Wednesday, May 2, 2007

soccer rant

I never quite understand it when pundits talk about the 'lottery of the penalty shoot out". That implies that nothing but luck is involved. If this were so a bunch of five year olds would have an even chance of beating Brazil in a penalty shoot out. Clearly this is absurd.

Maybe they mean that skill, composure, reflexes, training and so on are all involved, but then so is luck. This is true but makes it nothing like a lottery.

Perhaps its the idea that when you pitch two evenly matched sides together and neither can win in normal time, winning the the shoot out is a matter of fortune since every other factor has been set as equal (hence 'evenly matched'). This is more persuasive, except how else exactly would you separate two such sides, if not through luck?

By that logic, any game between two evenly matched sides could be described as a lottery, whether its won in regulation time, extra time or penalties.

In any case: Liverpool 1 Chelsea 1 (Liverpool 4-1 on penalties) :)

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