takes about two hours from start to finish.  If you play competitive team trivia – or even if you’ve thought about it at some point in time – I hope you try the game out.

Trust me.  It’s fun.