Remember the good old days when all the statistics you got about a football match came after the match ended in the form of a simple table that listed four or five measures like: goals, cards, fouls, shots on goal? ah... I yearn for such days. Over the last few World Cups, I learned to accept that the statistics became more intrusive, often creeping into the screen in the middle of a good play, just to distract you. I also learned to accept how stalkerishly individual the stats became. Every now and then they'd show you how many shots a certain player did or fouls, it's cool.
Watching the Euro 2008 nowadays, I feel the organizers decided to take it to the 'Oh-yeah-we-can-calculate-THAT' level. Whenever a player is being substituted they'd show, along with the normal stats, those two annoying ones:
1. Passes Complete: 95 (79%). Why? Eitherway we don't see this stat for all the other players? And not to mention it doesn't tell us anything. He could have a low passing accuracy but passed a few brilliant passes that got the team their goals. And how are they calculating this? Is it automated or do they have a poor soul watching each player and counting (using an abacus) all passes and which of them is successfully completed and which is not?
2. Distance: 8.91km. Okay, for their own sakes, I hope that they have a GPS bug on all players that is reporting that because if they are calculating that any other way then they are truly showing off.
And if they have the technology (or the cheap abacus-using labour) why don't they put it to work on on some of those ideas:
- Untruthfully raising hand to claim last attack was offside (as %)
- Untruthfully claiming it's a goal kick not a corner kick (as %)
- Pretending it was a foul (as a %)
- Taking a dive for a penalty (as a %)
See the kool thing about those stats is that gradually they'll start to taint players who keep lying on the field. Not to mention, as more and more of those stats will be needed, I'll get into the abacus business and make billions of dongs! I'll then build a 3am dahab vault and swim in a sea of dongs....ah...that's the dream. And no, it's not gay. Not at all.