30 October 2008

The Official Sport Is A TV Show 2008/2009 Premier League Preview

There is an inherent flaw in pre-season previews - they are written pre-season.

This means that sweeping predictions are made about what will happen a full nine months into the future based on such scant evidence as to be filler material for newspapers' special pull-out supplements. And anyway, every pre-season preview in history has been rendered puny and worthless by Free Darko's magnificent attempt at foreseeing every single game of the NBA regular season.

That is why we here at Sport Is A TV Show have waited until now, the quarter-way point of the Premier League season, to give you the definitive look ahead to what's in store. We have chosen this time because it has been statistically demonstrated that you need at least 99 games' worth of data before you can confidently extrapolate what will happen all the way to May. I'd show you the sums demonstrating this but you wouldn't understand them.

So how did we do it? We have made the most detailed analysis ever attempted of every Premier League game since the opening round. We have looked at all of the most important factors that shape a game: goals, assists, tackles, saves, dives, average arc of the trajectory of each mid-match expectoration of phlegm, degree of frowniness as a player trudges sorrowfully off the field after having been substituted, kilometres covered by the manager in the technical area, effectiveness per stepover and over 100,000 other measurements. We've also studied every word of every interview performed by every player, manager, director and protesting supporter, as well as the biographical details of everyone in the employ of a Premier League club, sponsor or affiliated mafia family.

We took this data and processed it through the most effective futurological tools yet devised: ouija board, auspices, oracle, divine revelation and throwing liquids of various viscosity against a woodchip wall and seeing what kind of pattern they form. We then fed the results into Maisie, our hypercomputer in the basement here at SIATVS Mews, which calculated the definitive outcome for your awe.

As an added feature, Maisie has selected a line from the canon of popular song for each club, offering a window into their soul.

And if you're thinking "did he do this merely as a way to busy himself during last night's Match of the Day so that he could avoid having to watch...you know...?", the answer is yes - yes I bloody well did. Don't worry - I've recorded it so that someday in the future, when I'm having one of those days where everything is going great and the world seems like an unreservedly beautiful place, I can put the tape on and remind myself of life's unremitting cruelty. Isn't that what football is for, after all?

So, onward. Prognosticator - won't you prognosticate?

ARSENAL: Gunnersaurus disappears and is found four days later brutally slain on Hampstead Heath. Alisher Usmanov denies all involvement and is granted an injunction to shut down the entire internet until such time as people forget the whole incident. Arsene Wenger says that Tomas Rosicky will be fit again by the end of the season. He does not specify which season.
Elvis Costello says: Though he says he'll wait forever, it's now or never

ASTON VILLA: Villa fail to break into the top four, but Martin O'Neill becomes more loveable by the week.
Nick Lowe says: That one day I may be joining in's just wishful thinking

BLACKBURN ROVERS: Blackburn play some football matches. They score some goals and also concede some. Their results are notable for a mixture of victories, draws and defeats.
The Buzzcocks say: Ba-dum ba-dum

BOLTON WANDERERS: Gary Megson complains about the red card awarded as a result of Kevin Nolan's horrific chainsaw rampage in the second half of Bolton's encounter with Fulham. "It was maybe a yellow but no more than that," says Megson. "It just goes to show that football is becoming a non-contact sport."
XTC say: No thugs in our house, are there dear?

CHELSEA: Lifelong Democrats continue to have recurring kinky dreams about Sarah Palin. In one episode of 606, every single caller swears at Tim Lovejoy, who promptly does not retire from broadcasting. Amr Zaki joins in the transfer window and makes a nice assist for Franco di Santo in the reserve team's win over West Ham in April.
Randy Newman says: Dear, you don't seem to realise - my life is good

EVERTON: Scientists determine scientifically using, like, science stuff that if all the refereeing decisions that managers say went unfairly against them actually went for them, then Everton would be World Champions, ahead of every other team in the world on goal difference.
Jarvis Cocker says: You only get to see the light just one time in your life

FULHAM: With the Thames having burst its banks and Craven Cottage under three feet of water, Fulham ask QPR whether they can temporarily share Loftus Road. Put off by the exorbitant rent charged by Rangers' owners, they settle for the use of the car park at BBC's Television Centre. They still feature last on Match of the Day.
Super Furry Animals say: They don't care about you and me, obviously

HULL CITY: Disaster!
Hull lose all their Pro Evo progress.
Half Man Half Biscuit say: Let's go the Groucho and snap at rakish heels

LIVERPOOL: Steven Gerrard dislocates his thumbs pointing to his name on the back of his jersey after a trademark 35-yard scorcher. He comes back on after treatment and immediately scores from forty yards. He then suffers a cataclysmic sequence of short circuits and is dismantled and sold for scrap. Rafa Benítez moans about something or other.
Johnny Thunders says: You can't put your arm around a memory

MANCHESTER CITY: City make a £500m bid for Kaká to distract attention from the disastrous debut of Ronaldo. Ronaldo (the back of whose jersey reads "THE BRAZILIAN RONALDO") suffered multiple tears to every cruciate ligament in his left knee as he bent over to catch his breath in the second minute.
Half Man Half Biscuit say: A light aircraft was on standby just in case I got bored.

MANCHESTER UNITED: Sralex relaxes his ban on the BBC interviewing him. It is re-imposed when he sees Garth Crooks waiting for him in the tunnel after a game. Wayne Rooney's Ritalin still fails to kick in.
Half Man Half Biscuit say: Is your child hyperactive? Or is he, perhaps, a twat?

MIDDLESBROUGH: Middlesbrough play some nice football in a nice stadium in front of their nice manager, their nice chairman and their nice fans. Final position: missionary.
Talking Heads say: Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was...

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Joey Barton's ceremony of induction into a Franciscan order is cut short when he spots a small bird with a broken wing outside the church and proceeds to torture it with a Stanley knife and its own feathers.
The Manic Street Preachers say: For sale? Dumb cunts' same dumb questions

PORTSMOUTH: The reason for the unusually pronounced camber at Fratton Park is discovered in stoppage time of Portsmouth's FA Cup clash with Wolves as a giant serpent rouses from its slumber after a Sol Campbell slide tackle. It is humanely put down and the game is played to a finish.
Blur say: Holding on for tomorrow

STOKE CITY: Rory Delap has his arms insured for £30m. Tony Pulis gets a job as a live-action impersonator of Dale from King of the Hill.
Half Man Half Biscuit say: The forty-third brown sign today tells me I could be on my way to England's crudest water wheel

SUNDERLAND: Sunderland sign Stephen Hunt for £2.7m. He accidentally detonates in transit, killing sixteen thousand.
Half Man Half Biscuit say: Did you see me being escorted round the ground?

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR: Fans hang an effigy of the concept of the director of football outside White Hart Lane.
The Clash say: I went to the market to realise my soul

WEST BROMWICH ALBION: Tony Mowbray's interview after West Brom's final-round relegation unexpectedly turns him into the nation's sweetheart. His manner, even more mournful than usual, tugs at the heartstrings of a nation with 17,000 dog charities. The following weekend, an advert appears in the News of the World's pull-out magazine advertising a collectible plate featuring a painting of Mowbray's sad visage. It is called 'Tony'. It sells out by the Monday.
Half Man Half Biscuit say: Overhead a rainbow appears - in black and white

WEST HAM UNITED: The club is nationalised. Freddie Ljungberg is investigated for insider dealing.
The Jam say: Better stop dreaming of the quiet life 'cos it's the one you'll never know

WIGAN ATHLETIC: The reason for Wigan's extraordinary mid-season UEFA-Cup-places-threatening winning streak is revealed: they are being managed by Steve Bruce's evil twin! The twin kidnapped Steve in June 2008, while everyone was distracted watching the European Championship, and posed as his brother, taking training, sitting next to Andy Townsend and his silly monitor on ITV and writing a detective novel called Holding Midfielder!. He looks identical to Steve except for the scar under his left eye. The revelation comes in the middle of a routine Friday press conference when Steve bursts into the room with police in tow. He resumes his duties as Wigan manager and guides the team to a respectable fifteenth place.
Half Man Half Biscuit say: The wonderful dexterity of Hannu Mikkola makes me want to shake hands with the whole of Finland



Brian 31/10/08 11:56 AM  

Genius. The entry on Chelsea nearly made me fall out of my seat.

For a tagline, I think you should adopt the approach taken by the Wizznutzz a year or two ago, when they published an NBA preview a couple of weeks into the season and hyped it as "Our earliest preview ever."

Richard Whittall 31/10/08 1:11 PM  

Yeah, this is basically amazing...and my word verification test is 'prozones'!!

Fredorrarci 31/10/08 10:32 PM  

I found that Wizznutzz preview. Two highlights of many: the diagram on "The Flow Of Black Culture"; and:


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