Every Tuesday evening at 7:00 p.m., Trivia Night takes over Beans, the student run café on the University of Denver Campus. The normal coffee shop atmosphere of Beans becomes a raging powerhouse of emotions, competitiveness, and laughter, and only one team can come out victorious.
When I walked into the café, the sound of coffee whirring out of the espresso machines filled the beige walls and bounced off the chestnut brown round tables. The barista looked up in an acknowledging sort of way, and went back to her machines, wiping sweat off her brow and throwing her hair up into a bun. I chose the most inconspicuous seat, hoping to blend into the beige walls, while still being able to observe the unique set of University of Denver students rallied around their tables, waiting for the quizmaster to begin the evening.
Micah White took the podium, and the crowd hushed. I soon learned that White was the quizmaster hired by DUPB, the University of Denver Programming Board, to host the trivia nights that occur at Beans, every Tuesday, at 7 p.m.
Trivia nights at Beans have been occurring for a couple quarters, however it has roots in the old University of Denver history. According to Hannah Marie Bouline, a member of DUPB, “Trivia night used to be a huge thing on the campus. The Sidelines Pub used to be where Subway currently is. It was open late and served chicken fingers, beer, and all the good fast foods. However, the University of Denver got rid of the Pub because they did not want a bar on campus. Trivia night was there originally and everyone loved it, so we thought we should bring it back. We have solid people who come every week.”
As I took note of what Hannah was telling me, the quizmaster called everyone to attention and began the games. In his white and black collared shirt, dark blue jeans, and square framed glasses, White looked like anything but an MC. However, as he brought everyone to attention, he had a commanding presence over the room, bringing together all the different characters that had assembled to answer the questions he was going to be asking.
“This is round 2. The first, and only, audio round, and it is entitled: The TSA hates this round,” said White from behind his podium.
The groups turned to White with the eagerness of a child who just learned that he could have the chocolate chip cookie before dinner.
The group of two, in the back of the café, known as The Lone Wolves, grabbed their pencils and sheets of paper provided by White, and prepared to fill out the answers.
The group of three to my left, known as the Classics Queens, stayed calm, with a quiet seriousness about them.
The group of four, to the left of the Classics Queens, known as Temporarily Friendless, continued their arts and crafts in the corner, acting as though the Trivia night was beneath them.
And finally, the group of six towards the front of the café, Tennis Balls, due to their constant bouncing of a bright yellow tennis ball while they are answering questions, continued to bounce their tennis ball against the walls in the café, waiting for the quizmaster to begin.
White hosted six rounds of Trivia consisting of an audio round, a visual round, and four other rounds of random trivia. In between each round 80’s funk music filled the spaces of the café and were joined by the occasional lyrics being sung by the quizmaster himself. To a junior at the University of Denver, Whites’ singing was completely normal. “Oh, the quizmaster loves singing,” said Alayna Zuckerman.
As each round of questions progressed, the competitiveness was drawn out of even the most docile University of Denver student, with pencils being broken and profanities being muttered under the chaos of the 80’s music, espresso machines, and White’s voice.
The final round came down to Round Six, which was worth 16 points total, and contained random knowledge trivia. The teams buckled down into their seats as though waiting for a rocket to take off. However, their fates were sealed when the quizmaster stated that the rounds of Trivia night were over, and he had a list of the winners.
With the Lone Wolves coming in fourth, Tennis Balls in third, Temporarily Friendless in second, and Classics Queens in first, the night was finished. However, as Classics Queens picked up their prizes, Temporarily Friendless mumbled under their breath that the next week was theirs.