Last week, I scorched Joel Sked of The Scotsman for his dire article on the “SPL prediction” made by the website FiveThirtyEight. As I pointed out, it’s a projection, not a prediction and the difference between the two is stark.
Projections change with the air currents.
Predictions are more solid, and not subject to alteration on a whim.
Sevconia was overjoyed by this projection though, and especially when The Daily Record published another, even more worthless, one. This was what we knew we’d have to deal with in the long two weeks of nonsense between real football matches of consequences.
International fortnights are dreadful affairs and this has been no exception.
Today, the awful Sevco fan site Rangers News has published an article based on another segment of the FiveThirtyEight website, the Club Soccer Global Ranking. This, like the league table projection, changes like the weather; it is no validity at all except to give small minds some succour as they contemplate what another trophy-less year would feel like.
Apparently we’re seventeen places behind them.
And I’m moved to wonder; who in their right mind cares about this stuff?
I certainly don’t care … I just marvel at the fact that they do.
This has become a pitiful obsession in Sevconia, this focus on “rankings”, or 80-minute league tables, or any statistic from any source which gives them even a 0.01% “advantage” over Celtic based on some calculation or another.
And it’s all absolutely inconsequential.
None of it alters a single actual fundamental about football in this country, such as that we have the better team, the stronger squad and that beating us still means getting better results over the course of an entire league campaign and not just the part that runs from the last match to the next one.
Only one table actually counts, the SPL table, and it only counts once; on the day that it becomes mathematically impossible for the team in second place to catch the team in first place. Those are the days that matter. At Ibrox they’ve spent the last week in a mind-numbing glee over being top of the table by two points; it’s October.
There’s a long way to go.
Over the last eight years I’m sure that FiveThirtyEight and other websites have had us way out in front of the Ibrox club.
You know why I don’t know for sure?
Because I couldn’t care less.
I know that this meaningless fluff doesn’t change the result of a single game.
I know FIFA player ratings don’t influence the destination of league flags.
I know Football Manager doesn’t predict the future.
If it did, Celtic – with Teemu Pukki up front – would have won the 2017 Champions League with a Frenchman at the helm. I saw it happen, in the game once. Needless to say, real life was a different story. I certainly wouldn’t have gotten all excited and blogged about it.
I would be embarrassed if Celtic sites focussed on this kind of worthless, meaningless, guff.
But that day will never come.
This is an obsession only found in small minds.
And it’s the mentality of the loser.
Losers are the only people who cling to such small victories, such fleeting hints at glory.
Winners have more substantial accomplishments to focus on and treasure.
That’s why I chose the picture I did for this piece … that’s all the matters, it’s how you tell who won from who lost.
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