It's Hump Week

2005-06-07 05:22:38 GMT

FF's tipping performance in any one season, for any particular sport, could generally be summarized as this: a slow start while it still relies on data from the previous season, its performance then gradually improves as it susses out the new pecking order, and then it comes storming home in a blaze of glory, crushing all in its path.

OK, so the crushing bit is stretching it, but I like to dream. Nonetheless, my general expectation for AFL and NRL is that FF should be about level with the average at the halfway stage (ie. now), and ultimately finish about 5 points above average, thereby defeating something like 70% of the humans.

For NRL 2005, FF has more or less followed the pattern to this stage. Rather than a slow start, FF made a truly diabolical start: it was a pitiful 21/49 after 7 rounds, some 4.1 points below the average. In the 6 rounds since then, FF has found its mojo to go 29/41, leaving it on a score of 50/90, just 0.7 points below the average. Over the same period, its Average Error has come in from 19.24 to 16.01, with 15 of the 41 games forecast to an accuracy of 5 points or better. Although most people are focussed on the tipping score, the Average Error is really a better barometer. Overall, I'm optimistic that FF will now go on to finish the NRL season a handy margin above the average.

For AFL 2005, FF also made a diabolical start, but the difference is that, 11 rounds in, it's still diabolical. With a score of 44/88, some 3.4 points below the average, FF's performance has been no better than my not-very-lucky coin. Bewilderingly, the Average Error has risen sharply in recent weeks, up from 30 five weeks ago to 35.3 now. Of course, the simple explanation for this is that FF is a hunk of shite. Needless to say, that's not my preferred explanation. Rather, I believe that the match results in recent weeks have directly contradicted the early-season evidence, and have been largely devoid of any vestige of logic; take a bow Fremantle, Collingwood and Brisbane.

As a consolation, adds weight to my theory that this AFL season is achingly tough. The average score of 47.4/88 equates to a success rate of just 54%, so it's clear that most people are struggling to out-perform their lucky coins. Furthermore, at the same stage of the past two seasons, the average was 54.5/88 and 53.3/88 respectively. Yeah yeah, excuses excuses. In any case, I'm still confident that FF will come good. Honest.


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