This joke may appeal to a small sub-set of the small sub-set of our readership that follows English Premier League soccer. I tell it now because, with Liverpool about to overtake Everton, it may be my last chance.
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez can’t figure out why his high-priced collection of heralded players from all over the globe is lagging behind Everton’s bargain-basement squad. So he finally asks Everton manager, David Moyes, for an explanation. Moyes tells him that the secret to Everton’s success is that the club brings in only super-smart players. “Take Wayne Carsley,” he says. “We picked him up for nothing, but he anchors our midfield brilliantly because he’s so intelligent.”
To prove the point, Moyes calls Wayne over and presents him with this riddle: “He’s your father’s son, but he’s not your brother. Who is he?” In the blink of an eye, Carsley replies, “he’s me.”
The Spaniard is quite impressed and wonders whether his players could solve the same riddle. So when he returns to Anfield, he presents the puzzler to his captain, Steven Gerrard. The midfielder is stumped, but bravely promises his manager that he will solve it overnight, and give his answer the following morning.
That night, Gerrard decides to call his friend and teammate on the national team, Wayne Rooney of Manchester United, for help. “Rooney is an ex-Evertonian,” Gerrard reasons, “he’ll know the answer.” And, indeed, the boy wonder provides his mate with the correct solution, albeit not with struggling.
The following morning Gerrard strolls into Benitez’s office with the answer. “He’s my father’s son, but he’s not my brother — he’s Wayne Rooney.” Benitez slams his fist on the table and shouts, “No, you idiot, he’s Wayne Carsley.”
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