Q: What’s the best place to show off your useless knowledge about Brooklyn?
A: Trivia finals at the Sackett.
The cozy Park Slope bar hosted a fierce showdown between the borough’s brainiest fact hounds at an invitation-only contest earlier this month that was essentially the World Series for Brooklyn trivia nerds.
The now-legendary Sackett Invitational is the ultimate proving ground for past winners of the twice-monthly contest who compete for free bar tabs and borough-wide bragging rights by answering questions about Jay-Z’s real name, the Battle of Brooklyn, and even the Atlantic Antic, among other subjects.
The trivia buffs — former “Jeopardy!” stars, documentarians, and lawyers among them — said the secret to success is all about finding teammates with diverse knowledge, keeping your beer buzz at bay, and not over-thinking answers.
“It’s fun to be surprised by what you didn’t think you knew,” said cigarette-break-taking player Jake Slattery.
Other competitors said they came for the host, Dave Scher, who crafts brain-teasing questions on topics such as current events, music, film, and Brooklyn minutiae.
“He seems to genuinely care about creating a good trivia night — and he’s equally as nerdy as we are,” said Steve Jacobs of the team “In Second Place,” which did not live up to its name.
Jacobs’s team was actually in last place when The Brooklyn Paper stopped by, but can at least brag about its matching dinosaur t-shirts.
To prepare for the competition, other fact geeks said they keep up on headlines — including ones inside the borough’s paper of record.
“We should read The Brooklyn Paper more — with a more careful eye,” said Leo Lopez, who is obviously very smart.
Lopez said his trivia credentials include appearing on “Jeopardy!” and frequenting the Sackett’s regular season trivia nights.
During the game, players scribbled down answers to questions crafted by Scher, who aims for queries that are tough, but not too tough.
“You have to respect your audience. You have to keep it moving and keep it challenging,” said Scher, who spent roughly seven hours preparing the questions and checking the answers
In the end, the team “Kate Middleton’s Apology Tour” dominated, taking first place and earning paper certificates, the praise of their rivals, and a place atop the pantheon of Brooklyn know-it-alls.
That is, until next season.
Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.