Posts in the category: World Cup 2010
Mistake-proofing is a natural consequence of our mistakes. We all make them, and usually we are able to rectify them, to some degree. However when the consequence of our mistake becomes too great we naturally install systems to prevent against such human error. For instance, between 1948 - 1975 Toyota developed a production system designed to reduce inconsistency, waste and overburden. Part of this system includes a mechanism known as poka-yoke - a Japanese term that refers to "mistake-proofing". Its purpose; to eliminate human error.
Of course it's not just businesses that have developed. Various professional sports now incorporate such systems to help manage important decisions like who wins a race, or who throws the furthest, or even who scores. In some form or other the each of the following have incorporated computer assistance; cricket, American football, tennis, athletics, horse racing, ice hockey, basketball, field hockey, rugby league, even rodeo. Why then does football not?
As far as I can tell, this debate had been going for some time and has something to do with the 'purity' of the game. In fact according to an article on the Daily Mail - Sepp Blatter "loves the controversy that arises from such calls". Of course our recent world cup defeat has given fuel to the fire, but will we ever reach the point where a referees decision is not final? FIFA's historic stubbornness has already seen Ireland not qualify at the 'hands' of France, not to mention Luis Fabiano's double-hand-ball against Ivory Coast.
Considering the money involved, the millions of fans, and the integrity of the game itself - at what point does football need to evolve, or more pertinently, at what cost?
Germany lose to Serbia and this is a good thing. Spain lose to Switzerland, this also is a good thing. Or is it? You see, I quite like rooting for winners. I grew up watching Stephen Hendry pot his way to victory in practically every major tournament. I enjoyed watching Michael Schumacher destroy the competition for five years on the bounce, I find it astonishing that Valentino Rossi can dominate motorcycling so consistently. And yes, I like watching Brazil win the world cup.
I understand the logic behind supporting the weaker football teams; on the basis that we would avoid the defeated better ones later in the competition. But what kind of tournament would we have won by niftily avoiding the likes of footballing super powers; Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Spain, Holland, Germany or Portugal.. Sure, a second star perhaps but not one we can be genuinely proud of.
Now consider how interesting Euro 2008 was with no England. We still watched the games but simply rooted for different teams...personally I was very happy to enjoy a quality final between Germany and Spain. And should we not qualify for the final sixteen this year I for one will be hoping for a Brazil vs Argentina final - and I hope the last eight are the best in the world, not by some hapless chance or refereeing blunder, but just by being the best.
A win is a win, but a world champion is something else altogether
I'm not a football man, never have been. I dislike the professional footballer in almost every way, and the type of person who worships it too. However there's something about the world cup that piques the curiosity of even the most indifferent among us. And we all know what curiosity will bring you... a world cup party in your flat! So there I am sharing gasps and desperation with several others, exchanging comment on such footballing matters as; how dynamic our defenders were, or how Rooney wasn't tracking back enough..etc.. when we tie 1-1 with United States’ soccer team. Not a result that took many by surprise, if our prediction league is anything to go by, and yet serious debate ensued.
The debate itself revolved around a central theme of talent. Pundits and fans alike seem to believe that Brazil ought to not only win every game they play, but to do so with a certain style. Now consider our 1-1 draw against USA - a country that has at some point dominated such a vast array of sports including the following; golf, swimming, snowboarding, gymnastics, athletics, boxing, basketball, ice hockey, baseball, and cycling.
My question is this. Is it that Brazilians are inherently better at football because they are biologically more suited to the sport? Or is it a simple case of being the most passionate about it. Surely if it’s the latter then it’s only a matter of time before USA become dominant in football too. My supposition is if USA realise how much money can be generated from being good at football, they’ll have all the “passion” they need. It’s then only a matter of time before resources catch up – and by this I mean; man power, facilities, sport science, youth development, investment and infrastructure.
With time, it won’t only be Brazil that lives with these expectations. Soon enough USA will have to contend with the same thing.