The Beautiful Game

So this week has seen the start of Brazil 2014, the 20th FIFA World Cup Finals tournament. As a quiz writer I like things like World Cups and Olympics, not so much because of the sport thing but because of the opportunity to write a whole new raft of related questions. Every such tournament thows up something or someone interesting, such as Cameroon’s Roger Milla (the oldest player to both appear in, and score in, a World Cup Finals match) or France’s Just Fontaine (a record 13 goals in 1958).

There’s also the anticipation of seeing if someone can beat Fat Ronaldo’s record of 15 all-time goals (my money is on Miroslav Klose) and finding out exactly who will beat England in the Quater Finals (I’d originally thought Spain but, after last night’s performance, I’m now hopeful of a semi-final against Belgium- I can’t see the Dutch having enough players not suspended to put out a squad for the QF).

Talking of Belgium, along with Thailand, this week they also joined the list of countries with readers of my blog. No disrespect, but I hope that you lose your semi-final! Anyway, onto the quizzy side of things:

Beer: UBU at The Pub (because everything else was ‘settling’) and Pedigree at home
Quiz: A fairly stressless win, given that we were pretty much ahead from Round 1

On the Perfect Pub Quiz front, our World Cup Quiz is being run in pubs in Staffordshire and Lancashire, and is still aavailable to purchase through the website – – where you can also find lots of non-World Cup quizzes as well, with prices starting from just £1.
I’m also acting as Quiz Master for a couple of quizzes over the next few months – more news on this in later blogs.

Lucy has also badgered me to be allowed to come along to watch the England v Costa Rica match at The Pub. Regardless of what she promises to wear, does the woman not realise that its on quiz night!!

Lucy England

There’s surprisingly little hype about England’s chances this year, which is refreshing (despite the fact that only Belgium stands between them and a spanking by Brazil or Argentina in the final – and at least with Brazil, you won’t have to worry about a handball). What’s more, England are in one of only three group matches that are probably worth watching from the neutral’s perspective (tonights match against Italy). The other two are last nights Spain v Holland match (and I’m still in shock at the result) and Germany v Portugal. Germany have the edge there because they’ll be playing against 10 men – ‘Cheating No-Neck’ Ronaldo having gone down as if from a sniper’s shot the first time he gets in the penalty box, regardless of how close any opposition player is to him.

The first World Cup I really remember is Mexico 86 – the only where Gary Lineker won the Golden Boot (the only Englishman to achieve this – see, World Cups are great for quiz questions) and that cheating bastard Diego Maradonna scored that handball (if he had been sent off, as he should have been, he would never have scored his fantastic second goal, and England would have faced Belgium in the semi-finals – I’m sure I’ve heard something similar before).

Not that I was really into it you understand, just that the matches, like Brazil 2014, were broadcast last so were on when you got home from the pub – in those days the pubs kicked out at 10:30 and the matches kicked off at 11:00 – no extended licencing hours in Thatcher’s Britain.

In those halycon days of my youth, the pub was The Duck, mainly for Pete’s Thursday Night Pub Quiz. This was the first successful quiz team I was a member of – The Corner Crew (because we always sat in the corner), which consisted of myself, the then soon to be Mrs Grumps, Big Rog (not to be mistaken for Big Ron*), U2 Sam and Mr P. Like The Royal Blokes*, Parker* was an occassional member, in this instance along with the then soon to be Mrs Parker. Sadly, neither The Duck nor Mr P are no longer with us.

My over-riding memories of Pete’s Quiz was the night we decided to drink Pernod and take the branded glasses back home with us (I still have 14 in the cupboard), and how cheap it was. The bus there, three pints of Fosters (yes, sadly I was a lager drinker back then – and only three pints because it closed at 10:30 remember), the bus back, and I still had change from a fiver. And you try and tell the young people of today that and they won’t believe you. Luxury!

Footnote: England need to win the group to play Colombia – Holland – Belgium. Qualifying second would give them Ivory Coast – Brazil – watching the semi finals at home.

*see Cast List


2 thoughts on “The Beautiful Game

  1. Pingback: The Rules | Beer and Quizzes

  2. Pingback: Of Mice and Men | Beer and Quizzes

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