Turd of the Week #9

Quote of the Week: “After this is done and we’re all old, we’re going to have scrapbooks, but hopefully the most important thing is the respect of the people you associated yourself with. Steve (Sampson) is going to have to settle for a scrapbook.” (Alexi Lalas)

If you throw Steve Sampson at a wall, will he stick?

Asia Watch: Isn’t that the name of some Sally Struthers charity? If not it should be as yen are no longer worth the lira they’re printed on. Anyway, the impoverished nations of Asia, no longer able to afford bribery, continue to resort to blackmail to get five slots at WC’02 — the same World Cup they get to host. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) say they will withdraw from the competition and hold their breath until they are blue in the face, claiming they are being gypped because they only get two slots after the hosts (best-buddies Japan and Korea), despite representing half the world’s population. What the innumerates at AFC fail to realize is that they also represent the 20th, 28th, 30th and 31st place finishers at WC’98 — the worst of any confederation. (Except Oceania — home of the mighty Vanuatu — which failed to place a single side in the competition.)

Sepp’s Butt Buddy of the Week: Jerry Langdon, a hack for the Gannett birdcage lining company, scrawled the following grafitti on the wall of their web site: “Kudos to FIFA for plans to institute a two-referee trial this summer, with plans to implement it full-scale for the 1999-2000 season. Yes, it is tinkering with the sport, which will undoubtedly offend the purists. It should, however, lead to a sharp reduction in off-the-ball elbows and trips and just plain dirty play. Plus, the athletes of today are much quicker than in the past, and it’s difficult for all but the best officials to keep up. The presence of a second referee also should lead to more control of verbal harassment by players after a call is made.”

Then we could all hold hands and sing Kumbaya. Jer thinks passing more laws will result in a reduction in crime: Afterall, we don’t have to worry about mastodon muggings like our great-grandpappy Yortog did. Mastodon muggings, Vinnie Jones muggings: not much difference. If the poor critters had only had a ref, they might still be around. (Fewer off-the-cliff stampedes.) Two refs, and we might still have sabre-tooth tigers! Three refs and we’d be well on our way to American gridball. Progress! What the intellectually gifted like Jer fail to realize is that changes have unintended consequences. But hey! They can always pass more laws to deal with those. And more to deal with those. And more … you get the idea — even if the reformers don’t. Pretty soon you have as many shiftless, bloated lawyers at FIFA House as you do in the U.S. House. If you want to play or support a different sport, God bless you, have fun. Can’t find a sport you like, start a new one. But leave my sport alone.

Btw, adding a ref would actually increase the number of bad calls:


Boring Statistical Analysis of the Week
Big numbers are easier to deal with, so we’ll start with those, though we all know a ref would never make so many bad calls. Right? We do … don’t we?If we assume that a 50% of Ref A’s calls are bad, and Ref B is equally incompetent, then there is a 75% chance a bad call will be made:

One Crap Ref
A bad (.50)       =  .50 (.50) +.50
A good (.50)      =  .50 (.50) +.00
Total               1.00       +.50
50% chance of bad call

Two Crap Refs
A bad (.50), B good (.50)  =  .25 (.50x.50) +.25
A good (.50), B bad (.50)  =  .25 (.50x.50) +.25
A bad (.50), B bad (.50)   =  .25 (.50x.50) +.25
A good (.50), B good (.50) =  .25 (.50x.50) +.00
Total                        1.00           +.75
75% chance of bad call

Let’s say we have particularly experienced and insightful refs and the possibility of making a bad call is only 10%:

One Insightful Ref
A bad (.40)       =  .10 (.10) +.10
A good (.60)      =  .90 (.90) +.00
Total               1.00       +.10
10% chance of blowing bad call

Two Insightful Refs
A bad (.10), B good (.90)  =  .09 (.10x.90) +.09
A good (.90), B bad (.10)  =  .09 (.90x.10) +.09
A bad (.10), B bad (.10)   =  .01 (.10x.10) +.01
A good (.90), B good (.90) =  .81 (.90x.90) +.00
Total                        1.00           +.19
19% chance of  bad call

If Esse Baharmast had a twin:

One God-Like Ref
A bad (.01)       =  .01 (.01) +.01
A good (.99)      =  .99 (.99) +.00
Total               1.00       +.01
1.00% chance of  bad call

Two God-Like Refs
A bad (.01), B good (.99)  =  .0099 (.01x.99) +.0099
A good (.99), B bad (.01)  =  .0099 (.99x.01) +.0099
A bad (.01), B bad (.01)   =  .0001 (.01x.01) +.0001
A good (.99), B good (.99) =  .8100 (.99x.99) +.0000
Total                        1.0000           +.0199
1.99% chance of  bad call

Thus we find that the number of refs does indeed increase the likelihood of bad calls being whistled. Increasing the quality of the ref decreases the likelihood of the bad call being whistled, but not enough to compensate for the additional refs — no matter how good the refs are. The only way two refs would not increase the likelihood of bad calls is if they are flawless; if they both never bad calls: In other words, if we let parents, players and coaches ref. However, also as shown above, increasing the quality of a single ref does decrease the likelihood of bad calls. Thus, the solution is better refs, not more refs.

Which brings us to this week’s feature presentation:

Late in the Champions League 1/4-final second leg matchup Olympiakos led visiting Juventus 1-0. The result would have been enough for Olympiakos to move on on away goals as they had tallied a late goal, losing 1-2 in Turin two weeks prior. In the 75th minute, a local mutt trotted onto the pitch and produced a physical manifestation of Juventus effort to that point. Inspired by the mutt’s late heroics, Juventus equalized through Conte in the 85th minute to go through to the semi-finals on 3-2 aggregate. No word yet on Juventus signing the canine trialist.

Greek Mutt

Turd of the Week

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