Sunday, 8 November 2020

Biden Beats Trump

The four year nightmare in the USA is entering its final days with the win of Joe Biden over Donald Trump which was finally called by the media yesterday, an announcement that was accompanied by spontaneous celebrations in cities around the country. The timing was interesting as it appears the networks waited until Trump was out on the golf course (yet again) before making the call. He wouldn't be the first right wing leader to learn of defeat while in a bunker.

Trump does at least set the record for most votes by a losing candidate, and how 70+ million people can vote for him given his record is really quite disturbing, as well as managing to lose the popular vote twice. 

The error yesterday by a Trump staffer who booked the Four Seasons Total Landscaping business for a press conference for his lawyers instead of the Four Seasons Hotel was a nice metaphor for the job the administration has done over the last four years. 

He promised to run the country like he ran his business. It ended with Rudy Giuliani outside Four Season Total Landscaping next to a dildo shop, after a staffer mistakenly thought the empty parking lot was a Four Seasons hotel.

Although at the time of writing, Trump is still whining that he won - and by a lot - he didn't, and there is no reason why the result in any state would be overturned, so if you have some money you don't mind tying up possibly for a few days, you can still get 1.05 on Biden.

Trump says he plans to go to court on Monday, but reporting indicated Jared Kushner is trying to get through to him that it's a lost cause. Trump's defeat is made all the sweeter given that on Tuesday night, with his odds as short as 1.24, he almost certainly thought he had won. We can only imaging him waking up a few hours later, checking his phone, and the reality of his situation slowly dawning on him. With no immunity from his financial and legal troubles after January 20th, it's no surprise that he is crying so much, but come that day he is no longer President whether he concedes or not. Farewell to a dreadful human being, and Mexico never did pay for that wall. 

For a change of pace, if you like statistics and you like tennis history, you might enjoy the Netflix show Guilermo Vilas - Settling The Score which is about how Vilas was wrongly denied the No.1 world ranking in the 1970s. Great lockdown viewing.

Even though he won 16 ATP singles titles, including the French Open and the US Open and was the runner-up at the January edition of the Australian Open in 1977, Vilas was never ranked by the ATP as world No. 1 during 1977 which was due to the fact that the rankings at the time were based on the average of a player's results. He was instead year-end world No. 2, behind Jimmy Connors (who won the Masters and seven other titles and was the runner-up at Wimbledon and the US Open in 1977). Nevertheless "World Tennis" magazine listed Vilas as 1977 year-end world No. 1, and Borg No. 2.

Argentine journalist Eduardo Puppo and Romanian mathematician Marian Ciulpan investigated the 1973–78 period records, and delivered a detailed report with more than 1,200 pages in which they came to the conclusion that Vilas should have been ranked No. 1 for five weeks in 1975 as well as during the first two weeks of 1976 and handed over their research to the ATP at the end of 2014. Although the study was not refuted, in May 2015 the ATP announced it had decided not to make official the No. 1 position for Vilas because it happened in the interval between the publications of the official rankings.

This was also a topic covered by the New York Times in 2015 in which the ATP give more details about their reluctance to correct the record and recognise Vilas' achievement. 

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