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Is the iPod taking over the sports world? iPod helps United goalie save penalty

These days the iPod is something more than an instrument for sports stars to escape from screaming fans and pushy reporters, plugged into their ears blasting the latest tunes, perhaps from their girlfriend/boyfriend’s band. Last night United goalie Ben Foster used his iPod to review penalty patterns from the opponent resulting in a save enough to hand Manchester United their second trophy of the year.

Right before the penalty kick competition started one could see Ben Foster and United’s goalkeeper trainer review the opponents penalty historie, identifying patterns in the opponents penalties in an attempt to give them the edge in the match, which turned out to work well for them. Questions later arose as to the ‘fair play’ implications of using technology to get an edge in a football match, something FIFA has not found any issues with.

Now we all probably agree that we do not want technology to take over the game of football or any other sports for that matter, but we are here talking about studying the opponent, something that most sports people do in advance anyway, and the issue here is not the ability of studying penalty kick patterns on the iPod, but rather lack of imagination from the penalty kicker themselves. If anything this should help improve the game of football by making penalty kicks more unpredictable, forcing the penalty kickers to become more unpredictable in their behaviour.

Taking penalty kicks has a lot more to do with phsycology and outmanouvering your opponent, and if an iPod can get you an advantage, at least psychologically, then why not. I’m sure our readers in the US can understand the importance of analysis and statistics on the game of sports, just looking at amercian football where most team have a large crew of statisticians and people working for them looking for patterns in opponents behaviour.

Lets face it, winning in sports is not only about physcial abilities, it also has to do about being smart and beating your opponent at every level, including preparation, something that Manchester United and Ben Foster clearly did last night with the help of an iPod and some good piece of analysis.

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