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Wednesday cannon fodder: Space video robot bookies

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Super Bowl XLIII
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Has anyone discovered a cool new trick or secret to doing something recently? I was changing out a flat inner tube on my bike and someone told me that putting the new tube in a bag with some baby powder in it and shaking it up so you coat the tube with baby powder would help prevent a pinch flat and make changing the tire a lot easier. Guess what? It worked! I feel dumb for not having known that.

I’m not 100% sure using bookies’ odds to calculate how unlucky Arsenal have been over the years is the most academically rigorous way to go about it, or even if it’s worth going about at all, but someone did just that.

UEFA is using video replay in its World Cup qualifiers, and guess what? It works, and it’s pretty unobtrusive. It was used twice in France v. Spain, and Spain will be a big fan of it going forward:

To break down the timeline:

- Goal was scored at 47.16
- Celebrations took until 47.45, which means play couldn’t have started until at least 48.00 while guys got back into place
- Decision was overturned at 48.15

So, if you’re being super-generous, the decision took 15 seconds; more realistically, it took 30. 15 of those 30 seconds overlapped with the end of a goal celebration, so the net add, if you want to look at it that way, by using instant replay is 15 seconds. Remind me again why the use of video evidence is a bad idea?

Alexis Sanchez did this in Chile’s qualifier against Venezuela:

US Women’s Team star Carli Lloyd thinks this round of collective bargaining betwen the USWNT and US Soccer will be crucial for the future growth of the sport in the rest of the world.

In a game as fluid as soccer, it’s not easy to Moneyball your way to winning - it’s really hard to pin down what an undervalued asset is, and it’s really, really hard to find players that can do specific things without altering the shape and style of your whole team. That said, though, it looks like more managers are starting to value space as a key ingredient to success in ways they may not have before.

It’s almost baseball season! Wait! Don’t run away! There’s an easy way to make games shorter, and it’s being used in the minor leagues right now.