Saturday, April 28, 2007

FOX Just Can't Stop Spinning, Even With Cricket

The World Cup final between Australia and Sri Lanka was scheduled to start at 9:30 this morning but it was raining in Bridgetown, Barbados, and they didn't even get the coin tossed until 10:00. And then a very strange thing happened.

In a one-day match such as this, each team bats once. They toss a coin to decide who bats first; if you win the toss, you choose. Normally the teams know whether they'd prefer to bat first or second. (I like to bat last, but there are two schools of thought on this.)

In bad weather, conditions are likely to deteriorate throughout the day, and there's a possibility of a rain-shortened match, so what to do if you win the toss becomes a whole different question. (I like to bat first if it's wet, but again there are two schools of thought.)

Things were so uncertain today that the online experts at Cricinfo were saying they weren't sure whether this would be a good toss to win or not.

Australia won the toss and chose to bat first.

FOX didn't show the coin toss live. Instead they went to their "experts" who "speculated" that if Australia won the toss they would choose to bat. And then they showed the coin toss, and what do you know? Their experts were right.

Funny how that worked out, isn't it?

Two weeks ago I gave "two thumbs up" to FOX for their online coverage of this tournament and suggested that perhaps they were trying to build credibility by doing a good job on sports, in order to make their "news" seem "believable".

Funny how that worked out, too. Isn't it? I think maybe they were trying a little bit too hard.

Batting first turned out to be a good idea, and Australia had the better team too. Adam Gilchrist [photo] scored a quick 149 and that didn't hurt the Aussie chances either. In truth, the outcome was never in doubt.

So Australia are celebrating, having gone undefeated in a tournament in which every other team lost at least three matches while winning the World Cup for an unprecedented third straight time.

Clearly the best team won. But of course this does not excuse Australia for its crimes against humanity, nor for its failure to oust (and guillotine) the outrageous war criminal John Howard, but that's another story.

As for FOX, if they'll spin about a little thing like the coin toss in a cricket game ...