Ellsbury Returns To Fenway

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

You Did a Helluva Job Brownie, Er, Bobby

Bobby Valentine just can't help being a schmuck.

He was introduced as the new athletic director at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut yesterday, and actually had the nerve to say this:

"I thought I did a hell of a job in Boston. I thought what had to be done there was done except for winning a pennant. But Connie Mack wasn’t going to win with that team.”

Talk about delusional. Yep, you sure did a heckuva job Brownie, er, Bobby.

Now I can't wait for the inevitable book he's going to write about the disaster area he left in Boston in his wake.

I have erased 2012 from my memory, and I'm sure most other Red Sox fans have done the same.

BTW, do you know who now has the toughest job in all of sports?

The head baseball coach at Sacred Heart University.

Trivia Q&A: February 26

It was an unusual night at The Mad Hatter on Tuesday, as there was a birthday celebration going on in about half of the bar. So we had to keep the Trivia confined to the other half, and that caused us to have just 8 teams playing. (I'm certain we would have had more, but the speakers couldn't be heard over the roar of the crowd at the party. The number of teams will be bigger next week.) But everybody enjoyed the night who did play.

The team of I Predict Pistorious Will Not Be Found Guilty, But That Doesn't Mean I Think He's Gonna Walk led from the second round on, and wound up getting 4 of 5 correct in IQ Trivia to ice the win with 49 points, and won by four points. Great job by Dave, Larry and company.

Second place went to Squam Rock Land Trust with 45 points, and third place went to Silver Snakes with 37 points.

Best Team Name: If a Fat Girl Falls In The Woods, Do The Trees Laugh?

Current Events
1. Which southern state officially ratified the 13th amendment last week, after it was discovered recently that the proper papers had not been officially filed due to a clerical error many years ago?
2. Which superstar pop singer canceled the remainder of her current tour last week due to surgery she needed to replace a tear in her hip?
3. The New York Times Co. announced they are formally looking for a buyer for what major northeastern newspaper, which they purchased in 1993?
4. Forbes magazine selected what midwest city as the 2013 "Most Miserable City in America" based on factors such as crime, unemployment, weather and travel?
5. What movie sequel won seven "Razzie" awards for film ineptitude this past weekend?
6. What 1980s rap star was arrested on charges of obstructing a police officer last week, but claimed on Twitter that he was a victim of racial profiling?
7. What film won the most Academy Awards this past Sunday night, and how many did it win?

1990s Trivia
1. In what year in the 1990s was Nelson Mandela released from a South African jail after 27 years?
2. Which MLB team won its first World Series in 1997 after being created as an expansion franchise just five seasons earlier in 1993?
3. The 1992 Summer Olympics were held in what European city?
4. What record became the world's biggest-selling single of all-time in 1997?
5. What actor won his first Academy Award in 1993 after six previous Oscar losses?
6. What Republican candidate was defeated by Bill Clinton in 1996, and who was his running mate?
7. The massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado and the death of John F. Kennedy Jr. in a plane crash both occurred in what year?

True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. The maximum number of digits allowed on a credit card in 19.
2. Cracking your knuckles can cause arthritis.
3. Only male mosquitoes bite humans.
4. There are more dogs than children in Paris.
5. Your thumb is approximately the same length as your nose.
6. The average man smiles more in a day than the average woman.
7. "Bookkeeper" is the only word in the English language with three consecutive double letters.
8. Barack Obama is the first president to ever brew beer in the White House.
9. More people are killed by donkeys than are killed every year in plane crashes.
10. Elvis Presley's first Grammy award win was for the song "Jailhouse Rock."

General Knowledge
1. "Ebony and Ivory" was a 1982 hit song by which two music superstars? ( 1 pt)
2. What actress played the leading role opposite Billy Crystal in the film "When Harry Met Sally?" ( 1 pt)
3. What river forms a border between Texas and Mexico? ( 1 pt)
4. The new TV series "The Carrie Diaries" is a prequel to what other TV show? ( 2 pt)
5. The gunfight at the OK Corral in 1881 was in what town and state? ( 2 pt)
6. The word "ovine" refers to what type of animal? (2 pt)
7. The only commissioned US Navy vessel not in American hands is the USS Pueblo, which is currently a captive of what country? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. The world's oldest wooden building was built in the 7th century AD and is located in what country? ( 4 points)
2. The name "Helvetia" appears on what European country's stamps and coinage? ( 4 points)
3. Who was the first MLB player to have his number retired? ( 3 points)
4. "Chim Chim Cheree" won an Academy Award for Best Song for what film? ( 4 points)
5. Besides Brunei, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, there is a fourth country where women can't vote in elections, and it is not in Asia. What is it? ( 5 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. Mississippi; 2. Lady Gaga; 3. Boston Globe; 4. Detroit; 5. "Twilight 2: Breaking Dawn;" 6. MC Hammer; 7. "Life Of Pi," with four.

1990s Trivia
1. 1990; 2. Florida Marlins; 3. Barcelona; 4. "Candle In The Wind;" 5. Al Pacino; 6. Bob Dole and Jack Kemp; 7. 1999.

True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. true; 2. false; 3. false, females; 4. true; 5. true; 6. false; 7. true; 8. true; 9. true; 10. false.

General Knowledge
1. Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder; 2. Meg Ryan; 3. Rio Grande; 4. "Sex and the City;" 5. Tombstone, AZ; 6. sheep; 7. North Korea.

IQ Trivia
1. Japan; 2. Switzerland; 3. Lou Gehrig; 4. "Mary Poppins;" 5. Vatican City.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Remembering The Six


It was 20 years ago today that a 1,200 pound bomb exploded under the North Tower of the World Trade Center, killing six people and injuring 1,000.

And all these years later, it has become known as the first World Trade Center bombing, and almost overlooked after what happened 8 1/2 years later.

I was working in Greenwich Village that day, and at lunch time that day I saw smoke in the sky and the sounds of fire engines and ambulances in the distance. I knew something was terribly wrong, and went back to my office and heard about the bombing.

I worked for a company called TRIP (which was connected to the Tower Records chain), and one of my colleagues was my dear friend Joyce, who would be lost in the second attack on the World Trade Center.

Please say a prayer for the families and loved ones lost 20 year ago today, and also for those lost on September 11, 2001. They're always in my thoughts and prayers.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The 1990s Wasn't So Long Ago

Tuesday Night Trivia at The Mad Hatter this week will feature "1990s Trivia," seven questions about the last decade of the 20th century, mostly in pop culture. (Not counting 2000, of course, as it was the final year of the 20th century but won't be part of this quiz. You all do know that the 21st century began in 2001, right?)

The Q Train lightning round will be "True or False Trivia."

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"What river forms a border between Texas and Mexico?"

We get going at 8 PM on Tuesday. Thanks to all of you who called ahead to book tables last week. If you could continue to do that, the staff at The Mad Hatter would really appreciate it. The Mad Hatter's phone number is: 212-696-2122, and please call anytime on Tuesday. The last two weeks at our new location has been so much fun, and I hope many of you can come out tomorrow night to keep it going!

Happy 70th, George

Today is the 70th birthday of the late, great George Harrison. It's still hard for me to believe that he's been gone for nearly 11 1/2 years.

In his memory, I present one of my favorite solo George songs, "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)."

We miss you, George.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Beating Up On The College Guys

Yep, whipping the college kids is always a nice way to start the exhibition season.

The Red Sox beat Northeastern, 3-0 in Game 1 yesterday, and took the nightcap from Boston College, 11-1. And both were seven inning games.

Doesn't matter who did what. Nobody got hurt and that's what's important.

And did you hear that a guy who once managed the Red Sox was named the athletic director at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Baseball 2013 Is Upon Us

My calendar says it is February 21st. It's freezing out and some more miserable weather is on the way this weekend. And that means one thing.

Baseball is back. Thank heavens.

The Red Sox open up their Spring Training schedule with their traditional doubleheader against the college kids at Ft. Myers. Northeastern at 1:30 PM, and Boston College at 4 PM. John Farrell will open his tenure as the 46th Red Sox manager by pitching nothing but relievers in both games. John Lackey will get the start on Saturday against Tampa Bay when the major leaguers come to town.

Baseball is officially back, and the removal off the Stink of 2012 is under way.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Trivia Q&A: February 19

We had 12 teams in The Mad Hatter on a rainy night in Manhattan for Trivia. The crowd was down slightly from last week's debut, but the bar was still filled and everyone enjoyed the night.

The Academy Awards category was a tough one, as the scores were mostly on the lower end. But they bounced back nicely in Over or Under 50 Trivia.

I made a goof in the IQ Trivia round, when I said "hydrogen" instead of "nitrogen", in this question, "After hydrogen (actually nitrogen) and oxygen, what is the third most abundant element in the earth's atmosphere?" It's actually argon, but I tossed the question out and gave everyone four points. But in that round, the team in second place, Just Got Back From Brussels, The Drinks Are On Me got all but one question in the round correct, and won by two points, with 45. Second place was yet another tie, and it was won by I'd Like To Make a Deep Impact Into Your Siberian Tundra, who guessed "400" to the tie-breaker, "How many games have the Pittsburgh Steelers won since the merger in 1970?" (The answer was 404.) Third place went to She Came In Through the Bathroom Window.

Best Team Name: I Just Quizzed In My Pants

Current Events
1. The International Olympic Committee announced last week that what sport, an original one at the first Summer Olympics of 1896, will be discontinued in 2020?
2. American Airlines announced last week they are merging with what other airline to form the world's largest airline in an $11 billion deal?
3. 36 people were killed last week during a festival when a stampede occurred in what Asian nation?
4. Which 1950s rock'n'roller is suing HP for $500 million over a novelty app bearing his name that allows users to guess someone's penis size?
5. What American business magnate announced last week that he has teamed with a Brazilian financier to purchase the HJ Heinz Co. for $23 billion?
6. According to the latest poll from Quinnipiac, who was voted the most popular politician in the US?
7. Tony Sheridan, an English rock singer and songwriter, died Sunday at the age of 72. What rock group made their first ever appearance on vinyl with him singing lead on the song "My Bonnie?"

Academy Awards Trivia
1. Which film by The Beatles won an Academy Award for Best Original Score?
2. What is the only film this year to be nominated in all four acting categories?
3. What 1985 film was nominated for 11 Oscars and won no awards, tied for the most in history without a win?
4. What 1976 film was the last one to win three acting Oscars?
5. Name 1 of the 2 male actors who have won three Oscars in their careers.
6. Name 1 of the 2 films nominated for a record 14 Academy Awards.
7. Name 2 of the 3 sports films to win the Oscar for Best Picture.

Over or Under 50 Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Michelle Obama
2. Eddie Murphy
3. Charlie Sheen
4. Sean Penn
5. Russell Crowe
6. Ellen DeGeneres
7. Quentin Tarantino
8. Sandra Bullock
9. George Clooney
10. Brad Pitt

General Knowledge
1. According to the 2010 US Census, what city is second behind New York in overall population? ( 1 pt)
2. The Canadian city Edmonton is located in what province? ( 1 pt)
3. On what northeastern river did Robert Fulton test his first steamboat? ( 1 pt)
4. The law of Venice requires that all gondolas should be painted what color? ( 2 pt)
5. The largest county in area in the United States is located in what state? ( 2 pt)
6. William Bonney was better known as what 19th century outlaw? ( 2 pt)
7. What fictional character was known as "Knight of the Woeful Countenance?" ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. After hydrogen (actually nitrogen) and oxygen, what is the third most abundant element in the earth's atmosphere? ( 4 points)
2. In 2009, Forbes magazine declared what athlete to be the first to make $1 billion in his career? ( 3 points)
3. Which NFL team has won the most regular season games since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970? ( 4 points)
4. Hanson's Disease is better known by what more common name? ( 4 points)
5. In 2009, Alysa Stanton of North Carolina became the first African-American female to hold what position? ( 5 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. Wrestling; 2. US Airways; 3. India; 4. Chubby Checker; 5. Warren Buffett; 6. Hillary Clinton; 7. The Beatles.

Academy Awards Trivia
1. "Let It Be;" 2. "Silver Linings Playbook;" 3. "The Color Purple;" 4. "Network"; 5. Jack Nicholson and Walter Brennan; 6. "Titanic" and "All About Eve;" 7. "Rocky", "Chariots of Fire" and "Million Dollar Baby."

Over or Under 50 Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. under (49); 2. over (51); 3. under (47); 4. over (52); 5. under (48); 6. over (54); 7. under (49); 8. under (48); 9. over (51); 10. under (49).

General Knowledge
1. Los Angeles; 2. Alberta; 3. Hudson; 4. black; 5. California (San Bernadino); 6. Billy the Kid; 7. Don Quixote.

IQ Trivia
1. argon; 2. Tiger Woods; 3. Pittsburgh Steelers; 4. leprosy; 5. rabbi.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Let's See How Much You Know About Oscar

The second edition of Tuesday Night Trivia at The Mad Hatter (at 26th Street and 3rd Avenue) tomorrow night will feature "Oscar Trivia," seven questions about the upcoming Academy Awards and its history. (Those of you who have known me for years know that every year we do "Oscar Trivia" before the awards are handed out, and I put up a picture of Oscar Madison on the blog. I promise you, one of these days I'll do an "Odd Couple" round!)

The Q Train lightning round will be "Over or Under 50 Trivia." I will give you the names of ten current celebrities, and you have to tell me if they are over or under the age of 50.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"The Canadian city Edmonton is located in what province?"

We get rolling at 8 PM. Michael, the owner of The Mad Hatter, asked to pass along a request to all of you. If you are coming with a group and will need a table, please do call the bar on Tuesday ahead of time and request it, with your name and the number of folks in your party. The bar wants to get an idea of how many tables will be taken by the Trivia regulars. I appreciate that very much, and The Mad Hatter's phone number is: 212-696-2122. The good folks at the bar were impressed with the great turnout for the opener last week, and I again thank you for making it really special last Tuesday. Let's keep the momentum going tomorrow night. I hope to see many of you then!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Now Back To The Business of Baseball

As many of you well know, the last two weeks have been pretty hectic for me. We changed Trivia venues, something that was coming for a while. The lack of respect me and my Trivia regulars got at the "Old Place" led us to move to The Mad Hatter on 3rd Avenue and 26th Street, and we had a wonderful Opening Night there last Tuesday.

While all of this was going on, the Red Sox opened their camp to pitchers and catchers last Tuesday, and to the full squad last Friday. It's always a beautiful thing to see the baseball season on the horizon, as it takes my mind away from the winter, which hasn't been terribly mild so far this year.

Also, it puts the disaster of 2012 that much further into the rear view mirror. I am rather optimistic about the 2013 Red Sox, as I see the AL East as a division just about anyone can win. I don't see anyone as a sure-fire favorite, and I am betting most so-called "experts" will be putting the Sox as finishing in either fourth or fifth. I'm fine with that, as the Red Sox have a lot to prove, and not just to the experts but their loyal fans as well.

So how optimistic am I? I'm even willing to give John Lackey a chance. I heard he has slimmed down considerably, and the year off should help him. (Is getting 12 wins from him asking too much?)

Anyway, the exhibition season opens this Thursday, with the traditional doubleheader against the college teams, Northeastern and Boston College, The Sox will open Saturday against MLB competition, with a 1;35 PM game against Tampa Bay at Ft. Myers.

Like I did last year, I will not be discussing every game any more. I hope you enjoy what I do write about this upcoming season, and look forward to writing more about baseball and less about nonsensical soap opera stuff that dominated 2012. Bring on the 2013 Grapefruit season!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Pizz Helps Out The Sandy Victims

My good friend and jazz guitarist extraordinaire John Pizzarelli will be doing a special concert shortly I thought I would bring to your attention.

On Monday night, February 25th at 7 PM, John will be playing a show in Brooklyn at The Powerhouse Arena, at 37 Main Street. The show will be a benefit for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

The Pizz (as we like to call him) always puts on a great show, and if you'd like more info about getting tickets (which are $20), please click this link.

His recent book about his life is a very good read as well, and worth picking up. You can check that out here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Jack Don't Know Jack

I stumbled across an interesting program on the MLB Network yesterday, before my new Tuesday Night Trivia debut. It was a history of the Cincinnati Reds, and I happened to turn it on just as they were talking about the great "Big Red Machine" teams of the 1970s.

I always had great respect for those teams, as they had one of the great lineups in baseball history. I was also watching it when the 1975 World Series came up. I've seen it discussed from the Red Sox point of view many times, but I've never seen it from the Reds angle. ( I believe the video is this one.)

So I found it absolutely bizarre when Carlton Fisk's immortal 12th inning home run to win Game 6 came up. As Pudge was circling the bases, Jack Billingham, who was a pitcher on that '75 Reds team and pitched earlier in the game, said something for the documentary that I had to listen to again to make sure I heard it right.

This is not an exact quote, but it is words to the effect of: "I have a World Series ring and a World Series trophy. He (Fisk) never got either, and only wound up with dirty shoes."

That made me shake my head. Don't ask me what the "dirty shoes" part of the statement means. But I think someone should point out to Billingham that while Pudge never got that elusive ring, he hit what is arguably one of the most iconic home runs in baseball history, in what was the winning homer in what many consider to be the greatest World Series game of all-time. And Fisk was also enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999.

As for Billingham, he was a decent pitcher (won 19 games twice in Cincinnati), but he is remembered for only one thing by baseball fans of that era, allowing Hank Aaron's 714th home run on Opening Day at Riverfront Stadium in 1974.

Yeah, Pudge may have ended up with "dirty shoes", but we will be seeing those "dirty shoes" forever on all-time MLB highlight reels. Just as we see ol' Jack serving up Hammerin' Hank's blast in the same one, tying The Babe back in 1974.

Trivia Q&A: February 12

Tuesday Night Trivia made a smashing debut at The Mad Hatter on 3rd Avenue and East 26th Street last night. I saw so many of my regulars from "The Other Place" and a few folks I had not seen in some time come out. A few did so because they heard what happened last week, and I really appreciate that. I am also thankful to a few friends who stopped by briefly to say hello and offer some words of encouragement and support.

There were 15 teams in, and everyone had a great time, especially me. Everything went so well, and I was really nervous about it during the day. The Trivia regulars came out in force, and I should never have doubted they would. They have showed me such incredible loyalty and devotion.

I want to thank Michael and his wonderful staff at The Mad Hatter for making all of us feel so welcome after what occurred last week. We definitely have a new home for Trivia.

And on the night, my friend Alex, who was instrumental in bringing us to The Mad Hatter, and his team, Professor Whom? (how appropriate) wound up winning the first night there, as they got 48 points and took the top prize. Second place was a tie between Off With Their Turtlenecks and Silver Snakes, both with 46 points. Off With Their Turtlenecks won the tie-breaker, as I asked "How many Grammy Awards did the Beatles and Elvis Presley have combined?" They guessed 15 and won it. (The answer is 16.)

Once again, thank you all who came out supported me and the new location for our Tuesday Night Trivia. You are all the best. We succeeded in doing one thing last night: we buried Professor Thom's Trivia for good.

Best Team Name: We'd Follow You Anywhere, John! (Well, In Manhattan Anyway!)

Current Events
1. Researchers at the National Urban Mobility Report ranked which East Coast city as the nation's most traffic-snarled city?
2. Monopoly fans online voted to remove the iron token in the board game and replace it with what?
3. What TV personality and radio host says he is "truly contemplating" a run for the US Senate in his home state of New Jersey?
4. Dozens of students were asked to leave what elite university for cheating on a final exam recently?
5. Russian president Vladimir Putin recruited what 1980s R&B group to play a concert in Moscow this week in an effort to "give Russian men some inspiration ahead of St. Valentine's Day?"
6. Scientists at the University of Leicester in England recently confirmed that a skeleton buried under a city parking lot was what much-maligned 15th century English monarch?
7. Soccer star David Beckham announced that he will be playing for a club in what European city this year and will be donating his salary to charity?

Civil War Trivia
1. What was the first southern state to secede from the Union in December 1860?
2. The Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, was fought in September 1862 in what state?
3. True or False: Disease killed more soldiers during the Civil War than battle wounds.
4. The notorious Andersonville prison, which held Union POWs, was located in what southern state?
5. General George Pickett led a famous doomed Southern infantry charge at what battle?
6. What Mississippi city was captured by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant on July 4, 1863 and didn't officially celebrate the July 4th holiday for the next 81 years?
7. Name 3 of the 6 Civil War generals who would eventually become President of the United States.

Best Album Grammy Award Winners Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Elvis Presley
2. The Dixie Chicks
3. Madonna
4. The Beatles
5. Nirvana
6. Frank Sinatra
7. Bob Dylan
8. Stevie Wonder
9. Prince
10. U2

General Knowledge
1. How many chess pieces in total are there for each player in a game? ( 1 pt)
2. The movie "The Sound of Music" took place in what country? ( 1 pt)
3. Which of the Marx Brothers never said a word in any of their films? ( 1 pt)
4. What country is the most populous democracy in the world? ( 2 pt)
5. Who founded Standard Oil in 1870? ( 2 pt)
6. In what month is the earth closest to the sun? ( 2 pt)
7. How many times have the Olympic Games been canceled because of war? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. Nomophobia is the fear of losing what object? ( 4 points)
2. Half of all the world's lakes are located in what country? ( 4 points)
3. Which of the planets of our solar system has the highest average temperature on its surface? ( 4 points)
4. What was the first Hollywood movie based on a "Saturday Night Live" skit? ( 3 points)
5. Of the eight Ivy League schools, which one was the only one founded after the American Revolution? ( 5 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. Washington DC; 2.cat; 3. Geraldo Rivera; 4. Harvard; 5. Boyz II Men; 6. Richard III; 7. Paris.

Civil War Trivia
1. South Carolina; 2. Maryland; 3. true; 4. Georgia; 5. Gettysburg; 6. Vicksburg; 7. US Grant, Andrew Johnson, Benjamin Harrison, Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield & Chester Arthur.

Best Album Grammy Winners Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. none; 2. one; 3. none; 4. one; 5. none; 6. three; 7. one; 8. three; 9. none; 10. two.

General Knowledge
1. sixteen; 2. Austria; 3. Harpo; 4. India; 5. John D. Rockefeller; 6. January; 7. five (1916, and 1940 and 1944 twice).

IQ Trivia
1. Cell phone; 2. Canada; 3. Venus; 4. "The Blues Brothers"; 5. Cornell (1865).

Monday, February 11, 2013

A New Chapter Begins For Trivia Night On Tuesday


Tuesday Night Trivia will make its debut tomorrow night at The Mad Hatter on 3rd Avenue, and I'm really excited about this new chapter in the history of my Trivia Night. It will be happening at 8 PM each Tuesday night. (And there will be no delays every week due to the whims of one bartender.) It will be the same Trivia Night that all of you know have come to know and love over the years. It will be five categories, with Current Events, General Knowledge and IQ Trivia the three staple categories, and the two Special Categories as well. The only difference will be the earlier starting time and the new and better venue!

We will be doing the same Trivia that we would have done last week. The Special Category will be "Civil War Trivia", seven questions about that 19th century conflict in honor of Abraham Lincoln's 204th birthday on Tuesday.

The Q Train lightning round will be "Best Album Grammy Winners Trivia", in honor of last night's Grammy Awards. I will give you the names of ten famous pop music acts and you have to tell me if they won the Best Album Grammy once, more than once or never.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"The movie 'The Sound of Music' takes place in what country?"

We get the festivities going at 8 PM on Tuesday. Once again, I thank all of you for the heartfelt messages after my departure from the other place, and I hope to see many of at The Mad Hatter on Tuesday night. It is located at 360 3rd Avenue, between E.26th and 27th Streets. I hope many of you can make it out, and we can get the new Trivia Night off to a flying start!

Friday, February 08, 2013

Trivia Night Has A New Venue

Exciting news for all my Trivia regulars, as we have new place to do Trivia Night!

We are moving to The Mad Hatter, which is a pub on 3rd Avenue, between E. 26th and 27th Streets in Manhattan. I am really excited for this new chapter in the history of my Trivia Night.

Trivia Night will be held every Tuesday night, but at a better start time: 8 PM.

We will debut the new Trivia Night this coming Tuesday night, February 12th. It will be at 8 PM permanently, and I can assure you, we will NOT be starting late because of the whims of a single bartender. I am also so pleased that we won't be missing a beat and starting right away.

Let me assure all of you that many of the things that you have come to enjoy about Trivia Night will stay the same. We will still have five categories, Current Events, IQ Trivia and General Knowledge, along with the two rotating categories. I will still be posting the Sneak Peek question on the blog every Monday, along with putting it up on Facebook the previous weekend.

Everything will be pretty much the same, except a new and better place to enjoy the night!

The Mad Hatter is a nice bar with plenty of tables that does not put emphasis on sports, so with rare exceptions, Tuesday night at 8 PM should be set in stone. There are TVs, so if you do want to watch a game, you can. The exact location is: 360 3rd Avenue, with the phone number 212-696-2122.

Once again, I want to thank each and every one of you who sent me some very heartfelt messages after the Thom's gig ended on Wednesday night. I am so touched by your loyalty and devotion to my Trivia Night, and I am really excited to get this new venture off the ground. The weather is not going to be good this weekend, but I do hope many of you can make it to The Mad Hatter on Tuesday night, as in the words of the legendary TV series "The Jeffersons", we move on up to the East Side!

Thursday, February 07, 2013

I Am No Longer Associated With Professor Thom's

My association with Professor Thom's bar in Greenwich Village ended on Wednesday night, and I will no longer be doing Trivia there any more.

Let's just say that "upper management" and I were not on the same page, and I was tired of my Trivia regulars and I being jerked around and treated like second class citizens. More and more I felt unappreciated, and that a major change was coming. (Thom's does have many good people working there, and I still consider them friends.)

For me, there was lots of tension at Thom's, and it made doing Trivia a less enjoyable experience. (When it all ended last night, I actually felt like I had been released from prison when I walked out the door.) Before my friend Chris Wertz left the bar in 2011, we had Trivia Night clicking on all cylinders. His departure brought in a "black cloud" onto Trivia Night, and it never really lifted. I came extremely close to quitting last May because of it, but I hung on because of the great support I received from those of you who enjoy my Trivia Night. I have always loved doing Trivia there for over six years. I have met some truly wonderful people there, and I can't begin to tell you how much I have appreciated your loyalty and devotion.

I take great pride in not only my Trivia Night, but also in all of you have enjoyed it over the years. It's not easy to pull it all together, but it was always worth it because of the support I received from the regulars. But last night, it was abused and disrespected, and I simply could tolerate it no more. Time to find a new and better place to enjoy it.

As of right now, I will be searching for a new Trivia Night location, and hopefully it will be in Greenwich Village on the same Tuesday night. I will keep you all updated on progress as we come closer to a new place to hold it at.

In the hours after my departure, I have received some truly wonderful messages of support from my many Trivia regulars. Deep in my heart I was so touched by them all. You all made Trivia Night such a wonderful experience for me. I love each and every one of you.

Once again, I am hoping to find a new bar soon. I will also be posting at my Facebook page, "The Mighty Quinn's Trivia Empire." I wish all of you the best, and hopefully we will all be doing more Trivia Q&A very soon.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Happy Truck Day Everyone

It's cold outside, and we are at the midpoint of winter. You know what that means. Yes, today is Truck Day, when the Red Sox pack up all their equipment at Fenway, and ship it down by tractor-trailer to Ft. Myers.

I'll be enjoying the day with Red Sox fan friends at Foley's in NYC for lunch and talk of the upcoming 2013 season.

Bring it on!


Sunday, February 03, 2013

Two Weeks of Torture Ends Tonight

It's Super Bowl Sunday, and thankfully, the endless, relentless hype that has gone on for two weeks (which is simply stupid in my opinion, one week is enough) will come to an end when the 49ers and Ravens meet tonight in New Orleans to decide the NFL's champion.

For me, this day has always been about FOOTBALL. I don't have a serious rooting interest in the game (although I have never liked the Ravens). But I will always watch. I'm a football fan. I tune in. I'll be home by myself, as no one I know is planning any gatherings this year.

And let's get a few things straight. I don't care about the pregame, which CBS is beginning at 11 AM today. (Good God. I'm waiting for the day when one network will begin it 24 hours before the game.) Endless gobbledy gook. No thanks. I'm watching two movies and a few TV shows I taped, and will finish watching them at 6:30 PM. I want to see how close I come to the actual kickoff, and that's when I will put CBS on.

I'm not watching the halftime show, either. They've had a few decent ones in recent years, but Beyonce? Again, no thanks. Not my cup of joe. I'll be up on my treadmill for 30 minutes listening to my iPod.

And I really hate the hype over these commercials. They get WAY too much publicity. Who cares about these commercials, about 90% of which will never be seen again? And it seems to me on Monday we have to see what everyone's "favorites" are. Ugh. I'm planning on doing something I did many years ago and really enjoyed doing: switching channels during commercials. Which is something I sometimes do during NFL games during the regular season, too.

There is something I miss about Super Bowl Sunday that I wish would return: the great New York DJ Jonathan Schwartz would do his "Salute to Baseball", which was one hour of baseball highlights on his radio show. It featured a snippet from an average Red Sox game (he's a big fan like I am) from the '50s or '60s, some baseball songs, and a few memorable moments from the recent Red Sox past. It was always a fun hour away from the stupid Super Bowl hype and got me ready for Spring Training. Jonathan ended it some years ago, and I'm really sorry it's not around for today.

As for the game itself, I'm taking the 49ers and the points.

Then we can bring on the baseball season.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

A Great Day To Be a Minnesota Viking

Congratulations to Cris Carter, who was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was overlooked for many years, but the voters finally put him in today. Carter will go in with Bill Parcells, Warren Sapp, Jonathan Ogden, Larry Allen, Curley Culp and Dave Robinson.

And it was a great day for Adrian Peterson today as well. He was named the 2012 NFL Most Valuable Player, as well as the Offensive Player of the Year. (He didn't get the Comeback Player of the Year, as that went to Peyton Manning. Manning deserved it.)

Congrats to you, AP. Thanks for such a fabulous 2012.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Thank You Mr. Mayor


I was saddened to learn that Ed Koch died this morning at the age of 88. He was New York's mayor from 1978-1990, and came along at a time when the city really needed him.

New York was badass territory in the mid-1970s, and the city teetered on bankruptcy. Koch ran for mayor in 1977 and won, over Mario Cuomo. New York had become a national joke, with crime at astronomically bad levels and people fleeing the city at record rates.

Koch's twelve years so a change in the city's fortunes. The city rose from the ashes like a phoenix. But there was also a downside, with corruption among his political allies, the explosion of AIDS and racial tensions, and a spike in the murder rate late in his tenure. He was mayor for three terms, and was defeated for a fourth in 1989 by David Dinkins.

His trademark phrase was "How'm I doin'?" I remember in the early 1980s, he came unannounced to a street fair in my neighborhood and walked up the avenue like a conquering hero. I got to shake his hand and it was a big deal in the area he was here.

And after he was mayor, I also remember he was always in the front row of the Midnight Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral on Christmas Eve. It is a tradition that mayor attends it, even if he is not Catholic. Koch was Jewish, and he said he always enjoyed it so much as mayor that he kept coming back every Christmas Eve after he left office.

He had not been in good health in recent years. A documentary called "Koch" is coming out, and he was too ill to attend a premier of it this past week.

If you looked up "New Yorker" in the dictionary, you'd see Ed Koch's picture. He made it cool to be a New Yorker again, and I thank him for coming along at a time the city was in such desperate straits.

Godspeed Mr. Mayor. You did very well, indeed.