Greenfest Quizzo on the 27th! (UPDATE!)

Philadelphia’s oldest environmental non-profit, the Clean Air Council, puts on the Philly Greenfest every year. This year it’s gone virtual, and that’s where quizzo comes in. Gonna be hosting a “Green” quiz on Sunday, September 27th at 7 PM (we moved it back a couple of days). It’s free to play, and 50% of the tips go to the Clean Air Council. If you want to join in the fun and help raise money for a terrific organization, just sign up here. On the morning of the 27th, I’ll send a Zoom invite to you which you can then share with your teammates and you’ll meet with Carl on Zoom at 7 pm.

Hope to see ya Sunday!

Week 1 Scores and Standings

Here they are folks, our standings after Week One. And boy was Week 1 a wild one. Boyz II Menehune went down. Sofa Kingdom went down. Expired Walmart Meat went down. And we had some thrillers: Texas City Players Club knocked off Yacht Rock. Quiz Yo! edged Sweet Hats, 33-32. Dobby’s Sock held off Drunk Parents 31-30. (To check our final scores, click on the Weekly Matchups tab at the bottom of the page.)

We move into Week 2 with a new topic: Teen Idols. Gonna be a fun one. Good luck this week!

The Friday Five

Where I’m eating: Goldie. I lost a little piece of my heart when Mama’s Vegetarian closed. Their falafel was fantastic, and the place had that kind of authentic vibe that some places can just create without an interior designer or “theme”. So I put it out on twitter yesterday: where should I get falafel this week? Ryan Godfrey on twitter said Goldie. Great call, the falafel was delicious. And now everyone is telling me I gotta go back for the tehina shake.

What I’m Listening to: American Scandal, a podcast about John D. Rockefeller and the remarkable woman who helped destroy his empire, Ida Tarbell. Also remarkable (and kind of depressing) that I remembered learning plenty about Rockefeller growing up, but never learning anything about the trailblazing woman who had the guts to face off with the most powerful man in America.

What I’m Watching: Tread. It’s a documentary on Netflix about a welder in Colorado who absolutely lost his shit, built an insane tank/bulldozer, and started destroying his entire town. It’s starts pretty slow, but boy does it pick up down the stretch.

What I’m Reading: Every year on 9/11, I read the same thing: this story by Michael Wright of being on the 81st floor of the World Trade Center, and his miraculous escape. I read it every year, and it never stops being one of the most amazing things I’ve ever read. Heartbreaking, horrifying, and inspiring all at once.

What Town I’m Digging: Took a quick trip up to Clinton, NJ last weekend (about 90 minutes north of Philly). Cute little downtown, and wandered around the famous Red Mill there. Came around a corner, and boom! There was a band playing one of my favorite songs, Dublin Blues by Guy Clark, with a spectacular backdrop. Having not really heard live music since March, it hit me like a cool summer breeze. Sat (socially distanced of course), drank some wine, and listened to some damn good music provided by AJ Croix and the Devil’s Right Hand Band.

Where should I eat and drink this coming week? What should I read/watch/listen to? Let me know on twitter.

Divisions and Schedule

Here ya go, folks. You’re split into two conferences (Nerd and Geeks) and each conference consists of 5 teams. The top team in each division will earn an invite to the playoffs…the top 4 teams will get a first round bye. After our 5 division winners, the next 6 teams (wild cards) will be determined by average points (your top 9 scores). Our final wild card team will be determined by scoring the most points among all non-playoff teams in Week 10. So everyone has got something to play for every week. Gonna be a fun season. You can click on “Weekly matchups” at the bottom of the above link to see who you’re up against each week as well. We’ll be unveiling all of the week’s scores each Saturday.

The Friday Five

Place I’m Loving: We’ve been spending a lot of time at Fairmount Park this summer, and it’s been WONDERFUL. Diverse crowds, everyone in a good mood, plenty of room to socially distance and let our kid run and play, that weird wonderful Philly vibe (ie random horse rides next to pickup basketball games), and so many spots have great views of the city.

What I’m Reading: One of my favorite things in the world is the rivalry between Puma and Adidas. Long story short: two brothers in a German town ran a shoe company together, they fell out during WWII, and each started his own company, with a factory on opposite sides of a river in the same town. This from a great 2009 Guardian article on the story:

The enmity has divided the town ever since, determining which pubs its 23,000 citizens drank in, the butchers they frequented, who cut their gravestone and which football team they supported.

“There was a time when you’d have risked the wrath of colleagues and family if, as an employee of one company, you married the employee of the other,” says Klaus-Peter Gäbelein of the local Heritage Association. “Even religion and politics were part of the heady mix. Puma was seen as Catholic and politically conservative, Adidas as Protestant and Social Democratic.

What I’m Listening To: Summer may be ending, but this song called Water Ice by Reef and Ethel Cee is hawwwwt. Love the piano loop. Also, if you want to support local artists by buying their music, do so on Bandcamp. They take really good care of indie artists, unlike pretty much all of the streaming platforms.

What I’m Drinking: Finally broke down and tried my first Frose on Thursday night. Went to Lou Bird’s for it. Really good. Another thing I’ve really grown to enjoy this summer: sitting under an umbrella, having a drink while it rains. Just really relaxing. Highly recommend.

Random Thing I Just Learned About: Chip turned me onto this last weekend…Bobby Darin (above) rapping about getting roughed up by cops in South Philly. Yeah it sounds insane but, but, well, that’s why I like it. The song is Me and Mr. Hohner, and it’s off the extremely funky album Songs from the Big Sur, which is a collection of songs from his two “hippie” albums, as they’re known. I did a little digging, and there’s a fascinating backstory:

“(Robert) Kennedy’s assassination left Darin deeply shaken, and combined with the emotional fallout from his divorce and the discovery that the woman he thought all his life was his sister was actually his mother — not to mention his looming anxiety over the permanent cardiac damage that had resulted from a childhood bout with rheumatic fever — it sent him into a deep existential crisis. He dealt with it by going into seclusion, moving into a 14-foot trailer in Big Sur and cutting off most lines of communication with the outside world. When he returned to Vegas, performing under the name “Bob Darin,” he’d traded in his tux and toupee for all-denim outfits and a mustache, playing a new batch of material that he was writing in Big Sur.”

The result was some great music (I encourage you to listen to the whole album) that went over poorly because crowds wanted to hear him play Splish Splash. Darin claimed to be happy and at peace, but he still needed to find work. So he called his friend Dick Clark and asked for advice. Clark told him he was going through an identity crisis. “Go back and put on the tuxedo and go to work,” Clark told him. “Do what the people expect of you.  They don’t want to see a balding hippie sitting on a stage in Las Vegas.” And so Darin put the tux back on, started doing the classic material, and would remain in demand until his ongoing heart problems slowed him down and, sadly, killed him at age 37 in 1973.

Fall Brawl Updates

  • Things are heating up: 35 teams have signed up. Openings for 29 more max.
  • We’re opening the schedule tomorrow to sign-ups for the first four weeks.
  • LIVE show on Facebook Sunday at 6:30 to discuss our upcoming season. Carl, J Michael and I (with perhaps a cameo from Chip) will make Fall Brawl predictions, bring on various players, discuss Summer Slam, and spin the wheel to determine the topics for our first 5 weeks.
  • If you haven’t gotten your team signed up yet, do so now!

The Friday Five

Skyline View I Love: It just doesn’t get any better than the view from Matthias Baldwin Park. Just a perfect, unobstructed view of our awesome skyline.

Organization I’m Excited About: There’s such a torrent of bad news coming at us these days, it’s easy to overlook the tons of good that is going on as well. One of the groups doing a lot of good is I Will Breathe. They’re organizing community clean ups, marches, and ceasefire hoops tourneys. I attended one last Sturday, and it was really well done. I’d encourage all of you to follow them and support their mission. On a personal level, I used to coach their founder, Nasir Bell, many moons ago, and to see him become such a conscientious young man fills me with a ton of pride.

What I’m Listening To: A couple of months ago, we had Kate Nyx on the Philly Blunt, and once I started listening to her music, I was hooked. Her 2015 album, Sage and Silver Bullets, is absolutely incredible. Her songwriting is sublime. I can’t recommend her enough. If you wanna support a local artist, grab some of her music off of bandcamp. (And as a general observation from talking to some music artists, Bandcamp takes WAY better care of artists than apple music, spotify, etc)

Where I Love Hanging Out: That tree in Rittenhouse, on the northwest side, with the branches that are perfect for a 6 year old to climb, and some great shade to enjoy a cup of coffee.

What YOU Should be Listening to: You should be listening to the interview we did a few weeks ago with lawyer and activist Michael Coard. Seriously. It’s one of the best we’ve ever done, and he’s a really great dude. We talked about some heavy topics at a crazy time, and yet we had a lot of fun talking about them.

“I love it when I see by racist exposed. And by that I mean by that is now I know who you are. I’m really not concerned with them being racist, I just want to be sure that they don’t have positions that can affect me. If you’re a poor white at a trailer park, you can say the n-word all day long. If you’re the governor, or the Mayor, or the CEO of some big bank, I want to know that. I’m concerned about racists who can impose that racism negatively upon black people. If y’all have your little racist crew and y’all doing y’all thing up in the mountains go ahead, more power to you.

That’s why many people say that black people can’t be racist, only white people can be racists. And they say that, and I say it, because white people have the power. I can call a white boy a racist name all day long, but as a systemic thing, I can’t hold him back. But if I’m a white guy with a suit and tie who runs a bank, runs a school, runs a city, I can hold people down. A black person can be prejudiced, a black person can be discriminatory, a black person can be an asshole, but a black person can’t be a racist.”

Sign Up for Fall Brawl!

Hello there, folks! Carl and I are pleased to announce our latest hare-brained virtual quizzo scheme: the FALL BRAWL. Here’s how it’s gonna work:

SEASON: 11 weeks (10-week regular season + 1 week of playoffs). 11 games guaranteed (see below), up to 13 games max.

GAME FORMAT: Why fix what ain’t broken? The 10-week regular season is 40 minute sessions, just your team and your virtual quizzo host. Once we get to the playoffs, we’ll activate breakout rooms. 

LEAGUE FORMAT: 50 teams (ideally). Two conferences of 5 divisions, 5 teams per division. You “play against” your 4 division rivals twice, plus 2 non-division games.

SCHEDULE: Regular season starts the week of September 7th. Playoffs (in breakout room format) take place the week of November 16th. The MOTHER OF ALL BRAWLS will take place on Sunday, November 22nd.

PLAYOFFS: 12 teams from each conference make the playoffs- the 5 division winners, plus 7 wild card teams. The first 6 wild card spots go to the non-division winners with the highest average scores, and then the 7th slot will be determined by the highest score in Week 10 among those who haven’t yet clinched. There will also be a special event for non-playoff teams (***see below).

“WHAT IF WE MISS A WEEK?”: No sweat, we’ll do our best to schedule a make-up quiz for you. Also we drop everyone’s lowest score, so at worst you’d lose a game with no hit to your average.

PRIZES: Assuming we fill both conferences, there will be $900 worth of cash prizes for top league finishers ($400 for 1st place, $200 for 2nd, $100 for 3rd, $100 for the highest scoring average teams in each conference’s regular season), plus some gift card packages as always. Most importantly, the overall winner will walk away with the BRAWLERS BELT to which monetary value cannot possibly be applied. Early estimates have it worth at least a chamillion. 

PRICE: $450 per team, with $20 going to the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign for the tremendous work they do housing and feeding our city’s most vulnerable people. $225 is due by Labor Day (9/7), and the balance is due by October 1st.

TOPICS: We are asking YOU to decide the season’s topics on the JGT Quizzo FB page. We’ll pick some of our favorites, then announce them during our live pre-season show right before the season starts. 

REGISTRATION: All Brawlers should sign up here.

Hope you’re ready to get in the ring with us!  


***If you don’t make the playoffs, don’t worry, you still get to play in our FALL CRAWL , a battle royale in which everyone who didn’t make the playoffs plays, with prizes on the line. This will be your 11th game.

Live Quizzo This Sunday

Alrighty, folks, we’re going to eaaaaaase into the “returning to real quizzo” thing this Sunday, with a quiz at Frankford Hall at 6 PM. We’ll have quite a few restrictions in place to keep things safe but still a chance for you and the friends in your social bubble to have some fun. Here’s how it will work:

First of all, the quiz is outdoors. (If you haven’t been to Frankford Hall before, it’s a large space and it’s almost entirely outdoors). Teams of up to 6 can play together. Those teams will be separated by 6 feet from all other teams. Anyone getting up to get a drink or going to the restroom will need to wear a mask. You’ll play the quiz on your phones through playbigquiz.com, so no exchanging of papers or pens, etc.

As for specials, they’re going to have $4 half liters and $8 liters of Weihenstephaner 1516. They’ll also have $6 currywurst with fries. (It’s a popular street food in Germany…it’s a curry spiced sausage.

Hope to see you Sunday!