Field Theory by Hadyn Green

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Field Theory: One man with 18 feeds

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  • Jake Pollock,

    Of course, all sport is about ritual. It's just that not all sports have pierogi races.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Wow, thanks for all the research Yamis. Seems my football-brain changed the results.

    Baseball is an interesting one (and this covers Jake and Danielle's comments too). Even the crappiest teams (like the Pirates* and the Washington Capitals) win ~60 games. That's like the worst teams in the Air New Zealand Cup winning 4 games.

    But I find baseball to be very similar to cricket (especially in the tone of the commentary).

    The pierogi races are awesome. The Capitals also have a presidents race.

    *awful uniforms btw

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Ahhh,

    Do these results imply that MLB games are the most competitive and NFL games the least? Not necessarily!
    The length of the season is a significant factor in the variability in the winning fraction. In a scenario where the outcome of a game is completely random, the total number of wins performs a simple random walk, and the standard deviation is inversely proportional to the
    square root of the number of games played. Generally, the shorter the season, the larger standard deviation. Thus, the small number of games is partially responsible for the large variability observed in the NFL.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Even the crappiest teams (like the Pirates* and the Washington Capitals) win ~60 games.

    I believe the baseball team is the Nationals. The Capitals are the ice hockey team, and they're better than average, as of last season anyway - scraped in to win their division.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Julian Melville,

    Alonso, with an S. He deserved the win after Ferrari's giant cock ups. Amazing looking track too, I'd like to get up there and watch that live.

    No F1 drivers worth liking? I dunno, Sebastian Vettel and Robert Kubica look like they might be pretty decent in the long run.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    I had a crack for this years NRL and it came out at 39.2%. I'm sure there's an error or three in there but the actual total would be within a percent of that so it's fairly solid.

    http://bloggingitreal.blogspot.com/2008/09/your-numbers-up.html

    Interestingly though after 23 of the 26 weeks the figure was 44.1%. It wasn't until the last three weeks when 19 results went to the favourites and just 2 to the 'weaker' teams that it crashed to 39.2%.

    That gives me a bit more fuel for my dream that they cut the season from 24 games to 20. But that's a whole other discussion.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Jo S,

    Richard Loe isn't happy about it though and he wants the head of Steve Tew. I assume he's talking figuratively.

    but you're never really sure with Richard Loe.
    Makes it a bit more entertaining ....

    is it autumn yet? • Since May 2007 • 80 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    Sticking with speed: Haile Gebrselassie broke his own marathon world record on Sunday. He ran 2:03:59 in the Berlin Marathon (where he set the record last year). Maybe choosing to skip the Olympics paid off?

    The Warriors lost to the Sea Eagles (the most retro of league teams narrowly pipping the Raiders). But they were not blanked unlike the Sharks. This means, by my calculation, the the Warriors are the third best team in the NRL. And we should all be stoked about that.

    That's an outstanding run by Gebrselassie, the man's masterful at the sport. Running in the cooler northern hemisphere would've helped.
    I ran the Sydney marathon myself back on Sept 21, did it in 3hr-13min, coming 136th out of just under 2000 finishers. It was sweltering, even with a 7.15am start.
    The winner did it in 2hr-19min.

    I also went to the Warriors vs Manly game. The Warriors started really well, but failed to finish off some scoring chances, whereas Manly did. Still, they never gave up and at least Manly don't resort to dodgy illegal tackles, unlike the Storm.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 760 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    Um sorry

    but Kimi Raikkonen is brilliant, he is so much faster than massa out there

    massa is just very meh, he's great only as long as he has pole and it doesn't rain

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 527 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Kimi Raikkonen is brilliant

    Yeah he's ok.
    I still can't think of a driver I could really get behind though.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Thom James,

    I don't follow football (soccer). I find the Premiership to be dull and the Champion's League only just bearable. However, Hull beating Arsenal 2-1 is sweet. Arsène Wenger saying after the match that Arsenal "gave too much room to West Brom" is even sweeter.

    Dull eh...bugger off mate. Rugby has become one of the most mind-numbingly boring ways to pass 80 minutes. Growing up in Manchester as a diehard Red in the early 90s, I was a hugely passionate footie fan. But I also enjoyed rugby. My old man was a bit of a rugby head, and i used to love sitting down to watch the 5 nations (as it was then). The game was a far simpler, purer spectator experience then - as football is, was and always will be. Of course, the inevitable

    Endless rule tampering has reduced rugby to utter tedium, a game i now find impossible to get excited about. Give me league over the interminable kicking duels of 'code' any day.

    Each to their own Hadyn, but if you're going to call football 'dull' (a game watched by literally billions more people than rugby) when watching rugby has become the sporting equivalent of eating wallpaper paste...well I'd have to say you don't know what the fuck you're on about. Sorry.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Rugby has become one of the most mind-numbingly boring ways to pass 80 minutes

    And a football match is (at least) 10mins longer

    (a game watched by literally billions more people than rugby)

    You're dead on there, the stats are impressive.

    The 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany had a total cumulative television audience of 26.29 billion (24.2 billion in-home and 2.1 billion out-of-home viewers). This is on a par with the 1998 event, which like 2006 was also staged in Europe, but a little below the 26.4 billion in-home viewers noted for the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea and Japan. Unsurprisingly, the most-watched match was the final Italy v France with a global cumulative audience of 715.1 million viewers.

    The Rugby World Cup final only got 15.8million viewers and a cumulative total of 4 billion.

    But fair enough, that's the Football World Cup. I really enjoy that. I just don't like the club level football (like the Premiership). I can't see how the two codes are so different. The diving, complaining to the ref, crap you get in football is just as annoying as any number of collapsed scrums.

    Each to their own Hadyn...I'd have to say you don't know what the fuck you're on about

    Nice. I think you should wait for cricket season, then you can get really angry at me

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Nice. I think you should wait for cricket season, then you can get really angry at me

    Well people keep complaining how the seasons cross over so much, why shouldn't the bitching cross over too?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Thom James,

    Each to their own Hadyn...I'd have to say you don't know what the fuck you're on about

    Nice. I think you should wait for cricket season, then you can get really angry at me

    No no, roll on the cricket season. I just kinda resent the insinuation that football is boring when rugby has so clearly had the joy sucked out of it by endless tampering with the rules

    Football's a great game to watch because it's so simple, accessible and such a pure expression of skill (and yes, the diving and shit is wearisome). Rugby has lost its way because rule changes have obfuscated things for the layman. In terms of visceral spectator kicks, I'd far rather watch the Warriors than the ABs.

    But meh, I say potayto, you say potahto...

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I hardly ever watch football. It seems there's so much passing around at the back and waiting for the opening and oh god. I try to watch the world cup finals but I even struggle with that Rugby is a much more interesting game to watch for me, it's interesting no matter where the ball is.

    Vice-versa to actually play. I'll happily kick a soccer ball around and chase after it, but won't play rugby unless it's touch.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    It seems there's so much passing around at the back and waiting for the opening and oh god.

    Yeah, but you probably don't know what they are trying to do, and how to judge it. Watching most sports requires an amount of acculturation before they start to make sense, and most NZers haven't seen that much football, or put much effort into understanding the game. (Which is probably changing now with Sky etc.)

    Like, a 0-0 draw can be thrilling, even if there are only one or two chances, if, say, the mid-field battle is dramatic, or one defence plays a stunner, or Pele's playing and he pulls off half-a-second of genius, or --. But to see that, you have to actually know quite a bit about the sport.

    It's similar to looking at art; you can't just walk up to a work of art and expect to make an informed judgement without some background.

    That, and most NZers miss the tribal nature of club football totally.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Yeah, but you probably don't know what they are trying to do, and how to judge it.

    Oh I understand what they're doing. It's just boring to me.

    Similarly water polo and handball, where the passing around is around the goal. I think all of the sports field should be a contested space. Often that's not the case in soccer.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    When one team's passing the ball around at the back, there's probably a contest going on -- how's the attacking midfield finding space, how's the defending team putting pressure/denying space/marking runs?

    Now, yeah, you might find that boring, but it's very unlikely there's no contest going on, unless the teams are pretty mismatched or one is playing to kill time, or purely to retain possession and the other is content to let it go to a draw or whatever.

    The ball isn't always the thing to watch in a football game, and the space being contested isn't always the space around the football.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    just to clarify, I said I found teh premiership dull, not football. However, I agree with Kyle. The slow play, the complaining/diving players are as dull as any scrum reset.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I hardly ever watch football. It seems there's so much passing around at the back and waiting for the opening and oh god. I try to watch the world cup finals but I even struggle with that Rugby is a much more interesting game to watch for me, it's interesting no matter where the ball is.

    Me too. I followed football when I lived in London, even went to an FA Cup final, but it generally bores me now.

    In rugby, there are so many absorbing technical contests -- scrum, lineout, breakdown -- more scoring, more spectacle. That's not to say there aren't bad and boring games of rugby -- I nearly lost the will to live at the Blues-Brumbies match this year -- but, to me, more happens.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Thom James,

    just to clarify, I said I found teh premiership dull, not football. However, I agree with Kyle. The slow play, the complaining/diving players are as dull as any scrum reset.

    Hmm, Premiership is probably the most exciting domestic league - much faster pace of game than on the continent, and much, much less of the blatant diving and playacting that non-football fans tend to find so abhorrent. Have you ever watched a game of Italian football? It's like watching paint dry, or a game of rugby ;P Even the Champs League can't compete - European football is a much more tactical affair, esp. when being played over home & away legs, and really doesn't match the cut and thrust of the Prem. So it's surprising that an occasional spectator should find the Prem dull. Can't have watched enough of it eh Hadyn? Too many sports, too little time.

    The football v rugby debate is obviously one without a winner (well, nobody's going to convince anyone in NZ that footie's better than rugby at any rate). But can I ask you rugby fans this: do you honestly think the game is as exciting and absorbing as it was 10 years ago? Seems that games now too often descend into the drudgery of forward slugfests and ''tactical'' kicking duels, and that truly entertaining matches have become too few and far between.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    When one team's passing the ball around at the back, there's probably a contest going on -- how's the attacking midfield finding space, how's the defending team putting pressure/denying space/marking runs?

    Meh. It feels to me like it needs the defending striker to come shoulder the guy with the ball into the goal posts, and then stand over him and say "stop fucking around and play the game". I hear that's discouraged though.

    In rugby you'd never fuck around with the ball like that in your own end - you'd be swamped and lose it in a ruck. In ice hockey you'd either be mashed up against the boards or called for delaying the game. Basketball you have to get it over halfway within a time period. Rugby league and American Football you'd run out of plays and have to kick. Netball it never happens, they get the ball up court as soon as possible. Field hockey does it a bit like soccer I guess.

    Soccer? Sure, take a few minutes, we'll chase the ball around while you kick it between three guys waiting for the perfect set up. No problem, it's a 90 minute game, as long as 10 minutes of it is exciting.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    well, nobody's going to convince anyone in NZ that footie's better than rugby at any rate).

    Er. Have you looked at the youth participation figures?

    "stop fucking around and play the game"

    But they are playing the game; it's just not the game you're trying to see.

    Also, football spectators value things other than just vulgar dramatics -- skill, elegance, good tactical play, &c. Something can be absorbing without being continually exciting!.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Thom James,

    well, nobody's going to convince anyone in NZ that footie's better than rugby at any rate).

    Er. Have you looked at the youth participation figures?

    Yeah Keir, I'm well aware of the impressive participation numbers for wee ones that play the game. That's largely down to the fact that parents don't want their kids exposed to the rough and tumble of rugby at an early age. Once they're older and sturdier, the round ball becomes an oval.

    It's all very well us harping on about youth participation, but it doesn't translate to overall popularity of the game in NZ, and certainly doesn't answer my assertion that it's impossible to convince NZers that football is a better sport than rugby. Rugby's just too ingrained in Kiwi culture to ever be supplanted, just as football in England will never be overtaken by rugby, which is only played there by public schoolboys and people that say "old chap" too much.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    Andrew Saville's to replace Tony Veitch as One News' sports presenter. I think this is a good choice. He's somewhat workmanlike, but far less obnoxious, braying and concerned with being a "celebrity" than Veitch.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 760 posts Report Reply

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