Saturday, 11 December 2010

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

In 1972, West Germany hosted the Olympic games (Famous, sadly, for the assassination of 11 Israeli athletes, rather than, say, home-grown West German female high-jumper Ulrike Meyfarth, who became the youngest woman to win the Olympic gold in high jump (And indeed, any individual athletics gold) with the Fosbury Flop, a technique that was, at the time, not particularly popular (It is, of course, now ubiquitous in the modern high jump) when she equalled the world record of the time), and a mere two years later, went on to win the 1974 World Cup (A thrilling 2-1 win over the more creative and exciting Dutch team in the final, a cup victory which could have not have been more of a robbery if Gerd Muller was holding a shotgun to Cruyff's head whilst waving his balaclava-clad team-mates to put the world cup trophy in the back of one of three coloured, unmarked Minis, which then darted through the city of Munich, at one stage driving through the sewer network, to arrive at the meet point. Indeed, the last anyone ever saw of Muller after this game was him walking towards the back of a bus teetering over the edge of a cliff in the Alps mumbling "Hang on a minute lads, I've got a great idea!" in German).

Greece too, hosted the 2004 Olympic games (In Athens, no less. Zeus himself won gold in the discus over Norse god Thor, who claimed to be better in the hammer throw. The Norse got their own back when Loki and Odin won a hotly contested men's double sculls against the experienced pair of Greeks, Apollo and Hermes. Moses and Jesus were adjudged to have cheated and fell foul of the rules after parting the river and sprinting along the empty gap and running along the water respectively. They retaliated to this accusation by the turning the river into blood and putting a plague of locusts o'er the land, to which the Olympic Federation responded by calling them "Worse losers than the 2018 England World Cup bid"), and that SAME year, Greece lifted the European cup (The 2004 tournament being labelled the dullest football cup since records began, but popular opinion holds that the pre-record 1908 FA Cup was almost as dull, and if Richard "Dickie" Smith hadn't accidentally performed a Cruyff turn around the Arsenal left back whilst attempting a simple backpass in the quarter finals, it would have been a dead-heat in terms of monotony.)

So, as you can see, England's 2014 glory is practically guaranteed already, but if more proof were needed, London has form with this, having hosted the 1948 Olympics (The handover of the Olympic torch from the 1936 games in Berlin was a little troubled) and then, a mere 18 years later, England held aloft the Jules Rimet trophy in their moment of triumphant jubilation.

Coincidence? I think not.

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