Dave Simms has been called a great many things by a great many people, most of it deserved, but the one thing he doesn’t get called (much) is calculating. The irony is that everything Dave does is controlled by a spreadsheet of his own devising. How do we know this? An eagle-eyed reader found this on a train between Sheffield and Nottingham. They tried to sell it to the BBC, ITV, Sky News and Heat magazine but none of them wanted it. We’ll print anything so they gave it to us. Just don’t tell them that they’re not going to get paid for it will you. (Please be assured, no adventurers were chased by enormous stone balls, fell into pits of snakes or nearly lost their hats in the writing of this article). 

The spreadsheet itself is too massive and complicated to be reproduced here so we’ve picked out some of the more interesting (and understandable) formulae to give you a few examples of what a slave to the numbers Dave is. 

NB: A variable that appears throughout the spreadsheet is P which appears to stand for opposition (‘P’ is used in favour of ‘O’ to avoid confusion). This appears to be a sliding scale of points awarded to opposing teams with Panthers at the top (P=9) and Hull at the bottom (P=1). All other variables are explained as we go along. 

1) Powerplay Calculation: We’ve all heard Dave shout “Steelers are on the…” and most of us are still waiting for the response but the volume (V) Dave shouts it as is calculated against the opposition and score. So: 

V= B x P/(Sg or Sl) 

B is the base volume constant and Sg and Sl are the greater score and lesser score respectively 

Basically all this means that the closer the game, the louder he shouts. 

As yet it has been impossible to calculate the formula for the response, as there have not been enough documented audible responses to create a viable total! 

2) I Believe: This is a fairly similar formula made more complicated by a number of time variables (Ta = etc) plus a nominal value F which indicates the severity of the situation.   

BF = (P/Sg or Sl) x (1/Ta) x F 

BF = Believe Frequency

Ta = distance to end of season

F   =  Severity of situation. 

3) Opposition Wind Up: Now we’re getting into Dave’s favourite territory things begin to get really complicated. The formula for winding the opposition up (U) is: 

U= ((P x P)/(W/L) x (W/L)) x (1/Ta) x P x (H/R) 

N.B. This software does not allow the use of the squared symbol hence the use of P x P as an alternative 

W/L is the number of wins divided by losses in the last five games

Ta once again is distance to the end of the season

H is History

R is the likelihood of a friendly performance form the referee 

4) When to announce opposition signings: If there’s a gun to be jumped Dave’s your man but again, he’s not being impetuous. There are actually two formulae for this depending on which team is involved. The standard formula is:                            

A= D – (P x M) x 1/(Sp-Op) 

The second formula only refers to Coventry and adds a single modifier ‘C’ at the end:                                      

A= D – (P x M) x 1/(Sp-Op) x C 

D is the date of the planned announcement

M is a constant value of 5 in both formulae

Sp is Steelers position last season

Op is the opposition team’s position in the last season

C has a constant value of 2 thus doubling the length of the time that Sheffield announce Coventry’s signings. 

5) Former players: A thorny subject this one as events over the last few months have shown. Players in Sheffield are part of the family but all families have black sheep. Most families like to keep their skeletons in the closet but Sheffield often seem, at times, almost desperate to tell the world how terrible players X, Y and Z were:                   

L= (W/Y) x (Pt/Y) x (T-H) x (St/N) 

L is the likelihood of an outburst from Dave

W is the number of articles in which the player mentions problems at the Steelers

Y is the number of seasons the player spent in South Yorkshire

Pt is points scored       

T is a constant of 200

H is height

St is the cost of the players stick

N is the number of games played under Norton Lea

6) Player quality knowledge. Ever wondered why Sheffield signed Wes Dory or Rod Sarich? No, me neither. Most teams rely on scouting reports, talking to former team-mates and coaches but not Sheffield. The answer once again lies at the very heart of the spreadsheet. It contains a constant quotient of NHL which modulates the results according to the players current league. There may be a fault in the formula as we are unable to establish a viable reason for the signing of Jamie Van Der Horst!                              

Q = NHL (PT/G + PiM/F)/U           

Q is quality. The higher the value, the more likely Dave is to recommend them to Mike O’ Connor.

NHL is the league modifier

Pt is points scored again

G is games played

PiM is penalty minutes

F is fights

U denotes whether they have heard of the Sheffield Steelers before and is semi-constant at  +1 (never heard of Sheffield) or -1 (have heard) 

And that’s that. You now know what makes Dave Simms tick. Well, you now know almost all that makes Dave Simms tick. There’s one final gem in there which we can only assume was included as a mistake: 

7) When to announce April Fool’s Joke: 

DA= AFD-1 

Where DA equals date announced and AFD stands for April Fool’s Day!!!

As observed by Paul Balm

1 Response to “Indiana Simms and the Spreadsheet of Doom!”


  1. 1 Quango July 21, 2008 at 8:49 am

    You missed one off

    DT = WC – JC

    I’ll let ya guess what the letters stand for


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