D George Brinson is in his fifth season with the Utah Owls. During that time, he has earned a nickname that most athletes would find unflattering: “The Brain.” According to teammates, Brinson earned this sobriquet due to his seemingly bottomless store of and love for trivia.
“Brinner is a human Wikipedia,” said New York Night C Lloyd “Goofy” Banjax, who played alongside Brinson in Utah for four seasons. “Whenever we’d go to a new city, he’d tell us the history of the city. We’d drive past a statue, and he’d tell us about the guy it was named for and the battles he fought in or what he did. It was pretty insane.”
At first, Brinson’s teammates found this habit annoying, and stuck him with the nickname sarcastically. But over time, they came to consider it endearing. They brought Trivial Pursuit cards on road trips and quizzed Brinson on them; he answered virtually every question correctly. Later, Brinson began serving as quizmaster, preparing questions for his teammates to answer in competition. In time, the Owls became sharp enough that they began competing in local bar trivia nights, with Brinson serving as captain.
Given Brinson’s facility with arcane knowledge, it comes as little surprise that his teammates having regularly encouraged him to go on the game show “Jeopardy!” “We all know Brinner would clean up on there,” said teammate and longtime friend Kaylen Pinkerton. “He knows everything!”
Brinson had always ignored the suggestion. But with the show now offering its qualifying test online, the blueliner finally took the plunge during the offseason. “I figured why not give it a shot?” said Brinson. “I’ve always been a Jeopardy fan, so what’s the harm in trying?”
Apparently, he did well on the test, as he was then invited to audition for the show. The audition, which was conducted over video conference, contained two parts. The first part was another online test. After scoring highly on that, Brinson was then invited to play a practice game against a couple of other hopefuls.
As part of the practice round, each of the contestants was asked to talk about themselves. Brinson reported that the game coordinators were intrigued to learn that he is a hockey player. “I hope I can spoil the stereotype of hockey players as toothless, fight-loving goons,” the defenseman said. “A lot of us are quite thoughtful and interesting, and it will be good to show that to the world.”
So when can we expect to see Brinson on Jeopardy? It’s not certain. The coordinators didn’t tell Brinson or any of the auditioning contestants whether they would be invited on the show or not. According to the show’s website, contestants who do well on the test and audition may be asked to compete at any time within a year and a half after their audition.
“I don’t know if I’ll even get to go on the show,” Brinson said. “But honestly, it was fun even to try out. I’m glad I let the guys talk me into it, no matter what happens.”
The blueliner said that he had one regret: he won’t be able to meet longtime Jeopardy host Alex Trebek, who died late last year. “Alex was a legend,” Brinson noted, “and it would have been an honor just to shake his hand and get to talk to him. But who knows? Maybe I’ll be on one of the first shows with the new host! That would be pretty cool.”
“We’ve all been waiting a long time for this moment,” said Pinkerton. “We can’t wait to see how The Brain matches up against other brains!”