Seriously, my absence from this network of late has to do with matters more pressing than the orgy of commercialism that is the over-pundit-ed World Cup. That’s not to say I haven’t been following it – in between alternating bouts of self-flagellation and seething resentment (but which I hope and think are root mean squaring at hesitant resignation) – because I have; although it’s a bit trying on ITV when we’re taken to at least three over-long commercial breaks in the half-hour before kick-off, and two during half-time, and one preceding any extra-time, but which I suppose spares us even more of the inane gobshite-ness of Andy Townsend, who responds to Uruguay’s Luis Suárez’s last minute goal line ‘new Hand of God’ by suggesting a change to the rules, with a ‘penalty goal’ to be awarded in such situations (when perhaps a more interesting comment would be to suggest that an award for best national anthem should go to Uruguay’s Beethoven-esque piece). Note this is a different consideration to that of the more arguable call for goal line technology, which would have resolved in favour of Frank Lampard, ironically actually hitting the target this summer, only to be denied a legitimate goal. But just because the technology exists doesn’t oblige us to use it. (I have a dishwasher that I’ve never switched on – don’t like ‘em; they smell.) Surprisingly, I find myself somewhat aligned with Motty on this one, who was the sole dissenter when he was adjunct to the BBC’s wooden panel, which includes Alans “pass & move” Hansen and Shearer, now enjoying extolling the wares of a particular supermarket chain, which presumably stocks the brand of crisps plugged by their anchorman. Hansen is particularly irritating – a warning to us all that doing the same job for too long in the same place brings staleness (time to pass the baton and move on, Al). Thankfully, the BBC’s match co-commentator, the insightful Mark Lawrenson, is more entertaining than most. He hoped big Sepp, who had only recently quashed discussion of the issue, was “squirming in his seat” following Lampard’s unrewarded effort. I hope he is also… at every stadium he comfortably parks his big cosseted twad! But not over the technology issue – over the empty seats. Shame on you… and your FIFA cronies… and your official sponsors… and their beneficiaries. How’re profits this year, eh? Lovely. Because they’re all for the good of the game and those who love it, of course. What else?
Sorry if you consider this kind of stuff uninteresting and inappropriate for NN?! But some scientists like football, don’t they? And hey, it must be relevant – the World Cup even gets discussed by some Tft(b)D-ers! But I’m not getting paid for venturing my opinion here. So, if you want to complain, you might consider dropping a line to those on the comfy sofas. And beware those who have too much to say.
I think football is a valid topic for a scientific forum. In Nature (the journal) we’ve had quite a few football (and other sport) contributions over the years. One of John Maddox’s editorials was about widening the goalposts.
And as you so aptly point out, we are not paid to write or comment here, so anything goes, I guess!
I can’t believe you have a good word to say about Mark Lawrenson – possibly the worst pun-ster to every have disgraced our screens.
I’m happy to read about footie here too.
And you can consider Hansen to be Scotland’s ‘gift’ to England for, well, I’m sure you can think of something appropriate.
I’m off to bed now, to be repeatedly and abruptly woken by Spaniards setting off fireworks and air horns. Visca!
I guess we only care about what they think, when it accords with what we think (there’s a wider theme here…). And I must now add that I was, from half-time onwards, with Hansen all the way, re Holland’s approach to the game, and was delighted that Spain and their football won through, particularly the poetic justice that was Iniesta – for me the player of the tournament – scoring the winner, having been a repeated victim of van Bully and another lamentable performance by an Englishman.