Monday, August 22, 2011

Footy Tips

I must preface this piece with the fact that I only follow Aussie rules football enough to be able to hold a conversation. A brief conversation. I understand that my lack of passion about football (or at least admitting my lack of interest may be considered un-Australian. As evidence I submit the following as Exhibit A.

I nominally barrack for Port Adelaide Power, I know the coach is Matthew Primus and I think one of the Cornes brothers still plays for them. I know that this year they will win the wooden spoon. That is all I know about their involvement in the 2011 season.

Despite my indifference to the sport I have entered my workplace’s footy tips. I am currently in second position equal on wins (126) I am second only on points difference from Friday might games. I think 126 is good but really have no idea nor have any real interest in how many games have been played or what professional tipsters have achieved this season.

At the beginning of the season I was picking pretty much by how good I thought the team should be, a decision which was largely based on the level of hype each team had created. Choosing winners by amount of media coverage is about as calculating as choosing by the colours of their uniform. Using the media strategy lead to a number of unwanted selections of Collingwood due to their unabashed media-whore President, Eddie McGuire. Collingwood will hereby be referred to as “The Eddies”.

After the first five or six rounds I started to pick teams according to their position on the ladder at the time. A strategy which, unfortunately lead me to continue picking The Eddies much more than I would prefer.

It was a strategy that kept me above the middle of the pack within the office tipping. To be honest that was all I was hoping for – to no embarrass myself.

I stuck with this theory (including continuing to begrudgingly selecting the Eddies) for many weeks only deviating when the injury of a key player was so significant that even in my attempt to avoid football “news” still seeped into my consciousness. For example Jonathon Brown having his face smashed in for the second time in as many seasons.

This strategy saw me gradually but consistently rise up through the tipping ladder until I found myself in second position about 5 weeks ago. When I discovered that I was second and with a real chance of winning.

Suddenly I found myself intentionally listening to football news of injuries, changes of coaches – with the exception of Melbourne always pick the team which has a new coach, the history between the two teams playing even down to the detail of the history between teams as particular grounds.

Sadly this still leads to selecting the Eddies. Easy picks also include Geelong and whichever teams are playing against Port Adelaide or Gold Coast on any given week.

Unusually the footy tips website my workplace uses also provides details about the parking availability at each ground. Not really sure how this helps with selecting the winning team. Aren’t these guys meant to be elite athletes? I did not think the couple of extra metres one team had to walk across a parking lot would have an adverse bearing on the outcome of a game.

I have drawn the line at watching Channel Nine’s The Footy Show, for either football information or entertainment. No footy competition is worth sacrificing my dignity nor intelligence - no matter how large or small either of these may be.

Whilst I will continue to select the Eddies, I would happily sacrifice my own success proportionally to the end of their winning streak.

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