Not only did I enjoy watching Andy Roddick CRUSH Bernard Tomic last night, but I watched the match while playing “ESPN InPlay” on my iPhone and that made it even more fun. ESPN InPlay is an interactive mobile app that allows you to rack up points in pursuit of the ultimate prize – tickets to the 2013 U.S. Open (maybe that's how I'll finally get there)!
So how do you play? First, you go to the website – espninplay.com – with your smart phone or tablet and log in through Facebook. The app will then countdown until the next trivia game starts. Last night, the app started up right before the Roddick/Tomic match got underway and, thanks to the countdown, I was all ready.
The app then asks you trivia questions about the match in progress (that you're presumably watching on ESPN2) and the players playing. It's a lot like the trivia games you used to play at pizza places or buffalo wing joints where you answered trivia questions with a handheld device in a certain amount of time. (Does anyone but me remember those days and how upset your kids would be if they had to share one of the little answer machines?) So, for example, I got 10 points for knowing that Roddick won the U.S. Open in 2003 (duh). I got another 10 for knowing that the U.S. Open is played on hard courts (double duh). But I missed out on 10 points for not knowing that Bernard Tomic is the only teenager ranked in the Top 50 (wow!). I also lost out on 10 for not knowing that Tomic, an Australian, lives in Stuttgart, Germany (go figure).
But the fun part of the game is the predictive trivia questions where you are asked questions about the match in progress. That's how I won 10 points for guessing that Roddick would win the third game of the first set (that was a given since he served first). And I won another 10 for predicting that Tomic would not win more than 3 games in the first set (sort of lucky guess, it looked like it was going that way right from the beginning).
Will I be the big winner in ESPN InPlay? I'm guessing not. I was only able to play for the first set last night so my current score is only 170 points. The leaderboard shows that “Eric H.” has 2,810 points. I don't think I can catch him. But I did really get a kick out of playing the game while I was watching the match and I think I'll keep playing throughout the U.S. Open.
The next round of ESPN InPlay is scheduled for September 3 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern time. To download the app, just go to espninplay.com. If you play, look for me on the leader board. I guess I should say look for me at the bottom of the leader board. I wonder if they give a prize for coming in 347th place?