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The Importance of Sport (NEW CONCEPTS)
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Mick Harper
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Justice Cocklecarrot was called into service for the second day of the test. The New Zealand fielder, Santner M, was signing autographs in the crowd until with Wagner N, the bowler, coming steaming in, he hopped back over the boundary rope to take up his position in the deep covers. Buttler J, the English batsman, struck the ball uppishly on the off side, only to be caught by Santner M. The commentator, New-Zealander A, said, "Strewth, I didn't even know he was there. Santner was in the crowd signing autographs when I looked to see how the field was set."

Would Buttler J have been within his rights to appeal the umpire's verdict on the same grounds?
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Mick Harper
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He was called into action just a few overs later when a ball from off-spinner Leach hit the batsman's pads and rolled into the leg stump albeit without knocking off the bails. There was no need to consult hawk-eye as to whether it would have gone on to hit the stumps, as it actually did. But nobody thought of that at the time such was the general merriment.
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Chad


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There was no need to consult hawk-eye as to whether it would have gone on to hit the stumps, as it actually did.


Ah... but crucially, would it have done so, had it not hit the pads?
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Mick Harper
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I don't know who you are but you do not know the laws of cricket. Once the ball leaves the bowler's hand it also -- however theoretically -- leaves the realms of physics. It is whether its eventual destination is destined to be the hitting of the stumps that is in question, however roundabout the route. [Except for exceptions as provided by said laws.]

And before you enter the pettifogging objection that hitting the stumps is not tantamount to being out if the stumps do not in fact come off, let me remind you that the laws have been amended to include a hawkeye dismissal and, correct me if I'm wrong, hawkeye is only programmed to say whether the ball would have hit the stumps not whether the bails would have been removed.
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Chad


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Hawkeye is there to determine the trajectory, that the ball would have taken, had it not made contact with the pads... BUT if contact with the pads diverted the ball onto the stumps (and away from its projected trajectory) it could not be given out "LBW" if Hawkeye's projection had it missing the stumps... (even if, in actuality, it did hit the stumps).

It would of course be given out "bowled" if the bails had come off... but not as a result of a Hawkeye "LBW".

(I don't know who I am either... I'm just using some old bloke's laptop that I found lying around.)
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Mick Harper
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Let us assume that Hawkeye would show the ball was missing the stumps when it hit the pads. Hawkeye would therefore have registered 'not out' if appealed to. But the laws do not rely on Hawkeye they rely on real life which surely supersedes or rather overrules Hawkeye or, if you prefer, real life (i.e. the pads) superseded/ overruled the flight of the ball. I don't want to get into predetermination (the bloke who used to own your computer was a Manchester United supporter and therefore a Catholic and religion follows the computer) but the ball was destined to hit the stumps which is all the LBW law requires (assuming other criteria were satisfied and there is no suggestion that they were not).

Hawkeye could not predict it, but real life 'predicted' that the ball was always going to hit the stumps.
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Mick Harper
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José Mourinho had a question for Dele Alli, the Spurs midfielder, who has long since mislaid his best form. “I asked him if he was Dele or Dele’s brother,” Mourinho says. “He told me he was Dele. ‘OK,’ I said. ‘Play like Dele.’” It was a classic piece of Mourinho kidology, the kind of move he has pulled on numerous occasions and with which he seeks to establish a connection; to motivate.

No, it does the exact opposite. Dele Alli is now permanently conflicted. Every time he does something good, he hears voices ringing in his ears, "You see, that's the Mourinho effect. Dele Alli is the sort of player that needs a good kicking before he will deliver." Every time he does a bad thing, "Mourinho was quite right, he's the sort of player that needs a good kicking." The consequences?

1) Dele Alli mainly hides when he's on the pitch until
2) he quietly leaves Tottenham or
3) Mourinho noisily leaves Tottenham.

I predict in that rapid order.
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Mick Harper
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Arsenal in disarray. Fans demand change

I see no reason why Mourinho shouldn't manage both clubs.
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Mick Harper
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Yes, I know what you're going to say. What happens during derbies? In this country we have a sound principle: on the greatest issues of the day, the man at the top remains neutral.
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Mick Harper
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Justice Cocklecarrot here. So the PSG bloke is steaming forward and Thibaut Courtois upends him on the edge of the area. Free kick plus a red card for the Belgian custodian. It goes upstairs to check whether it was inside the area (it was) but the TMO says scrub it all, a PSG bloke had committed a foul on the halfway line in the build-up. Red card rescinded.

This is my question. If Courtois had been guilty of violent conduct would the red card have been rescinded? A foul is contingent on the play but violent conduct is an offence whatever the circumstances. If he'd killed the bloke, would he have got off a manslaughter charge on the grounds the victim shouldn't have been there in the first place? I think not.
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Mick Harper
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Arsenal 1 Eintracht 2

A great statistical oddity to report. The Emirates is always sold out. Always has been from Day One. Even the duffest fag end game against scuffers gets no more than the odd empty seat. Last night, all of a sudden, the place is half empty for this clash of the titans. It is this and not the result that seals Emery's fate.

Talking of whom, back to my constant beef about peripheral vision colour clashes. Eintracht were in all black, Emery was in all black, ref tells Emery to change, BT commentators go into paroxysms of jeering. "How petty can you get?" "Haven't they got better things to worry about?" "Who's going to mistake Emery for a player?" Everyone actually. You're going to ping the ball, or not ping the ball, depending on whether you see a black-clad figure standing on the halfway line.
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Mick Harper
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Goalkeepers are suffering from an AE problem. They know they will get hammered if they are "beaten at their near post", they know that the striker will be praised if he slots it in at the far post, so goalies always unduly favour the near post and strikers keep scoring at the far post. There is nothing managers can do about it only partly because they don't know it's happening. They will get hammered the first time they lose 1-0 because the keeper was beaten at his near post.
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Mick Harper
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If you don't believe me, remember the time -- the second time -- David Seamen was lobbed from way out because he was standing too far out of his goal? Except he wasn't. The goalkeeper should stand as far out of his goal as possible short of being lobbed so he can intercept long balls, be available for pass backs etc etc. If you never get lobbed in your career, it means you are not standing far enough out. If you get lobbed once in your career, it's a freak, you're still not standing far enough out. If you get lobbed twice in your career it means you are standing exactly where you should be i.e. you'll get lobbed once in a blue moon but otherwise not.
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Mick Harper
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If you don't believe me, consider this new fad of kicking penalties down the middle. It's changed everything. Before, it was correct to anticipate because that is the only way of reaching the average pen put in the bottom corner. Since this is a marginal consideration, some will be saved whether anticipated or not, it is probably better now not to anticipate. Let in a few more in the bottom corner but save all the ones down the middle.

Except for AE. Goalies know they will get stupendous credit for 'guessing right' and saving, and will get no blame for guessing wrong or guessing right but not saving it. If they stand still and save the kick down the middle they will get no credit, if they stand still and still save in the corner, it will be because it was a poorly taken penalty. Either way the penalty taker will earn the obloquy, the keeper will gain few plaudits. You add up the felicific calculus. His, not the team's of course.
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Wile E. Coyote


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Mick Harper wrote:
Goalkeepers are suffering from an AE problem. They know they will get hammered if they are "beaten at their near post", they know that the striker will be praised if he slots it in at the far post, so goalies always unduly favour the near post and strikers keep scoring at the far post.


I don't get this logic, the starting point is maths.... it always pays the striker to go far post statistically as his team is more likely to score, as they get the chance of a direct goal or a rebound off the keeper's save.

So both attacker and goal keeper know the striker will go far post unless the keeper makes the schoolboy error of leaving a gap at the near post by over compensating.
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