027. Ned’s Emotional Curve


So far I’ve ranked my teams from 1 to 20 with my heart, and allocated them a chunk of joy points, and I’ve predicted the results of the pool games 1 to 40 with my head.

I’ve added a bit of secret sauce in the spreadsheet, and now I’ve calculated how happy or unhappy I am at a predicted result. (On the first weekend, New Zealand beating South Africa is both predicted and happy.  England beating Tonga is predictable but unhappy.)

From those numbers I’ve created the chart below that shows how I think my emotion flows throughout the pool stage. The x-axis is the 40 games: the y-axis goes from +100 (all my preferred teams win) to -100 (all my preferred teams lose).

So I start happy if Japan wins against Russia, a bit of a dip if bloody GirtBySea wins against Fiji, and a good uptick if the All Blacks beat the Boks.  Then a cascade of mumble grump as the big fellas wrap up the minnows, but a gradual climb up as the All Blacks win their other three pool matches, and end on a good point of Japan beating Scotland.

That should end with me on a +59 score at the end of the pools, which is not too shabby. Better than 0, and way better than the negatives.


But but but.

Here’s what the graph looks like if I change the result in just one match: if the Boks beat the All Blacks in Match 4.

I plunge into despair on that first weekend, and only climb out half-heartedly half way through the pools.

Which is maybe a long-winded way of finding a statistical proof of something we all know to be true in our bones: Match 4 is huge. We need to get that win at the kickoff or we’re all going to be nervous wrecks for weeks.

And remember that in all World Cups so far the winner has gone through the tournament unbeaten, so this is an enormous hurdle for both teams.

No pressure Shag.

4 thoughts on “027. Ned’s Emotional Curve

  1. Yes. There is a fundamental truth to your calculation. But one that I actively try to reset my own happiness base. Human tend to feel pain of loss at twice the strength of happiness gain. Rationally you should discount the pain by a factor of 1/2 or 1/3. And also increase the happiness score by 50% (or 200%). Does this risk the structure of your rollercoaster? Or smooth the ride and finish on a high of 95%?

    Oh. And should quarter finals, semis and finals generate more joy (factor of 1.5, 2 and 3 respectively) or pain?

    Oh, that’s right it is an international league of pain scale. Gotcha.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.