Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Book Review: The Scottish Sports Quiz Book

Finally get round to sorting out the piles of books littering the flat and promise not to add more until the turn of the year.

And the very next day a book arrives through the post.

Ah, well. And review copies don't really count because I'm not paying for them and they have a "proper" purpose*.

The latest is The Scottish Sports Quiz Book by Martin Greig. Really, when you're choosing a title for a book you're best just to come out and say exactly what it is.

A welcome title as well as I very occasionally moonlight as quiz master for a fairly irregular football/sports quiz.

The last one was held before the World Cup final and won by a man wearing a Spain strip. So in the football trivia field I'm kind of a cross between Bamber Gascoigne and Paul the psychic octopus. Obviously with less hair and fewer arms.

And I'm also a giant nerd who reads these things for fun so the promise of 3000 questions is almost as exciting as Christmas Eve.

Martin Greig is a former senior sports writer with The Herald so you'd expect him to know his stuff. Notice it is "Sports" not "Football" in that title. In fact the split is about 50:50 with the fitba' questions opening things up before mini-sections covering rugby, golf, boxing, swimming etc round everything off.

That's probably a more equitable split than you'll find from any of our broadcasters or newspapers so, for once, "sports" might just be a justified description.

The football categories are: Celtic, Rangers, Scottish National Team, Scottish Clubs in Europe, General Football Knowledge, Hearts and Hibs, North of the Tay and Junior Football. A smorgasbord of soccer to make any statto smile.

It might seem hard to muck something as simple a quiz book up. But somehow people manage it. Thankfully not Martin Greig.

Like anything of this nature there's nothing new here if you know the answers. But, unless you're in Bob Crampsey's league, you probably won't know all the answers and will enjoy spending an hour or two picking up some of the more interesting nuggets of trivia.

And don't worry, learning some interesting facts from The Scottish Sports Quiz Book won't turn you into the kind of pub bore that people move away from when they see them coming.

Of course I'm saying that from the corner of the pub that always seems to empty when I approach.

I actually spent large periods of my brief flirtation with the civil service doing football quizzes with a couple of like-minded co-skivers. It's high praise indeed to say that I'm confident our already poor productivity would have plummeted further had we The Scottish Sports Quiz Book to call on.

The Scottish Sports Quiz Book by Martin Greig. Published by Waverley Books. Available 5th August 2010.

*Which is to say if you're publishing a book on Scottish football please get in touch and I'll happily review it.