Rob Minto

Sport, data, ideas and miscellany

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Sport Geek #8: tennis problems, footgolf, and pot

The best sports writing from the past week (or so).

No predictions, they could all be wrong by the time you read this. Instead:

Player with a problem 1) Rafael Nadal. His loss to Dustin Brown was almost predicatable. Is this career end-game? Or time to sack uncle Toni and get a new coach?

Player with a problem 2) Nick Kyrgios. You can be the next superstar, but nobody likes a tanker.

Continue reading

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Sport Geek #7: wither the leftie, speedy nags, awkward rider

You may have noticed that Wimbledon is ON. But there are some other great sporting stories out there too. Here’s this week’s Geek take: Continue reading

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Sport Geek #6: Slam dreams, bollards, Hackball

Leave aside talk of Serena getting the Grand Slam – what about Jordan? With the Masters and now US Open in the bag, Speith is halfway there. What’s in store at the Open?

Don’t forget how fine the margins are in golf: Dustin Johnson had a put to win at Chambers Bay. Continue reading

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Sport Geek #5: money talks, the N Korea of golf, racing’s dirty secret

We noticed before that Sepp Blatter didn’t actually use the word ‘resign’. So let’s not be surprised that – oh look – he might carry on after all.

Get real 1) Don’t call the Olympics out as a model for Fifa to follow. The IOC is happy to suck up to dictators. Hello Baku!
Get real 2) It might be a fun devils-advocate position to take, but Blatter hasn’t actually helped the poorer football nations at all.

Don’t call it the beautiful game. Try “the zero-sum game that deepens the poverty of the poor“. Continue reading

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Sport Geek #4: end of the Big 4, Wood’s 85, Bradley’s 60 minutes

The best of the last week (or so). Fifa, Barca, failure, and a long hour. Continue reading

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What can Fifa learn from other voting systems?


Everyone agrees that Fifa needs to change. But what about the tricky question of members’ votes? In general, the argument seems to go like this: Continue reading

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Sport Geek #3: Oh Fifa, inventing quotes, wither the all-rounder?

So much has been written about Fifa in the past week, it’s worth remembering that most of the allegations of corruption are old old news. Still… Continue reading

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Sport Geek #2: Novak no-brainer, Sterling saga, Blatter’s brilliance

Is this Novak Djokovic’s French Open? Whether it’s Rafael Nadal’s atrocious form, or Djokovic’s incredibly detailed preparation, it looks that way.

You might hate Sepp Blatter
, but he understands the world better than you, you irrelevant Westerner. Meanwhile, Qatar’s World Cup death rate is now over 60 per match, and Brazil’s 2014 legacy is already a mess.

English clubs need to learn to love the Europa League. The country may soon lose a Champion’s League place. Continue reading

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PSG: liberty, fraternity, inequality

473809032Sport is inherently unequal. Talent and skills are not distributed fairly, and it would be a far more boring world if they were.

But when it comes to the wages that are paid to players, some leagues prefer a fairer system – especially in the US – and some are content with a less equal system. Some are downright ridiculous.

The data provided each year by Sporting Intelligence highlights the haves and have-nots by comparing average team wages in 333 teams across many major leagues. As ever, the American sports leagues are notable by their evenness. In the NFL, for example, the top paying team, the Miami Dolphins, pay an average annual salary of £1.37m per player. The lowest payers are the New York Jets, with £1.01m per player. That’s across 32 teams. The difference top to bottom is just £357,000.

Let’s look at some of the major European football leagues by way of comparison. The contrast and variation is astonishing. Continue reading

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Sport Geek #1: genius, beauty and boredom

10 reasons why Barcelona won La Liga. You might think 1 to 9 are ‘Messi’, but there’s a lot more than that going on at the Nou Camp.

The beauty of Roger Federer’s tennis can cure relationships. And you thought you were a big Federer fan. Julian Barnes reviews the very strange Federer and Me by William Skidelsky. Continue reading

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