Thursday, September 27, 2007

Forces Levers Pivots


Sorry for a little diversion from the big economic and political issues, but the area of football injuries is a bit of a sore subject at the moment.

There is an English institution called Match of the Day. Gary Lineker was unparalleled as a pundit, he genuinely seemed to find new insight into tactics without spouting clich├ęs about "grit and determination" and suchlike. He's done alright in the much more difficult job of the host too.

But I don't agree with the choice of topics that the new pundits concentrate upon. In particular, there is an insistence on analysing refereeing decisions to death instead of highlighting the best bits of skill or the moments of incompetence. Sometimes the opinions are just stupid. For every time that they say that referees should show more consistency, they also say that the refs should instead use personal judgement.

And looking at last weekend's action (I'm always a few days behind thanks to the wonders of the PVR) they need to understand some physics too. A player was sent off for a tackle that, although it may have touched the ball, could easily have crashed the standing leg and broken it. In a later incident the tackled player was running and the challenge sent him flying. The pundits demanded the same punishment.

The second one looked more spectacular, but it was far less likely to tear ligaments. The pundits should know better.


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