Uncredited, out of vision
Sports Xchange, 2008
Two ways of looking at this one. If you've been spending far too much time on this site, you may recall Mind Games, a play-along-at-home keep-your-own-score pseudo-interactive puzzle book for which we had one of the softest of spots. Well, by the same token - one of Big Brother's very, very special tokens, we fancy - this is a play-along-at-home keep-your-own-score interactive multiple-choice sports quiz.
Four rounds of ten questions, each question has four possible answers. Questions vary from the fine (How many Olympic gold medals has Steve Cram won? One, two, three or none) to the likely-to-date-quickly (How many FA Cup finals have Manchester United won? Nine, ten, eleven or eight) to the unbearably trivial (When Roman Sebrle broke the 9,000 point barrier in the decathlon for the first time, what was his score? 9,009, 9,011, 9,026 or 9,087) with about 25 seconds or so between questions. Slick it's not; it makes 100% look like Sale of the Century, except with extra dong-diddly-ding-di-di-ding - and it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that dong-diddly-ding-di-di-ding.
In the background there is a pastel monochromatic generic sporting image that changes from round to round, and is the only thing to so do, for all four rounds are extremely general knowledge. In the aural background is an electronic burble that doesn't even merit the term shoegazing. Three rounds, a break, round four, then the answers at double speed. Expect misspellings in the answers (Gary Linekar), pronunciations which might be considered questionable at best (Leroy Burrell probably doesn't pronounce his surname the same way as Paul Burrell) and at least one occasion where the question shown on-screen just plain does not match the question read out (the visual question asking for winners of men's major titles in tennis, but the spoken question asking for winners of women's major titles). This doesn't fill you with confidence that the answers quoted are going to be correct.
That's one way of looking at it. The other way of looking at it is that you can play along on the SportsXchange web site in real time by downloading the quiz and then a password to unlock it at three pounds a shot. (Do note that you appear to have to register separately for the Sports Xpert quiz and for the SportsXchange web site. Ugh!) Perhaps there's a global competition with prizes for the top performers, but it isn't made clear. Technically, that's ding-darn impressive for a channel way up in the 400s in the channel listings, being not a million miles away from half of what (fx: copies and pastes exceedingly long title) Come and Have a Go If You Think You're Smart Enough tried to accomplish. The interactive game hints at being a trial for some sort of national quiz. We approve of That Sort Of Thing.
There are three live quizzes a week, replayed (purely offline) as Sports Xpert Replay. It's hard to look past the highly negative version of this review when considering the replay, but the live game with three sheets riding on it probably has at least as much fun to it as playing a sports quiz on a quiz machine three times. Possibly not a very interesting one...