The Dan’s Papers trivia team, Thursday Night AA, earned another hard-fought victory at Townline BBQ’s weekly quiz night last night, and moved up in the season standings.
The win follows a disappointing loss. Last week, we finished in a tie for fourth place, despite there being only nine teams and 43 players present. (As a consolation, Allison won the Halloween costume contest for her undead bride costume.)
This week, there was a whopping 61 players at the bar, and competition was fierce. From round to round, only a few points separated the top teams.
There are six rounds of 10 or more questions, and each round has a different theme. Most of the time there is a current events round, so we always strive to keep up on the biggest news—and the weirdest news. We knew that an 18-year-old in West Virginia was elected the youngest state lawmaker in the U.S. on Tuesday. We knew Robert O’Neill was identified as the Navy SEAL who shot Osama bin Laden. We knew the drummer of AC/DC was arrested for an alleged murder plot. We did know that a 90-year-old man was arrested twice for feeding the homeless, but we forgot what state he was from. We had no idea that Benedict Cumberbatch is now engaged to Sophie Hunter, but, fortunately for us, no other team in the room knew either.
Another round focused on beards. We did well, but not perfect. We tried to suss out what country No-Shave November got started in, but strayed from our first instinct, which turned out to be correct. We guessed Ireland. We never should have doubted it was Australia.
In the game-themed round, we nearly led a revolt against quizmaster Paul A. Johnson. We all heard him ask, “What game involves forming words using adjacent TILES?” We had already turned in our answer sheet with the answer Scrabble when he reread the question, but this time saying, “What game involves forming words using adjacent DICE?” That would have made the correct answer Boggle. We were not the only team that heard “tiles” the first time around. The quizmaster acquiesced and gave a point to everyone who answered Scrabble, rather than face the wrath of a room full of trivia nerds.
Another round was all about talk shows, including everything from radio and podcasts to television. It paid to know that Maury Povich is married to Connie Chung, and that Terry Gross hosts NPR’s Fresh Air. WPPB 88.3 FM’s Bonnie Grice was one of the answers; the question was, “Who hosts PPB’s The Eclectic Cafe?” Of course I know this one, being that I am a guest on the show every Friday with the Media Mavens.
TNAA held the lead after three rounds, but we knew all that could change during the activity round, in which each team is handed a sheet of paper and has no idea what to expect. Speed is also a factor, because the team with the most correct answers that turns its sheet in first wins a gift card to Townline BBQ. This week, the activity was identifying iPhone apps based on their logos. Some were obvious, such as Google and FourSquare, and others were more obscure, such as Robot Unicorn Attack and Evernote. There was 12 in total, and between Lee and me, we banged out the answers in about 12 seconds and ran to turn our sheet in first. In the end, we didn’t need to rush, because we were also the only team to get all 12 correct. It was our second gift card of the night, which means next week’s pitchers are already paid for.
Though we also topped the scoreboard going into the sixth round, we easily could have fallen out of the money. With some quick math, we realized that if we got just three wrong, it was possible we could end up in a three-way tie for third place. If we got four wrong, we could land in fourth place or worse, and go home with no prize money at all. The sixth round is always an audio round, and this week the topic was quotes from politicians. Al Gore, Winston Churchill and others came to us easily, but there were three we were not confident about. We couldn’t figure out who was accidentally calling Barack Obama, “Osama Obama,” and who said, “God is mad at America. He sent us hurricane after hurricane after hurricane.” All we could do was cross our fingers and hope that everyone else did as poorly. When the answers were announced, we learned that the quotes were from Ted Kennedy, Ray Nagin, etc., and that there was a fourth quote we got wrong, despite being confident in our answer. It turns out that it was John Kerry who said, “I’m tired of politicians who talk about family values and don’t value families,” and not Mitt Romney, who sounds early similar.
Four wrong! This could be devastating. Then the winners were announced. We pulled out a win by two whole points!
TNAA also took first place during the opening night of the 2014-15 quiz night season on October 2. Though it took a full five weeks to chalk up another victory, the team landed a second-place finish in between. Overall, TNAA is in the number 2 spot toward the Townline Trophy for Trivia Excellence, which is awarded at the end of the season.
Come to Townline BBQ in Sagaponack Thursdays at 7 p.m. to challenge Thursday Night AA!