The Postbag

Cod Almighty | Postbag

The annual appearance of the letters page

27 May 2018

What's that, blue moon? OK, I'll run a letters page

Enjoy the ride

Coming from a place like Grimsby, things never seem to play out correctly. Seemingly there are always twists and turns in the road.

Being born in to a family that has always had to graft to get anywhere, I often used to wonder why it was that I was not birthed into serious dough and sometimes I have had that 'why me' attitude, when stood working my guts out for too low a pay packet for too many hours. Thankfully, I worked through this, knuckled down properly, and began to work life out, learning how to cultivate a positive outlook and lifestyle. And it works.

So I am now grateful for all that I receive, good or bad, for I can see my own weaknesses and where I have come from. Really, it’s all about waking up and taking ownership and trying to enjoy the ride. Even if that meant kissing my son, the stranger next to me and then weeping uncontrollably in front of thousands of others at the end of the Chesterfield game in one of the oldest stands in the land.

Some things exist that we think we cannot control. The trick is to try and make a difference with a positive mind-set and see where that takes you?

All the best and UTM

from Tony Barker

Fit a new shower

Open Diary raises some pertinent points on 1 May.

Perhaps someone needs to go back to first principles and ask what stadium facilities are actually needed by the two important groups of people in the club, namely the manager and his players, and the supporters.

Assuming that most of the training and development of the players goes on somewhere else what do they need on match day? Some place to park the car, somewhere pleasant to change, a good playing surface and a good atmosphere from the crowd. That's about it.

The supporters need a transport method to get to the ground, a safe environment, a good pitch, good football to watch and some successful results. That's about it too.

Anything else is froth.

Where does BP fall short?

A new stadium would offer a better shower. That's about it. We had a new shower fitted at home last year. It was a lot easier than moving house.

My nearest league side is Coventry. The Ricoh Arena when opened a few years back looked splendid. Now it's a sad decaying mess, peeling paintwork, grubby facilities, and terrible pitch.

We should be doing everything to preserve, maintain and promote BP as part of the town's heritage. Heaven knows there is precious little else remaining.

from Geoff Wentworth

The quiz comes of age

The quiz is nearly two years old

wtf omg boo sort it slades

from Anon

Letters Ed responds: Yes, and it's walking and talking and everything. We're very proud.

Performative stupidity

I love John Fenty's latest statement:

"Had we acceded and wheeled the axe as some had wished in January and even before and then been in the same position, for sure we would have been accused of being trigger happy, particularly as we had recently been play-off contenders,"

It reads as unapologetic, aggressive, and arrogant, claptrap to me.

Does he really think our fans are so thick?

from Rich Hughes

Letters Ed responds: My guess is he thinks enough fans are thick that he can use them to drown out the ones who are not.

Graphic content

Ha ha. I read Ron Counte's article. It's full of facts and opinions and truths and... a graph. Not a clickable graph, by the looks of it a basic Excel (Copyright sign) graph like I make up for work projects, where I generally 'tailor' it to the requirements of the presentation and what the boss wants to hear. Squinting on my screen, it shows win percentages and 'points per game' markers with a big upwards tick after Slade on the cusp of Jolleys appointment.

We know this, I'm grateful.

But back to graphs as a tool for presenting 'the facts'.

They are a source of daily business website news, hourly zig zags of ups and downs. Used after the Brexit vote to show the pound dropping off a cliff, used by fantastically witty, knowledgeable fanzine websites to show how the form of the team has improved in a two-season spell.

Now consider how graphs are presented? The x-axis, the bottom line usually denotes 'time', left to right is time moving onwards. The y-axis is the 'integer', the 'measured amount', whatever it might be. (This graph is better than any of mine, it has two y axes)

Take the relevance on Brexit night of the BBC's Mr K Ahmed? A graphic showed the pound dropping off a cliff: straight down, dramatic. Bang, hell in a hand cart. BUT the y-axis was a narrow scale, quite narrow, I'd suggest (I voted leave.) The effect? dropping off a cliff. Expand that scale a bit, a bit more, a bit more, and it is a merely a small kink in a smooth line. See what I'm getting at?

Likewise, a daily stock market hourly zig zag doesn't tell you much about yesterday, or the week or the year unless you expand the x-axis and see the bigger picture. The view that prevails is stock markets always rise, don't they?

What am I rambling on about? The graph in the article serves the purpose adequately: two seasons, give or take, four managers and their record in that time frame. THE BIGGER PICTURE. Where should we look for the long-term trend? What was Hurst's preceding 5 years' win percentage and points per game on this graph? How does it compare to Buckley's 20 years ago? Or Buckley 1998 compared to Buckley 1988-1994? What is the trend we need to look for to use these stats as comfort for the future? When we were getting promoted, where is the 'success' trend or limit?

Based on an Honours Degree turned into a Business Masters, can we ask if Mr Jolley could knock up a summer presentation for the fans detailing the plan for 2018-19 and the projected graph of required achievement for success and a detailed analysis of how he can use the trend line during the season to gauge the success so far, posting a game by game update in his own little 'Fantasy Football Manager Game' against his predecessors?

I'm being mischievous. I can't see Mr Buckley or George Kerr having ever used statistics to gauge success, its not relevant to Michael Jolley's future as a coach, and the above named managers were in a different era and culture. Stats are perhaps best used after the fact to demonstrate what you want to show.

from Ian Jackson

Letters Ed responds: If anyone fancies providing a long term statistical analysis, we'll happily consider it for publication. Me? I'm busy editing a letters page. And be warned our last statistician ended up emigrating to the other side of the world.

The twilight zone

While reading the new GT Live re-hash of warmed up re-hashes to somehow brighten up the "Twilight" between the end of an old and beginning of a new season (why would they have the Iron on it?) I thought I would re-hash some Mariner-ish and Football-ish titbits.

After reading about Staveley player William Cropper's death after a tackle by a Grimsby player, I wondered if Dan Doyle had been sent off. So potted history of the rules was called for. Dan Doyle probably stayed on the pitch as the two umpires had to come to terms first.

Was it deliberate or did he dive? Did players dive in those days?

Yeh, I know, but only 70 days to go, and if said fast it could be mistaken for 69.


from Janusz Przeniczny

Letters Ed responds: Before they had managers as well in those days, or else he'd have been complaining Dan Doyle doesn't get enough protection.

Thanks to everyone who has written- we do always read your leters even if we don't always get around to publishing them. Use our feedback page to contact us.