The Prediction Folly

About to film the Season Preview edition of Cat’s Whiskers TV, Paul Balm considers if they really are worth it….

Can I let you into a secret? I should be revising for the Cat’s Whiskers TV season preview. I should be going over the rosters for all the Elite League teams weighing up the pros and cons of each of the signings, trying to work out who is going to be better than who, to try and appear that I’ve got a clue what I’m talking about. I’ll get it done (I’ve still got a couple of days, it’ll be fine) but it’s not something I’m really looking forward to.

The thing is that I’m not entirely sure that poring over all those figures will give me any great insight. OK, there will be the obvious things – the usual teams will have signed a higher calibre than others, some teams will have gone down different roads to others, to fit different arena styles or game plans and some won’t have announced full rosters so you can’t really make any real conclusions. And that’s my problem with the pre-season preview – everyone wants you to come to a conclusion with only half the evidence and then hold you accountable  when your rash statements don’t come to fruition. I suppose it’s our own fault – we put ourselves and our opinions our there for all to see but at the end of the day how much do we actually know? We’re just fans.

I think we’d be far better having the pre-season preview some time in October or November. I’m not talking about moving the season, I’m just saying that it would be far better to predict who is going to do what this season when you’ve had a chance to see what sort of TEAM they all are. That’s the thing you can’t tell from a set of stats – will a bunch of players become a team and I believe that how a team gels will have as much say in where the trophy goes at the end of the season as the figures of those players.

Take a look at last season. A year ago people were saying that we looked light on goals and like most years we would be up there but the drought would go on. I was one of them, I didn’t think we finish much above third in our conference never mind league champions. I know, I know but that’s my point. I was basing that like so many others on the players statistics on a few comments they could garner from the internet. I don’t blame people for doing it, it’s all we’ve got until we see them in the flesh but we were told, or at least meant to believe, that Pat Galivan was the new Beauregard and David Ling was lazy and past it. We’re either of those right?

So what am I trying to say? It’s not that I won’t be making my predictions when we do the filming, its more that any predictions made now aren’t based on the whole set of facts and should be judged with that in mind. Plus just because I’m on a computer or whatever screen it doesn’t mean that I’ve got a clue what I’m talking about. But you
already knew that.

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