Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Paranoid delusions

Ever heard of a football statistic called the 'Red cards to fouls ratio'? No, neither had I. There's a good reason for that - it's of no use to anyone and it's indicative of nothing. However, if you're a Franchise customer, it now apparently means that there's a refereeing conspiracy against Franchise FC. No... I'm not making this up, I'm really not. I know it sounds like far-fetched fiction, but that really is what some of them are claiming. And it's not just one of their usual-suspect loonies on a forum either, it's their customer association:


They end that article by writing, "Have the Dons been targetted unfairly by referees? We'll let you make your own judgement.", but that's a clear judgement in itself - the entire basis of the piece is that Franchise is being targeted, otherwise why write the piece? The only purpose to it is to suggest there is bias against Franchise.

And the whining emanating from some Franchise customers has gone up in volume too, particularly since some paranoid person came up with the 'red cards to fouls ratio' statistic in a vain attempt to prove there's bias against Franchise. What makes it so absurd is that the statistic has no meaning - there is no correlation between fouls and red cards. Indeed, the four red cards Franchise has received this season are all excellent examples of why - they have all been straight red cards. Uncontrolled, studs-up lunges, elbows to the head and similar violent conduct charges get straight red cards.

There is no statistical connection whatsoever between the number of fouls in a match or by a team and the number of offences for which one can receive a straight red card. Bear in mind further that a red card can be received for offences that aren't even fouls! Get sent off for dissent and that's not a foul, but it will still be a red card.

Clearly the paranoia and victim mentality that I wrote about only yesterday are starting to spiral out of control with a growing number at Franchise. Doubtless they are still fooling themselves that it will lead to a 'backs to the wall' fighting spirit, but unfortunately for them, it won't. (It never has. Those pretending anything I've ever written has 'strengthened their resolve' or encouraged customers to attend Franchise, are only fooling themselves.) What it will lead to is more paranoia, greater indiscipline, internal divisions and penalties from the authorities for bringing the game into disrepute. This stuff does filter down to players, who aren't usually the sharpest tools in the box, and it will be in their minds come game time. And anyone with any sense at all knows how that ends up... more whining, more dissent, more berating the officials and... more red cards as a result. Self-fulfilling paranoia. It happens because the players are making it happen. Tell them it's not their fault and they will make it happen even more. It's a vicious circle, which right now Winkelman is helping make spin ever faster.

Frankly I am amazed that Winkelman has not only let things go this far, but has in fact been the main instigator in encouraging this idiotic notion of a referees conspiracy against Franchise. I'll give you a prediction though... He'll be backtracking within the week after someone has a quiet word with him behind the scenes.

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