What do you call a group of lions? What MLB team has gone the longest without winning a World Series? What was the first name given to JMU when it was founded in 1908? Grab your friends, put down your phone and wrack your brain for information that will never be useful again, because it’s trivia night!
Buffalo Wild Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings hosts trivia every Wednesday at 9 p.m. the restaurant draws in one of the largest crowds; roughly 30 teams show up each week.
David Jordan, emcee of BWW’s trivia night, has worked as a bartender there for five years and a trivia host for three. He recently celebrated his 150th week of hosting.
“It started out as a small, ‘We’ll see how it goes,’ kind of situation,” Jordan says. “And we saw steady growth. This was about three years ago at the old B-Dubs and since then it’s just become the animal that it is.”
Jordan attributes this success to diverse categories and assorted questions, all of which he’s written.
“What I really get a kick out of is when I write a good question and throw it up there, and I hear people groan because everyone knows it, but they can’t think of the answer,” Jordan says.
With 70 questions, BWW’s trivia night is one of Harrisonburg’s longest. Jordan hopes the wide variety of questions encourages teams to bring more friends for a better chance of winning. While he’s proud of what trivia night has become, Jordan never anticipated its success.
“It was designed so people could come in and watch a game, but also be able to do something besides watching sports, in a sports bar situation,” Jordan says. “It’s something I never expected to do as well as it has, but it’s become something great.”
On the other side of Harrisonburg, Dave’s Taverna hosts trivia night every Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Adam Coolbaugh is a senior sports and recreation management major and the Dave’s Taverna trivia promoter.
“I really like being an emcee and interacting with the people who show up out here,” Coolbaugh says. “I like talking to the teams [and] making jokes and it’s kind of a nice calm-down at the end of the day.”
Coolbaugh credits the atmosphere of Dave’s for trivia night’s success. Approximately five teams show up every week to enjoy the music, great view and challenging trivia questions.
“It’s a beautiful view, weather’s great right here and you’re out enjoying the balcony,” Coolbaugh says. “A lot of teams that participate in trivia come here not knowing trivia is happening, and then stay here socializing anyways because Dave’s is such a good environment to do that.”
Clementine Cafe also holds trivia night on Tuesdays at 9 p.m., hosting around 25 teams each week. Clementine’s trivia night includes a shots round, which is done for a free round of shots for the best-performing team.
Alejandro Alegre and Ken Finke are Harrisonburg residents and host Clementine’s trivia night; they come every week despite not being employed by Clementine or its sponsors.
“I was out there for about three years and when the old hosts left they were like, ‘You come here all the time, do you want to take the reins?’” Finke says. “When we were here, we were the team that dominated every week.”
Alegre and Finke credit the people who participate every week for creating Clementine’s lively ambience.
“One thing I like about Clementine’s trivia is that it’s competitive without taking itself too seriously,” Patrick Schneeberger, a Blue Ridge Community College student, says.
There are weekly drink specials, theme nights and engaging hosts who create relationships with many of the teams. Alegre and Finke award extra points and prizes for funny team names and answers. The hosts are also used to seeing perennially dominant teams.
“‘Hubert Cumberdale’ is a team that places well almost every week,” Finke says. “They are very much loved and hated by everyone at this bar.”
Hubert Cumberdale’s longest winning streak was six weeks in a row. At one point, it also won seven out of nine weeks. What makes these feats most impressive is the team’s lack of practice.
“I don’t know that we do any preparation but I do like ‘Jeopardy!,’ I watch it while folding laundry,” Hillary Strubell, a member of Hubert Cumberdale, says.
Whether you’re perennial contenders or casual competitors, trivia night’s entertaining for everyone who goes.
“For me, it’s not about winning prizes but having a good time with friends,” Schneeberger says.
Photos by Maddy Williams