THINK LIKE A FREAK – YOU MUST READ THIS!

We had relaxed atmosphere at Sipod while Andrija was talking about his impressions after reading a book ” Think like a freak” by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner.

Think like a freak is a world-famous book that shows how people generally deal with preconceived notions and prejudices.

FIFA WORLD CUP

The book consists of various witty and interesting stories and Andrija’s favorite is the one about the final match in the World Cup. Here’s how the story goes:

It’s the final moments of the final match in FIFA World Cup. The match has come down to penalty kicks and the best players need to kick, and to kick well. The corners are always a good choice since the keeper is in agony while guessing which side you will kick, but the disadvantage is that you could go wide and miss the goal. Of course, you have another dilemma – which corner to kick to, left or right.

WHAT NUMBERS ARE SAYING?

Boring statistics indicate that 57% of the time the keeper jumps to the left side in an attempt to catch the ball, as most of the players shoot with the right foot, which is considered stronger. To the right side, keeper jumps a 41% of the time. By using simple addition, one can see that 57% + 41% = 98%, which further implies how does keeper act in the remaining 2% of the time. The answer is also very simple – He stays in the center.

This means that shooting toward  the center would most likely be successful. With this calculation, it is surprising that there are no more successful penalty kicks. It’s so simple – you shoot the center and gooooal!

WHAT’S THE PROBLEM YOU’RE PROBABLY WONDERING?

Well, besides the fact that a kick to the center is not exciting it is also stigmatized as unsportsmanlike.  Some football fans consider this kind of kicking not too spectacular, while others even go a step further by calling it a not fair play.

In addition, we can not exclude the chance that the keeper stays in the center and catch the ball, which will additionally undermine the reputation of a shooting player.

 At the end of this story, the authors conclude that being right is often meant to be unpopular and leave readers with the question: “Would you rather be an unpopular winner or a favorite loser?”

What would you choose guys?