After the disappointing Super Bowl loss this month, you’re probably tired of contact sports.
Just kidding. You live in Boston, where even simple shit like shoveling and parking often spirals into physical violence.
Of course, if you’re more of the brainy type but still have a competitive beer-drinking rogue side, then you’re probably already a Geeks Who Drink dedicant. With weekly pub trivia nights across Greater Boston—from the Rising, Hong Kong, Phoenix Landing, and the Asgard in Cambridge to the Jeanie Johnson in Jamaica Plain and YOTEL in the Seaport—their events are ideal for flexing one’s mental muscles while simultaneously numbing them with beer.
Such precedents aside, it’s likely that some regulars will drink slowly, at least for the first couple of rounds, at this Saturday’s enormous Geeks Who Drink fiesta at Agganis Arena. It’s not just another bar night, or even just another Geek Bowl—it’s the first one to be hosted anywhere on the East Coast, and it’s in Boston.
We asked Quizmaster-in-Chief John Dicker about what it’s like to prep for America’s “largest live trivia event,” both from his perspective and for those who will attend in teams of six to compete for $20,000 in prizes.
You are the quizmaster-in-chief. Is this a self-appointed position?
Absolutely not. I received the title after completing a rigorous program from Trump University. We’ve since settled out of court. While I can’t discuss the terms, I can say that I am able to retain the title.
Must a Quizmaster be a master of quizzes? Or is it like boxing, where a pipsqueak who has never thrown a punch in his life might end up training the heavyweight champion?
It is both. And neither. And more.
What is the life of a Quizmaster like between Geek Bowls? How many questions might you pose in an average week?
GWD produces six original quizzes a week, each quiz has 69 questions. That’s more than Jeopardy. As for our quizmasters’ lives: They are well-documented on the pages of publications aspiring to be the next US Weekly.
With Geek Bowl XII coming up, tell us what kind of note the last one ended on. Any memorable moments worth mentioning? Questions that finished otherwise competitive participants?
Well, there was the Marty Walsh video trolling the city of Seattle [the site of last year’s Geek Bowl]. We also had a team of ringers, nominally from North Carolina but really all over the country, take first place. That inspired us to introduce an amateur prize for the highest-scoring team with no previous Geek Bowl winners on it, and no one who has won more than $10,000 on a game show. We also added a local prize for the highest-scoring team from New England.
How has the Geek Bowl evolved through the years?
At the first Geek Bowl, I didn’t even have sudden death questions prepared, and we had a tie so we had to … wing it. It was on a Sunday night and ran nearly five hours. As the event has grown, we’ve been able to rein in the runtime a bit and bring in musical acts that some people have actually heard of. The venue size has grown, the prizes have grown, but the challenge remains the same: creating an event wherein the team that comes in 147th place will feel like they got their money’s worth, or at least won’t feel the need to shellac my car with peanut butter.
Is the trivia-writing process any different for a Geek Bowl than it is on any given pub night? Especially considering the significant prizes in play?
Definitely. We prioritize a diversity of subject matter, every question goes through three separate fact checkers, and we hope for a wow factor with our audio and visual rounds.
Any tips on how one might prepare for these festivities?
Assemble a team with a diverse knowledge base. This may require some awkward conversations with friends who aren’t up to snuff. Cleanse your liver for the bout ahead. We’re called Geeks Who Drink for a reason. Also, of note: We have four teams from Philadelphia coming this year hell-bent on taunting Patriot fans and reenacting the Super Bowl. Of note, the team Independence Hall & Oates has won Geek Bowl twice before, so this isn’t idle talk. The leading shit stirrer, one Johnny Goodtimes, will have a Boston diss video coming out either this weekend or Monday, stay tuned.
GEEK BOWL XII FEATURING LETTERS TO CLEO. AGGANIS ARENA, BOSTON UNIVERSITY. SAT 2.17. MORE INFO ON TICKETS AND PARTICIPATION AT GEEKSWHODRINK.COM