TO spend your Saturday afternoon at the game which winds up last on Match of the Day once may be regarded as a misfortune. To do it twice looks like carelessness.
Yes, Birmingham v Derby was the final game on tonight’s MOTD, and I’ve already been over the afternoon’s events at St Andrew’s, and the resulting fallout. This happened to me when Derby played Wigan three weeks ago. If it happens again, I may have to consider putting myself on to the Gubbometer. (If I put myself on now, I would be joint 12th, you may be interested to learn.)
Tonight’s final match: Birmingham 1 Derby 1
Commentator: Ian Gwyn Hughes
Talking of the Gubbometer, it now has a distant cousin, coincidentally in Birmingham.
This cousin, from what I have seen, is a bit of an insane genius. It was created by a chap called Louis, who runs the Brummie Republic blog, dedicated to – in his own words – “standing up to the capital-ist Cockney establishment”, or in my words, trying to counteract the London-is-the-centre-of-the-universe attitude prevalent in much of the national media and government.
Anyway, Louis was inspired, it seems, by Phil Neville’s pre-Christmas assertion that Everton are always last on Match of the Day. “Brummies know that it is of course Birmingham City who are always last on Match of the Day,” Louis wrote.
Now most bloggers, the unimaginative ones, would have made their observation and left it at that. But Louis decided to test his hypothesis. And to do that, he has created something utterly incredible.
It is, or at least was, called the ProBRUM MOTD Running Order Index. (He’s since come up with a shorter name for it, which I’ll come back to shortly.)
And it is a method of calculating whether there is any bias towards certain teams on Match of the Day based on the running order. The whole running order.
If you want to know exactly how it works, you really should visit his blog. And even if you don’t, you should visit his blog anyway. All I’ll say is that the method is so complex that it may yet be adopted as a way of deciding rain-affected one-day cricket matches.
What’s particularly impressive about the ProBRUM MOTD Running Order Index is the amount of work that goes into it. With the Gubbometer, all I have to do is watch or tape the final 10 minutes of Match of the Day, view the final game and then either make some vaguely sarcastic comments about it or use it as a jumping off point to launch into a completely irrelevant anecdote from my journalistic career. Louis, on the other hand, actually does proper analysis.
The name, though, was a bit unwieldly.
“I will have to retire from blogging early from RSI if I keep having to type “PRoBrum MOTD Running Order Index” every time, so I have decided to shorten it,” Louis wrote after the midweek round of Premier League games.
To solve that problem, he reduced ‘ProBRUM MOTD Running Order Index’ to the acronym ‘Promroi’ and added ‘ship’ to the end to come up with ‘Promroiship’. Personally, I would have gone for ‘Gub-brum-eter’. But that’s because I have no imagination.
Unlike Steve Wilson, who showed plenty of imagination when he came up with the following line during his commentary on Portsmouth v Chelsea:
“Ashley Cole’s getting stick from the Portsmouth fans, but you would expect that playing away from home.”
What on earth do you mean, Steve?
1. Derby: 8 (Gubba difference: +1)
2=. Wigan: 6 (GD: +1)
2=. Fulham: 6 (GD: +1)
4. Reading: 5 (GD: +1)
5. Birmingham: 5 (GD: 0)
6. Bolton: 4 (GD: +1)
7. Gubba: 3
8=. Aston Villa: 3 (GD: 0)
8=. Chelsea: 3 (GD: 0)
8=. West Ham: 3 (GD: 0)
11. Portsmouth: 2 (GD: +1)
12=. Sunderland: 2 (GD: 0)
12=. Millwall: 2 (GD: 0)
12=. Walsall: 2 (GD: 0)
15=. Everton: 1
15=. Middlesbrough: 1
15=. Newcastle: 1
15=. Bury: 1
15=. Workington: 1
15=. Huddersfield: 1
15=. Grimsby: 1
(NB. Where teams are level, positions are decided by Gubba Difference; the number of times a team is on Match of the Day last with Tony Gubba commentating.)