Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Literature + Futbol = Nerdery Personified

Okay, so I love football, I even call it football even though my fellow Americans prefer to call that thing where you throw/carry the ball with your hands "football". But I also love books, and I love combining the two whenever possible.

With another round of World Cup matches right around the corner I thought I'd break down the favorites in the nerdiest way possible: through the odds on favorites to win the Nobel Prize in Literature (according to ladbrokes betting house...which places bets on everything from intellectual achievement to whether or not anyone ever reads this post....oooh, 9 Zillion to 1...I LIKE THOSE ODDS!!)

Rather than look at everyone on the list I'll suggest that the top 10 favorites may well inspire their teams to victories in the near future. (Even though #3 Mo Yan of China and #10 Adonis of Syria can't inspire their local sides to Cup qualification...what with those teams already losing and everything)

Does he wanna talk about Japan's
chances against France or Brazil
Most of the top 10 writers can already claim to support powerful teams. Top of the list is Haruki Murakami, he of the wild and stylistically invigorating 1Q84...though the Tengu Warriors have friendlies against titans France and Brazil but don't play another cup qualifier until November, you've got to like their odds against Oman as they look to move on to the Mundial.

Similar good fortune may be in the offing for Ladbrokes' other Goliath writers: #4 Alice Munro (Canada v. Cuba); #6 Bob Dylan...yes that Bob Dylan... (USA V. Antigua & Barbuda) #7 Cees Noteboom (Netherlands v. Andorra).  Heck, even #5 Peter Nadas, has to feel pretty good as his Hungary takes on Estonia...come on Estonia, you call that a couplet?

#8 Ngugi wa Thiong'o won't get to push the Harambee Stars through a qualifier (they wait 'til March to play top of their table Nigeria)...still! Kenya does have a friendly against South Africa next week. And if Thiong'o's got the momentum his team might upend the most recent African winner, J.M. Coetzee.

Pop-Quiz: is this Albanian author Ismail Kadare,
or Albanian captain Lorik Cana...I really don't know
And who knows what to expect when #9 Ismail Kadare of Albania has his nation face off with Iceland. Seriously, I don't know about Ismail Kadare or any players on either of those teams...I'm stumped.

But perhaps the biggest upset has already been prognosticated by looking at the 2nd favorite in the Ladbrokes odds: Irish poet William Trevor. Does this mean that the Irish will spring an upset on Germany in Dublin this Friday? (Especially since the Germans don't have anybody on Ladbrokes list?) Probably not...but hey! If I can't make wild conjectures here, where can I make them? Put it down! Ireland over Gemrany this Friday.

Blame it on the Grey
Perhaps most importantly...Ladbrokes longest of longshots this year is Fifty Shades of Grey author EL James whose English heritage may destroy the Three Lions if she wins and thereby uses up all their momentum against San Marino...yes. I hereby proclaim that if EL James wins the Nobel Prize in Literature (against 500/1 odds), then San Marino should definitely take the win against England (they're currently 400/1 according to Ladbrokes).


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