Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Alternative XI: Footballing Autofills

The fantastically funny Dave Gorman podcast features a segment called “Autofill your boots”. In it, a listener is invited to answer quiz questions which have been autofilled by Google's search engine algorithms.

It works like this: if you type the querulous words “Can you” into Google's query box, it suggest the next most likely conclusions to your request. These autofill answers are predicated by one's location and often by search preferences. As you can see below, the most popular completions in the case of “Can you” include “run it”, “feel the love tonight lyrics”, “freeze cheese”, “get mono twice”, “overdose on vitamin c” and “print from an ipad” amongst some other more unsavoury inquiries. Dave then asks the challenger if you can, in fact, contract mononucleosis twice.

 This parlour-game derives from Google's reputation alongside Wikipedia as the font of all knowledge, arbiter of all sexual health questions and the bane of pub trivia masters everywhere. When we enter certain football personalities into Google, the autofills can amuse, tell a sordid tale, sum up or even reveal a public concern for their (potential) religious views or sexuality.

So, without any further introduction, here's the Autofill Eleven – with subs included.

Andy Carroll: girlfriend, jokes, tumblr, wiki, stats, twitter, dive, drinking, weight, salary.

- In which the butt of many Novocastrian and Evertonian jokes becomes apparent.

Wayne Rooney: twitter, hair, bicycle kick, salary, hair transplant, wiki, stats, net worth, wife, jersey.

- Where we see an obvious trend towards follicular regrowth. More surprising is that rumours of his dilettante nature with “ladies of the night” don't feature.

Fernando Torres: tattoo, miss, stats, twitter, transfer, back to liverpool, meme, jokes, news.

- Apparently Liverpool fans think he's still a chance to return to Anfield.

John Terry: racist, affair, racism, wayne bridge, scandal, anton ferdinand, wiki, lost, zimbio, actor.

- Obscure, unvoiced rumours intimate that when “John Terry crisis” is Googled, the entire internet undergoes an infinite recursion, becoming an inescapable black hole; its Event Horizon appears like a copy of the Daily Mail.

Nicklas Bendtner: twitter, girlfriend, injury, mask, confidence, arrogance, arrogant, tumblr, face injury, stats.

- Frolics on Wearside and in Denmark aside, Nicklas Bendtner is known for one thing: irrational confidence.

Jens Lehmann: twitter, piss, crazy, jersey, wiki, sent off, drogba, tumblr, penalty notes, quotes.

- Ah, mad Jens

Sepp Blatter: racism, net worth, twitter, salary, corruption, quotes, women's shorts, goal line technology, with black people

- Apparently most people searching El Presidente aren't curious as to his policies concerning FIFA doing “real and permanent good”; they're most interested in his well-publicised gaffes.

Sir Alex Ferguson: quotes, salary, net worth, wiki, hairdryer treatment, retirement, stand, book, twitter, tactics

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: book, gay, muslim, twitter, tattoos, quotes, jersey, religion, suspended.

- Perhaps the most interesting man in football today, Ibrahimovic has the confidence of Bendtner and the ability of David Silva. Many suspect he still has the heart of Gerard Pique.

Mario Balotelli: twitter, girlfriend, wiki, chef, why always me, salary, stories, suspension, news, twitter official.

Sergio Ramos: twitter, girlfriend, tattoos, tumblr, wiki, biography, nose job, drops cup, girlfriend 2012, headband.

- If “Sergio Ramos nose job” is actually searched, you find several different message boards where this question is posted. The right-back on the best team in Europe this year, a current World Cup and European Champion and solid and effective for a decade, Ramos' career has been reduced to this.

Harry Redknapp: tax evasion, trial, quotes, england manager, twitch, illiterate, team sheet, wheeler dealer, england.

Roy Keane: quotes, wiki, haaland, patrick vieira, autobiography, robbie keane, alf inge haaland, twitter, shirt, galaxy.

- Where his long and brutal career is summed up by three incidents – Alf Inge Haaland, Patrick Vieira and namesake Robbie Keane. No mention of Prawn Sandwiches, however...

Ashley Young: injury, dive, facebook, and the restless, twitter, goal vs tottenham, blood, stats, transfer fee.

- Young makes the cut simply because of the incredible Taiwanese animation and the unwitting link to the Young and the Restless. Comedy gold!

Thierry Henry: twitter, wiki, muslim, fish tank, net worth, salary, biography, statue, handball, girlfriend.

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