Those who know that I play competitive trivia know that I like playing as a lone wolf, a solo player among teams of 3 and 5 and 17 players. While that has worked for me in most trivia games around the Albany area, it hasn't worked as well at Brown's Brewing, my Wednesday night hangout.
That changed a few weeks ago, when Jennie and Mark joined my Street Academy team.
A bit of background. Jennie used to be one of the dancers for the Albany Patroons basketball team, she also danced for the Albany Conquest arenafootball2 team. Mark is her boyfriend. They used to play on a team called "Boats and Hoes" (yeah, I know it's probably spelled differently, but hey, kids might read this blog), until a disagreement occurred and they left the team. They played as a two-person squad for a week or so, until Jennie and I recognized each other (I was photographing the Patroons back when Jennie was on the dance team), and I invited them to join the Street Academy team.
To my surprise, they accepted - and showed up the very next week.
Their main goal was to beat the Boats 'n Hoes team, and every week we came close, but could never get past them. Last night, we had a near-perfect round (category was "Duos"), but all we did was tie Boats and Hoes. The next category was HBO, and there was a discrepancy with one of the questions -
How many HBO channels are there?
I asked the host if he was counting East Coast and West Coast feeds - he said yes. So you figure there's regular HBO, HBO2, HBOSignature, HBOFamily, HBOLatino, HBOZone, HBOComedy, then you multiply that by 2 for the West Coast feeds, and add HBO On Demand, that's 15.
Host said the answer was 7. So instead of pulling ahead, we were still tied with Boats and Hoes. By the fourth round, Boats and Hoes took a slight 2-point lead, and my teammates looked as if they wanted to crawl under a table.
But then the music round came in. The songs were all based on athletics, and surprisingly the third song played was "Basketball Jones" by Cheech and Chong, which I recognized instantly - while everyone else was going "huh??" I was also able to nail that the version of "Basketball" was performed by Bow Wow, as opposed to the original by Kurtis Blow, and Street Academy was back in the running.
The final round was supposed to be questions relating to - get this - Toxic Shock Syndrome. After the host figured out what is normally associated with Toxic Shock Syndrome - I bet he had to RELY on Wikipedia for answers - he changed the category to things associated with toxicity. We nabbed 9 out of 10 on that category (including Mark getting the Shakespeare play in which a king is murdered by someone pouring poison in his ear, and me knowing which president died of lead poisoning), but someone else hit 10 out of 10. That meant that my Street Academy team - as well as Boats and Hoes and another squad, who keeps changing their name to reflect some celebrity who recently died (some of their names included "Seizing on a Jett Plane" and "Rihanna Deserved It") finished in a three-way tie for the lead.
The captains for each team went up for a special quickie question, and in the end, Street Academy finished - after two tiebreakers - in second place, with Boats and Hoes finishing in third. For second place, my team earned its first $25 bar tab coupon; we also broke a tie from one of the earlier rounds (the music round) and garnered an order of beer pretzels for next week.
Personally, it's the best game I've ever pulled at Brown's - I've come in third three times, so it's nice to figure out how to use a bar tab coupon in this place. Plus, I'm glad that Mark and Jennie were able to be part of the team, without their help, Street Academy would not have gotten as far as it had.
You think Street Academy's tough to beat before this - now your man has reinforcements, bay bee! (At least on Wedneday nights)