Ok, the connexion to statistics is tenuous, but with the world cup starting tonight, I’m getting excited. I read a great snippet in Today about the Argentine squad, managed by the erratic genius, Maradona. Ariel Garca, or Chino as he’s known, is a relatively unknown defender at Colon, but was picked for the Argentine world cup squad
because of coach Diego Maradona’s dream one night that Argentina had won the World Cup, and Garce’s face was the only one he remembered the next morning.
You have to love Maradona (here’s his Hand of God again on youtube and wikipedia). Football is so full of superstitions (I recall Glasgow Ranger’s then manager Dick Advocaat, on being asked how he prepared for an important game, replying with a straight face “I put on my lucky underpants”), it would be interesting to see how many such beliefs actually hold up to a randomised experiment (the tenuous connexion).