Aberdeen striker is a ‘reading champion’ who does not read

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

Despite Frank Lampard's best efforts, footballers still have a reputation for not exactly being the brightest group. And this isn't going to help that reputation any.

In the Reading Champions section of the Meldrum primary school's website is a special guest: 29-year-old Aberdeen striker Darren Mackie. The other Reading Champions are all students and teachers with a passion for reading, but what better way to promote literacy than with a local celebrity? As it turns out, every way is better.

Right from the start, the Reading Champions interview gets on the wrong foot when Darren admits that he doesn't read book, but does try to recover by saying he reads "a lot" of lad mags and to sell his vague curiosity about...things, he says:

I feel excited about the new, up and coming things in the world.

It's like he slept through the question and strung a combination of general, meaningless words together upon jolting back to life. This was only the beginning, though. Darren continues his optimistic attempt at recovering:

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If I did read books it would be autobiographies because I enjoy finding out about things that have happened in other peoples lives.

Just not enough to read about them.

My favourite book is Lord of the Rings although I haven't read the book I have watched the films.The book must be good because the films are so good.

This is where we really start to think that this is a joke. I searched the rest of the website and it appears to be real. We can't yet rule out the possibility that Darren is the next Andy Kaufman, though.

Darren forges ahead with his favorite author:

J.R.R. Tolkien because he wrote the best story ever told,Lord of the Rings.

Naturally. But, again, it still wasn't a good enough story to actually read. His favorite book as a child:

The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark by Jill  Tomlinson was my favourite book as a child.It brings back good memories.

Yes. Good memories of not reading.

And finally, the hardest question of all: Just why exactly are you a Reading Champion, Darren?

I think I am a Reading Champion because I enjoy the fact you learn things from reading.

Brilliant. He enjoys the fact that you learn things from reading while he continues on his awesome life as a professional footballer who watches the movie version of books. Assuming this isn't a perfectly executed joke from the world's greatest comedic genius, all teachers, publishers and literates should just go ahead and quit now.

The Fiver via Deadspin