Well! Well! Well!! What more can I say? This week I should have simply come up with the shortest piece ever. I should have just pointed you in the direction of the sexy Champions league affair between Madrid and Manchester City and that my friends, would have been that. There was an ELEPHANT in a China shop in Madrid. It was all mayhem although his circus antics couldn?t deliver a win that his City side so much craved. It was a chance to make a firm statement of intent; that the boys from the Ettihad had finally arrived. Riding in the luxury compartment of the ?Yaya Express?, City will look to make a real foray into the European scene. And they are looking up (literally too) to the man whom I?ve heard some football people describe as bigger than a double door fridge to lead them in this crusade.

The game on Tuesday night was a typical case in point in respect of all that?s good about this sport. That?s why I have been waxing lyrical about it and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future ? at least until I get a well paying and respectable job. Yes I know some of you critics especially those who ignorantly ?trespass? against us will probably describe my affection for football as that of a low-lifer, a loner with no girlfriend, a pesewa-less, jobless guy with too much time on his hands. All that may be true, typically in today?s Better Ghana, but it still does not change the fact that football is an incredibly amazing and fascinating sport and Tuesday night was -one word- ORGASMIC!!!

Now I have learnt not to precede an anxious wait for an event or in this instance a game by making a statement like ?I have been waiting for this all my life?. That is why I didn?t say anything about this game last week because you know what, history has gone to show that a statement like that is almost always followed by the greatest of disappointments. Although, this night was different! There was action (lots of it), excitement and drama which of course guarantees suspense. It was unpredictable. Unpredictability usually implies irrationality.

Irrationality, strong word, that. A word that stands in arms with one of the mathematician?s favourite, the number pi (3.1415927?). According to the geniuses, it continues for an infinite number of decimal places, in a seemingly random sequence of digits.
I believe you noted the operating word, Random, which is found in many a phenomena that we would like to predict such as yep, you guessed right, football. I know what I would like to predict. I would very much like to predict that come 2016 I will be sitting on a dozen million dollars as well as predict who will win the next 3 champions league titles. Pathetic huh??

If you roll a dice, you know that you will get a 1, 2, 3?6. But you never know to an absolute certainty what it will be. This is exactly how the Monte Carlo Simulation (MCS) works. According to ?The Decision Book?, the MCS is a computer simulation method, using multiple trial based sampling involving combinations of probability calculations and statistics to determine an outcome. Inspired by the casino city of Monte Carlo, an absolute haven for a gambler, experts aim to predict the occurrence or none thereof of events such as changes in the weather or the movement in share prices.
Barring the boring bit, why is the Monte Carlo model important? Because it reminds us that models, do not represent reality, but are only an approximation of it.

Going into the weekend, I couldn?t for the life of me predict the outcome of the number of big games we had in store. Well Liverpool-United was a no brainer. That game always has controversy written all over it. It actually does come with the tag ?volatile package, please handle with care? Poor old Mr Halsey had his hands full (96 Hillsborough fans + one bald Jonjo). Red card or not??? Spin the wheel of fortune and it was Hillsborough all over again for Liverpool. From the bottom-up they are not even leading the table. Tragic!

But no one could have called that a relatively unknown Granada would pull a near scalp at mighty Barcelona or some Madrid hoodlums would steal some stadium lights or the two Milan clubs once glorious, would be enjoying life so much in the corridors of mediocrity. Or that an even impressive Gunners would get a draw at the Citizens. To put it succinctly, we certainly could have done with some of this computer based approach.

Err really?? Probably not. Because you see, football is a more sophisticated and scientific experience so much so that not even a super computer can process it, let alone predict it. Those computers merely won?t get it. In any case, why spoil the fun? There is so much stimulation in surprises. Paul Gascoigne once got booked in a premier league game under bizarre circumstances. His crime? He was the Good Samaritan. He picked up a yellow card after the referee had dropped it. And instead of handing it over to the referee, he sought to make jokingly a booking gesture. The man in black certainly didn?t see the funny side and called him over and booked him. For all the love of technology these days no super computer could have predicted that. The human element just won?t allow for it. No wonder our know-all wives and girlfriends love the thrill of a surprise. They always know what they are talking about too, the lot. Like the proverbial Customer, they are always annoyingly ?right?!

All the drama and exhilarating suspense produced does bode well for football. The diverse and often wild predictions from the many football-crazed ?pundits? only serve to butter the bread, some sort of a spicy entr?e. From the many sources, be it may conjured ? mallams, prophets, witch doctors, witches, Imams, Pastors- it all suits the people?s game just fine. That?s what makes it what it is, Reality, life itself.

For as the great Pablo Picasso, a master of art, once said ?if I know exactly what I?m going to do, what?s the good in doing it?? I concur, but I doubt Liverpool fans do too. Unfortunately I can?t help them out since I don?t know where an MCS machine is sold. If you do, kindly give your EDGY Liverpool brethren a call. After all, YNWA.

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