published Friday, August 17th, 2012

Phillips: A bit of knowledge is dangerously entertaining

Without resorting to Google or another outside source of information, could you list four of the world's five largest independent countries that don't share a land border with another nation?

Can you name the French line of concrete fortifications that was supposed to repel German forces at the onset of World War II? If someone demanded that you explain what a covalent bond is, could you do it?

My friends and I can, but then again, we're what you might call trivia experts.

And that's what you might call an exaggeration, but we seriously do love knowing seemingly pointless factoids.

Every Thursday, we test our knowledge in a trivia tournament at T-Bones Sports Cafe on Chestnut Street as Team SWEAT Pants. (It stands for "Smart, Witty, Entertaining America Team," and yes, we know it's redundant.)

We were among the teams who qualified to compete last Sunday in the Chattanooga Trivia League 2012 Summer Finals at The Honest Pint. There, the aforementioned questions were just a few of those put to dozens of groups digging up obscure facts in pursuit of cash prizes and a few months of bragging rights.

How did we do, you ask? Not well. Of more than 40 teams who entered, we went into the final question in 27th place, but we had a blast, regardless. Then again, for most of the trivia teams who compete every week around the city, it's as much a social occasion as a competition. The trivia host, Marc Michael, is a riot, and it's a fairly low-key way to get together after work.

I mention all this to point out that nightlife isn't limited to going to shows or singing karaoke. If music isn't your thing -- or even if it is -- there are plenty of options for getting out of the house.

If you're interested in testing your pop culture, historical, scientific or athletic IQ, there are opportunities to do so every week. Entering is free, your team can be as large as you want, and you might walk away with a gift certificate and a smug grin.

Here's a list of the Chattanooga-area competitions run by Live Trivia.

Mondays: Jefferson's, 618 Georgia Ave., 7:30 p.m.

Tuesdays: The Acoustic Cafe, 61 RBC Drive, Ringgold, Ga., 7 p.m.; Brewhaus, 224 Frazier Ave., 7:30 p.m.; and Local 191, 191 Chestnut St., 8 p.m.

Wednesdays: Buffalo Wild Wings, 120 Market St., 7:30 p.m.; and Hill City Pizza, 16 Frazier Ave., 7:30 p.m.

Thursdays: Magoo's Restaurant, 3658 Ringgold Road, 7:30 p.m.; and T-Bones Sports Cafe, 1419 Chestnut St., 7:30 p.m.

Fridays: Amigo Mexican Restaurant, 5450 Highway 153, 9 p.m.

If you opt for T-Bones, however, be prepared. SWEAT Pants won't go down easy.

• In other news, Track 29 has announced a must-see event to celebrate its first anniversary. On Sept. 28, sampling/musical mash-up ninja Greg Gillis (aka Girl Talk) will perform. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. If you're thinking of holding off on ordering yours, I'd reconsider because tickets are likely to go quickly for this one.

about Casey Phillips...

Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...

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