I hit the links last Thursday, solo and Sandy-free, not because I couldn’t find a playing partner, but because it’s hard to find a fellow hacker who keeps the same hours I do.
Despite the glorious, autumn weather, it turned out to be a relatively miserable round. My hopes of shooting in the 80s once again dashed after too many triple bogies penciled their way onto my scorecard.
My only shining light of the afternoon was not renewed confidence thanks to a refreshing, double Jack-and-Coke at the turn, but rather a sign at the bar that read “Trivia 7 pm!” Despite my late tee time, I would most certainly be done with my round by then.
And I was.
I stumbled into the 19th hole to find quite a few people there waiting, pencils and answer sheets eagerly in hand. My guess is few had consumed as much bourbon as I. Judging by the grayness in the room, most had probably been shooting Metamusil. The place was overrun with seniors. I was the Steve Guttenberg to their “Cocoon.”
As the games commenced, I stood my ground, confident my trivia skills could take on the older generation, despite their advantage in experience and numbers. While they sat together in groups, I sat as my team of one. Team Guttenberg.
The questions in the early rounds were easy, ranging from who replaced Bob Barker as the host of “The Price is Right” (Drew Carey) to who served as George Washington’s Vice President (John Adams), both of which I got right, as did everyone else in the room.
The questions got progressively harder and my bourbon buzz got stronger. My only advantage was the eighties soundtrack spun by the trivia hosts. Had they been playing some big band or swing, my days would have been numbered. But Duran Duran and Frankie Goes to Hollywood were there to give me hope.
A few more cupcakes and then… three straight questions missed. Damn you, history and science! As the host walked around the room collecting everyone’s hand-written answers, I felt like pulling a Ted Knight in “Caddyshack,” handing him a bribe and telling him to “keep it honest.”
I held what I felt was a comfortable lead in the early rounds, proudly sticking my chest out as I heard the announcers call “SportsChump.net” aloud as if a) the seniors in the group had even heard of this thing called “the internet” and b) they would have given a shit about my website if they had.
With my lead dwindling and no ability to phone a friend (I feared for my life had I tried to use my cellphone with seniors mean-mugging me from across the bar), the halftime question, worth eight points, was “Name the five members of the Iroquois tribe.” My nemeses held an unfair advantage considering many of them were alive when Native Americans were still free to roam the land. I’ve listened to plenty of Jamiroquai in my day but that was no help. I was left to the sounds of Bananarama and Rick Astley for inspiration.
With their lead growing and their white wine flowing, the elders started getting cocky. Trivia rumble! Sportschump.net held fourth place after halftime.
The next question: Sports category. Name the oldest NBA franchise not to win a title.
My mind wandered. The watered down Jack and Coke in my glass taunting me, dude, how can you not know this? My mind drew a blank. I submitted my answer, the Cleveland Cavaliers, knowing full well it was wrong. Perhaps, my west coast people know the correct answer. A trick question: the Sacramento Kings, formerly the Rochester Royals.
And I call myself the SportsChump. The trivia hosts looked at me disapprovingly.
C’mon Stray Cats. Where are you when I need you?
SportsChump was back in the game by correctly answering that Forrest Whitaker played Idi Amin in “The Last King of Scotland.” Suddenly, from out of the blue, a younger team emerged: The Honey Badgers. Not an elderly member in the bunch but still, a group of six who could confide in another for answers, talk things through. At the bar, I sat alone, lifeline-less.
Huey Lewis, you’re no good to me now.
Time was running out as the final question was announced, again in the sports category. It was time for me to push all my chips in and make my mark.
Which was the first NFL team to appear in three straight Super Bowls?
Damn, a question before my time, but still one I should know. Chiefs, Packers, Vikings, Bills? My mind wandered. Certainly it had to be one of those. I wagered half my points. I was wrong.
It was the Miami Dolphins, as if anyone remembers a time when they were competitive.
The Honey Badgers won the tournament. I immediately called for drug testing. Still, a good time was had by all. The seniors took home second place, SportsChump finished in fourth. That’s what I get for bringing a walker to a wheelchair fight.
I’d like to thank the good people at Pebble Creek Golf Course and www.playteamtrivia.com for hosting the event. And rest assured, oh elder ones, I shall return and vengeance will be mine.