Friday, August 20, 2010

Soccer Nerd

The Facebook ads have us all figured out, don’t they? Before my 40th birthday, I was getting suggestions for yummy mummy product samples for women 35-39. Now the ads say “Over 40?” and promise to make me look like Jennifer Aniston. Today my Facebook ads are suggesting microbrewed beer (good), cupcakes (what a tremendous idea!) a personal trainer (mildly insulting) and a manicure (is there a camera in my computer or something? How do they know I need a manicure, and that I have needed one since about 1984? Do I now need to type with my knuckles to hide my shame?) Like you, I never click on these ads. But then there was the one that said “Think you know soccer?” Well, that one had me. Yes, I do, Facebook. And since there was a chance to win some money, I clicked on it. Big mistake.

It was a short quiz and I failed it miserably. Turns out I don’t know how many metres are between the goalposts and the penalty kick spot (although I could whomp a decent penalty kick, with either my left or right foot, before I got hurt). I have no clue who the USA’s coach was during the 2006 FIFA World Cup. I knew that Zinedine Zidane was the French player who head butted someone and got sent off in that same World Cup, and that that was the end of his career, but that was such big news I bet my mom knows that. (Full disclosure: after writing this, I actually called my mom to ask her if she knew that, and she did not. She knew there was an incident where someone head-butted someone else in soccer, but she couldn’t remember who it was. When I told her his name, she howled. “What a name!” But bear in mind my mom is 69, not a sports fan, and never watches ‘the TeeVee’, unless it is Antiques Roadshow.)

Worse still is that I had to enter my cell phone number to take part in the quiz, and then the company started constantly texting me with new quizzes to take-- quizzes about who was on Letterman last week and all sorts of things that have nothing to do with soccer-- and using up all my pay-as-you-go minutes. Jerks. Just what I needed: a constant reminder that I don’t know what I’m talking about, and a bigger cell-phone bill.

But now that I am hurt and can’t actually play, and because I may have this slightly competitive nature, I got to thinking about this soccer quiz and wondered if I could perhaps do better than I had done before. I did watch a lot of the World Cup. So, I googled ‘soccer quiz’ and I found about a million hits. One website I checked,, features only soccer quizzes and challenges you to ‘find out if you are a bigger soccer nerd than your friends.’ (No need to take the quiz to discern that. Of course I am.)

I took one quiz and instantly regretted it. When you score incorrectly, it says “Wrong” in big bold letters at the top of the page, and since that happened a lot, it wasn’t great for my fragile ego. Granted, I did get some answers right (sample correctly answered question: Where will the 2010 World Cup be held? Maybe you should update some of the questions, there, soccernerd.) And I felt somewhat superior when I saw the poor grammar used in some of the questions (Which English team plays there games at Anfield stadium?) I decided to rally and play a few more rounds but I did not really improve, and then was told I couldn’t keep playing and move up to the next level unless I got a higher score. How much higher? I checked and today’s top scorer has amassed over 282,000 points. Granted, he played for longer than I did (I am going to go ahead and assume he was a he), but you know how many points I had? Four. And at least two of those points were from flukey, multiple choice answers.

So I can’t play soccer and I can’t win a soccer quiz. Obviously I am a different kind of soccer nerd. I know it is morning, but I think I’ve earned the right to eat a cupcake and wash it down with a microbeer, just as long as I hide my hideous fingernails and use my knuckles to open the bottle. The personal trainer will have to wait. I’m injured, you know.

No comments:

Post a Comment