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Football and Science Monthly:
Relative ballistics
By Chris Lawton

This paper attempts to investigate the complex and dynamic relationship between the motion of white, although sometimes yellow or orange, spherical objects across and over a large flat green area, measuring around 60 m by 100 m, the initiator of the motion, the ideology of the initiator and its associated guru, the coverage of these events in diurnal publications, both regional and national, and the in-depth analysis of these events on cathode-ray tube devices, particularly at around 22:30 on a Saturday night from the months of August through to May.

1. Introduction

To understand the full implications of this paper it is necessary for the reader to be made aware of certain recent historical facts. These facts are well documented in a number of sources, Rothmans Yearbook for example, so only a brief synopsis is offered here.

Following on from this I will attempt to classify the different types of aerial motion that the spherical object, also known as a football, can exhibit and seek to place lower and upper limits on the distance scale. Subsequent sections will examine the role that the initiator, also known as the player, his ideology, also known as team, his guru, also known as manager, have on the motion of the ball.

I then propose to translate these influences, as observed in the neutral laboratory setting, into the world of the diurnal publications, also known as newspapers, with a specific focus on the medium known as tabloid journalism. The final stage of analysis consists in an investigation into the analysis offered by other researches in this field using cathode-ray tubes to globally broadcast the material directly into the dwelling places of biased observers - particularly on a Saturday evening in an event called Match of the Day.

From this lengthy analysis I will then seek to draw conclusions as to the standard of future analysis that supporters of the earlier defined historical path can expect to receive in both diurnal publications and the cathode-ray medium.

2. History

Back in 1977 a former full-back, for Grimsby Town, was signed by struggling Watford, as manger, by the recently appointed chairman Elton John. At the time the managerial switch for a Mr Graham Taylor from Lincoln City to Watford was not big news but as history unfolded this ordinary man took an ordinary club to places that neither had ever been to.

For 10 years the Golden Boys, as they came to be known, advanced from the lowest to the highest echelons of English domestic football generating a large amount of interest from diurnal publications and everyday people alike. In a number of highly successful seasons they were runners up in the top league, played in Europe and reached the final of the world's best cup competition.

Against this backdrop of a fairytale rise to stardom was a far from fairytale analysis by the diurnal publications and the lay person. The general consensus was that Watford played a "long ball" game, referring to the distance through a air a given projectile travelled, didn't posses any "quality" players, where quality is an arbitrary term based largely on one's ideology rather than innate ability and were lucky, where lucky is defined as meaning of unfashionable ideology and not of our type thank-you very much.

In 1987 this partnership fell apart. The manager left for another ideology known colloquially as "The Villa" whilst Watford inherited a new guru in the form of Dave Bassett. Sadly for supporters of the Watford ideology they suffered under this new guru, and subsequent ones, initially at the expense of their former guru - who went on to become the leader of the county's leading ideology.

In 1996 the Watford ideology had suffered much with many former followers either abstaining or being converted to popular ideologies, such as the Gunners. The long suffering were about to be revived in their ideology with the return of their former chief guru Graham Taylor. Since then he has managed to pull several oryctolagus cuniculus out of a head covering, often with a brim that is worn out of doors, to once again take Watford into the top division of English football.

3. Projectile Distances

The rules governing projectiles can be found in other documentation - particularly work by I. Newton, and will not be discussed in this work. Rather I seek to define the classification given by pundits and commentators in comparison to the laboratory standard.

The basic distances can be easily defined. A short ball, or pass, involves an initiator, or player, causing the spherical projectile to move a distance of less than typically 20m directly to a receptor. Such a motion is usually achieved without lifting the projectile off the surface. A long ball, or pass, requires the initiator to fire the projectile over a distance of greater than 20 m, usually in the air. Furthermore the greater the distance the projectile travels the greater the change that the receptor will have to alter course to meet the projectile. In general the further the projectile travels the greater the influence of any variations in ideal conditions.

This theory was well established until in the 1970's a style of journalism emerged, called Tabloid Journalism, which sought to distort the perception of these fundamental rules. They added extra conditions into the descriptive equations that defined the properties of projectile motion. In effect what these people did was to add in new properties based on the skill level of the initiator, popularity of the ideology and the fame level of the guru.

The differences became particularly apparent when a number of unpopular ideologies started to become more popular and compete with leading ideologies, particularly those that had many adherents who had seen their ideology but were still authorities on the initiators, ideology and guru. Two initiators, of identical ability, but with different ideologies, could move the projectile in the same manner yet have it described differently. This has been extended in recent times to blame the errors of the most skilful initiator on external factors, such as the weather or the quality of the flat green area.

Because many of those involved with Tabloid Journalism only supported the leading ideologies they were unfamiliar with up and coming ideologies. To cover flaws in their knowledge they started making wild speculation about individual ability without examining the facts.

The cycle of events can be defined as: all players in an up and coming ideology are not as good as those in established ideologies. They are not, therefore, capable of delivering ideal starting parameters to the projectile on repeated occasions. If they should, however, succeed in repeatedly imparting the correct parameters the national ideologies need to be protected. To do this a process of misinformation is to be activated whereby the up and coming ideologies are belittled by defining the projectile flight in less glamorous terms.

The result is that a new ideology player who repeatedly fires the projectile over a range of 40 m with pin point accuracy is either lucky, or his team plays a long ball game which is not good for the national ideology. If the player transfers to a leading ideology the description changes to a measured pass, an incisive move, a defence splitting ball that would help the national cause.

4. The Cathode-Ray Medium

The consensus of Tabloid Journalism spread to other electronic forms of communication such as the cathode-ray medium with devastating results. In the broadcasts, such as a weekly program called Match of the Day, so called experts regularly perpetuated these myths as well as incorrect analysis of the offside law.

These so-called experts are waiting for any opportunity to promote the existing ideologies and belittle up and coming ideologies. They lull the viewer into believing they care and want these new ideologies to survive but counter these statements with saying it is a tragedy if established ideologies suffer a loss of believers and lose their status in the top division of ideologies.

5. The Role of Guru

Thus far I have neglected to mention the role of the guru. A guru has a massive influence on the perceived view of his ideology. In general when a guru switches ideologies his strengths and weaknesses are then used to define the style of his new ideology. The appointment of a given guru can alter the way an ideology's projectiles are described in the national diurnal publications. So the appointment of a guru is always a difficult choice. The national diurnal publications have sufficient power to promote or demolish the status of the guru.

6. Summary

In conclusion, therefore, a lowly ideology will be looked at less favourably than a national ideology. The role of the guru will distort the way the ideology is perceived by other gurus and diurnal publications.

In the future this process can be expected to continue, as there is no indication that it is about to be radically altered. In fact in the coming year it may become worse for believers of a particular ideology. It would be fair to say that many so called experts already expect certain ideologies to fail and would take a certain amount of pride in seeing that happen. In reality the power of the guru may ultimately be greater than the power of the diurnal publication, which is to the benefit of his ideology.