Thursday, October 30, 2008

Chuck the Writer Takes 3rd Place at Brown's

Normally I'm a creature of habit. If I like playing trivia at one bar or tavern or restaurant, I'll keep coming back.

That routine soured about a month ago when my Wednesday night trivia location, a sports bar called the Recovery Room, essentially told me I was not welcome there any more because I won too many times and that it was unfair to the other teams. Essentially I was winning their major prizes (choice NY Giants and NY Jets tickets) and other teams were whining that it wasn't fair to them that this one-man "Street Academy" team was coming in and kicking everybody's trivia tushy.

So I looked to see if there was another trivia location on Wednesday nights. And that's where I found Brown's Brewing in Troy. They have a different trivia setup than what I was used to - the host, Ryan West, asks 60 question (10 questions grouped around a specific theme, six different themes), and the prizes are given out after each round (mostly food and their home-brewed Brown's beers).

It's different than what I'm used to (20 questions on varying topics, different point values for tougher questions), but I'm kinda getting the hang of Brown's setup. The place is packed to the rafters every Wednesday night, and the questions do range from unbelievably easy (at which time the host requests that if you know the answer, you are to raise your glass and shout "SOCIAL!" so that he knows when to drink), to the unfathomably difficult (last night there were a lot of groans and moans over certain questions, but that's par for the course).

The top two teams win bar tabs of $50 and $25, respectively, and last night I had my best showing, third place (one point behind second), and had I actually known which Chinese animal was considered the New Year representative of 2006 (I said rat, it was dog), or what boy band veteran appeared in the Saw film franchise (no freakin' clue that it was Donnie Walhberg), I might have hit second place.

But that at least motivates me to continue the challenge.

Also, you gotta love the staff at Brown's. Unlike other trivia places, where almost everybody can play, Brown's has a special second floor level just for the trivia teams, and the maitre d' Shelby makes you actually reserve your table ahead of time (in some cases, you really need to reserve it for next week the minute you finish trivia for this week). They've always been able to squeeze in my one-man "Street Academy" squad, so for that I am thankful.

So it's still three trivia nights a week for me - Old Chicago on Tuesday nights (for some reason, ever since my original Trivia night at Hooters ended when our local Hooters shut down, Trivia on Tuesdays seems normal for me), Brown's on Wednesday and Elbo Room (and its $2000 tournament) on Thursday.

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