Reserve Team Regular
Oct 30, 2008, 3:57 PM
Team(s): Exeter City, Bath City, Alphington, Tottenham Hotspur
Post #7 of 308
On a similar theme, I have often been irritated by certain style of stats that are banded around and sound shocking or surprising, but on closer inspection, are really not and are either deliberately, or mistakenly, misleading in the scenario the present.
An example of a normal 'surprising' stat was one often quoted in November 2006, when Spurs beat champions Chelsea 2-1 in the league. The stat, mentioned frequently in match reports, was that prior to that match, Spurs hadn't beaten Chelsea for 16 years (1-2 in 1990). This kind of stat I don't mind, as it has some meaning; Spurs would have played Chelsea home and away for those 16 seasons (both teams in the PL for the span of the stat) as well as in several cup games,
In comparison, similar sounding 'surprising' stats become quite meaningless when they are given some historic context. For example, either last season or the season before, a commentator highlighted the really 'surprising' stat that Portsmouth hadn't won at Old Trafford in the league in nearly 50 years (0-3 in 1957). However, while true, comparing the history of the two clubs, at the time there had only been 6 or 7 league matches at Old Trafford between the two clubs since 1957, making the stat much less 'surprising' than if there had been 50 or so matches, as the original wording makes out.
The worst of these was in the Arsenal - Hull match earlier this season, where several commentators and reports pointed out that Hull's win was their first against Arsenal in the league since 1915. Again, although true, it makes it sound like Hull had drawn or lost 90 years worth of league matches against Arsenal, rather than that Hull and Arsenal had not played any league matches against each other since 1915.
Equally irritating are Similar comments, heard particularly near the start of a season, such as 'team so-and-so have not conceded a goal in the premiership yet this season' and 'Joe Bloggs has scored in every match this season' are heard after only 2 rounds of fixtures, where the time frame of the stat is so short as to remove any significance from it.