GEORGE "NAGROM" MORGAN
MORGAN, George - Passed away suddenly on November 17, 2008, at the age of 72. Brother of Roy, Dan, Dave and the late Earl and Jon. A Celebration of Life will be held at THE SIMPLE ALTERNATIVE FUNERAL CENTRE (275 Lesmill Rd., Toronto, 416-441-1580), on Thursday, December 11, 2008 at 6 p.m. Reception to follow.
George Morgan, according to his friends, was fiercely independent but his love for the NTN games
As a young man, George served in the United States military. Later, he worked in a
bank vault at the Royal Canadian Bank for years. But, when he was let go (fired for incompetence is
what he told some), Joe Mercury's and the NTN games became his life. He would arrive for the first
game in the morning and would play until the bar closed. The owner gave him a ride home.
George was well known to people all over the U.S. and Canada; some visited Joe Mercury's to play
the games with him. What they found at the "lower bar" of Joe Mercury's was an almost autistic old man -- one who
played the games very well!
George learned from the games. It's an advantage that comes with playing as many games as he did. Over time,
you're exposed to a lot of questions and answers from a number of areas. If you can remember the correct answers,
they can help improve your game. George called it being "NTN educated."
On occassion, George visited other NTN locations as far away as Tampa, Florida. When Bob Blake heard about George's
passing, he posted the following comment:
Morgan came to Tampa with some friends from Toronto about 7-8 years ago and played with us on a
Tuesday night at the old Bilmar Station when we had a serious Showdown team. He was a fine gentleman
and a gifted NTN player.
I raise my glass to you tonight, old friend.
S O B (Bob Blake)
In a discussion about those with many millions of players plus points, Bo (Chris Gum of the Richardson, Texas area) posted the following:
I don't think anybody has claimed that they have earned 70 some million points straight up.
I look at it this way, if someone has treated it as a full time job since the inception of p+ points
thats 8 hours a day which is 16k p+ points, let's take that up to 20k daily for bonuses and what not.
100k per week, 5 million per year for 11 1/2 years now. That's around 57 million straight up playing full time.
In the top 10, I'd say that many (but not all) of DR WHO and MR X's points are legit based on current gameplay.
Perhaps the most legit total in the top 10 would belong to NAGROM in Toronto with 46MM+, he used to be all
over the boards all day and night including Showdown.
When Joe Mercury's closed in the summer of 2007, George's health went into
decline. He died from complications from diabetes and alcoholism in November 2008. He had earned
54,264,600 Players Plus Points.
Dear Trivia Friends,
NAGROM was my trivia hero. I met him sometime in 2001 when he played at Joe Mercury's in west end Toronto. I played there from time to time, noticing his name and big points, always marvelling at his bountiful knowledge of trivia. Joe Merc's had two levels, a downstairs for the smokers and an upstairs for diners. He sat below, and I was always on the upper level.
It took a lot of courage for me to go down there to where he played. I thought he was so good and so famous that I would make a fool out of myself just saying hello to someone so da bomb.
That first time, I took a gift, three mangos. Don't ask me why. I was in awe, and I expected to encounter someone with a massive ego. What a surprise.....George was just an ordinary guy.
Over time, I got braver, and eventually I sat beside him and played NTN games. George was never mean-spirited or greedy the way other players sometimes are; he shared what he knew, and he never boasted. Often he said, "I'm not sure. It just seems like it might be." The odd time that my score topped his, and it was rarely that that happened, he never minded. He just smiled and seemed to enjoy it. It never happened without his two cents' worth anyway. Many more times over the years I brought him mangoes, but I have no idea if he ever actually ate them. To this day I don't eat a mango without remembering NAGROM.
It's been suggested that George died of diabetes and alcohol related problems. That may be so, but it saddens me to think that someone so gifted intellectually with such an expansive body of knowledge and the ability to recall it would be so dishonoured by the suggestion that he might have been an alcoholic. From the time I met him in 2001 til the last time I saw him, sadly in November, 2008 just before he died, I hadn't ever seen him inebriated or even slightly tipsy. I sat with him for many hours some days playing NTN games. His capacity for those Cool beers wasn't huge. I know that Gus the owner of SHOX would confirm this. George enjoyed his beers, but he seldom had more than a few over several hours. Had he been an alcoholic, it's not likely his brain would have fired so powerfully and perfectly day after day.
If alcohol did impact negatively on his life, so be it. But please do not ever diminish this man by thinking he was an alcoholic. He was not.
I am so grateful to have been able to know George as a friend, to sit beside him at the bar with the NTN game boards in front of us, to laugh and chat and give a hug, to sip our brewskis and just enjoy life at that moment in time. He was humble and quiet, gracious and giving. I will miss him forever.
Dr. Lili Hrabchak
Thanks to Renee Clegg for most of the information and the pictures included here.
Got an addition, a correction, or a comment? Please contact Don Denton.