If you like money, study this guide. You’ll definitely win* trivia night at your local sports bar. Even if it’s not an officially sanctioned trivia night, you can still win some friendly wagers with your friends with these facts. *Results may vary depending on the types of questions and your competitors. And the amount of alcohol in your system. Can’t forget that.
For most people, sports solely exist so we can spit out fun facts and random trivia tidbits to anyone who will listen to us. Most don’t care about the number of steals Ricky Henderson had in his career, or who Ricky Henderson even is. Instead of scoffing at the idea of useless facts, use these below to your advantage. That’s the only way you will enjoy the worldwide phenomenon known as sports.
Here are 20 useless facts that will help you win your local sports bar trivia:
- Alaska and Maine are the only two states in the US to never send a school to the NCAA basketball tournament held in March. Alaska doesn’t have any Division I schools in the state, and Maine apparently is not that good.
- Three Olympic Games were held in countries that no longer exist. Those countries are West Germany (1972), USSR (1980) and Yugoslavia (1984).
- In 1896, at the first modern Olympics, instead of gold, you were awarded a silver medal and an olive branch. It wasn’t until the third Olympiad that the committee handed out gold, silver and bronze.
- Many professional athletes went into service during World War II. But what most don’t know is that the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL combined to become the Steagles in 1943 because of their decimated rosters.
- Jerry West is the silhouette in the NBA logo. But no one knows for sure who the silhouette represents in the Major League Baseball logo. For decades most have thought Harmon Killebrew was the batter, but the creator of the logo said he didn’t base it on any one particular player — it’s just a player with a bat in his hands.
- Before each National Football League game, the home team has to provide the referee with 36 footballs, each inflated within a certain range.
- In 1990, Ken Griffey, Sr. and Ken Griffey, Jr. were the first father and son to ever hit back-to-back home runs in an MLB game.
- Former collegiate coach and current college football analyst Lee Corso roomed with the actor Burt Reynolds when both attended at Florida State. Reynolds dropped out to see if he could make it in Hollywood.
- William Howard Taft was the first US President to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on MLB’s opening day in 1910. Bonus fun fact: Jimmy Carter and Donald Trump are the only two Presidents since then who have never thrown out the ceremonial first pitch.
- Deion Sanders is a stud. He’ the only person in the world who has hit an MLB home run and scored an NFL touchdown within seven days of each other.
- The first Wimbledon tournament in 1877 wasn’t for tennis at all. It was played as a fundraiser for England’s most popular sport at the time: croquet.
- The oldest Heisman trophy winner, given to the best player in college football, is Chris Weinke from Florida State, who was the ripe old age of 28 when he won in 2000.
- If you were a part of the winning team in the World Series before 1926, instead of gaudy rings you see today, you would have received pocket watches or medallions.
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, was a goalie for AFC Portsmouth.
- Barcelona beat Madrid FC in the first ever match between these El Clasico participants back in 1902.
- David Beckham made his name known when he played for Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy. Yet, most don’t know he ended his career with Paris Saint-Germain.
- The first athlete to fail an Olympic drug test was Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall in 1968. The pentathlete tested positive for beer in his system.
- The NCAA banned the slam dunk from all basketball contests between 1967 and 1976, making for some boring games with players exhibiting boring skills like fundamentals.
- Baseball great Babe Ruth spent one year as a first base coach for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1938.
- Brazil is the only country to play in every World Cup between 1930 and 2018.