Wednesday 13 November 2019

Perfect Figures

David Kelly uses the numbers game to take a light-hearted look at 2009

David Kelly

David Kelly

1Rory McIlroy's margin of victory as he claimed his debut European tour title in Dubai. A great year for the Northern Irishman.

3 The age Sea The Stars wins the young Sports Personality of the Year award. What's the difference between Sea The Stars and Tiger? One will get paid millions for being a stud.

4The amount of races won by Adam Carroll. Never heard of him? He won the A1 GP world championship. Never heard of it? Okay, move along.

6 The amount of goals scored in the All-Ireland semi-final against Limerick. After which, a hefty swathe of Limerick's panel were evicted. The rest of the losers then displayed even greater resolve than they did in Croke Park as they tried to drum their manager, Justin McCarthy, out of town. Bonkers the lot of 'em.

7 Ruby Walsh's record number of winners at Cheltenham. The royalties keep rolling in for the Kaiser Chiefs, whose hit 'Ruby, Ruby' is regularly used by the Channel 4 racing team.

9 Henry Shefflin's average points total in All-Ireland championship history. Long live the King.

9.58Usain Bolt's astonishing 100m world record. His 200m world best was even more impressive, especially as he changed running shoes during the race.

17 Dublin's narrow margin of defeat to Kerry in the All-Ireland quarter-final. No, it was really unlucky. Pat Gilroy called his men startled earwigs. Dublin are like a unique bra -- great support, but no cup.

31 The ridiculous amount of champions paraded by the once proud World Boxing Association -- including interim, super and regular. Next year they're hoping to add bare-knuckle titles to their expanding portfolio of belts.

32Kilkenny's running total of All-Ire-land wins. Next year, the GAA may need to avoid another pitch invasion by implementing Plan C -- just give them the Liam McCarthy before the throw-in.

33 Ireland's proposal for a uniquely Irish World Cup -- 'tis like NAMA, just set up a Special Purposes Vehicle and we'll deal with the details later -- would have involved this many teams. They rolled in the aisles at this one, from the hard-up folks at Cork City and Derry City to the big cheese Sepp Blatter himself.

36Kerry's running total of All-Ireland successes. Drink played a huge part. The nation convulsed when Gooch had a snifter. But this writer supped with a Listowel contingent in the Palace one post-match evening and nothing was said. Different strokes.

47 Jimmie Johnson won his fourth straight Nascar title and finished with the most wins (47) of the decade. "The only thing faster than Jimmie's car is his receding hairline," joked Denny Hamlin.

48Miriam O'Callaghan wasn't the only fox hitting the top of their game as they approach 50. Tullamore's Leinster title-winning goalkeeper Damien 'The fox' Fox hit a career peak at 48. Didn't turn David McWilliams on, though.

59Tom Watson nearly wins the Open, spoilsport Stewart Cink (36) winning a play-off before knocking over an old lady and stealing a kid's ice cream. Way to ruin the fairytale of the century.

61The gap in years between Grand Slam triumphs, bridged by Ireland's greatest ever collective of players and led by their greatest ever player Brian O'Driscoll. Even Declan Kidney's rampant ego -- he actually touched the trophy, the cheek of it -- failed to dampen the nation's affections towards their heroes.

72The minute in which Ireland were given a penalty that wasn't against Georgia, helping them to come from 1-0 down to win 2-1. The outraged Georgians complained bitterly to FIFA and asked to be reinstated into the ... oh, hang on, seem to have got the wrong end of the stick here. Err, we'll get back to you. Move along now.

78Shane Lowry's first round in professional golf. Unlike Clara's other most famous resident, things could only get better.

94In millions of euro, the modest fee paid to acquire the modest Cristiano Ronaldo and also the amount of mirrors in his house, into one of which he proclaimed: "The great players cost a lot of money, if you want them you have to pay it."

100A Dallas high school basketball coach was sacked after leading his side to a 100-0 win this year. The school is believed to have been run by a Middle East oil sheikh who felt his side were underperforming. Perhaps.

101Kevin O'Brien's fine one-day knock for Ireland against Oman.

111.51Amount of seconds it took for Michael Phelps to win one of five gold medals at the world championships in a year of highs. Also amount of seconds it took for the bong to kick in during another notable high. Phelps apologised for the latter.

122 The amount of seconds it took for unheralded Aussie Danny Green to deck Roy Jones Jr in December. Also the number of excuses proffered by the humble American in defeat.

125 The GAA we salute all of you. Even the Cork hurlers.

141Andre Agassi revealed his use of crystal meth in 1997 when he had plunged to 141 in the world rankings. It probably also explains his fashion style at the time.

170The speed Felipe Massa was travelling when part of Rubens Barrichello's rear suspension hit his head in a freak crash at the Hungarian Grand Prix, forcing him to slam into a wall. Only a week earlier, he had predicted that there would be a major car crash in his sport. If only he'd talked to Tiger as well ...

210 The yardage for that astonishing 3-iron hybrid approach to the 72nd at Hazeltine as YE Yang clinched a famous US PGA win. What's the difference between Yang and Elin Nordegren? It took Yang 14 clubs to beat Tiger ...

218.44The height in centimetres of the giant 7ft 2in Nikoly Valuev beaten by a David Haye-maker in Germany. Haye answered critics who claimed he couldn't hit snow off a rope by hitting snow off a dope instead.

210 The amount of millions Man City offered for Kaka. Their bid was in vain. As too Stoke's, albeit Tony Pulis was a tad more ingenious. "We offered Stoke-on-Trent as well," he said.

301It wasn't a vintage year for the Irish Tiger Woods, Padraig Harrington (relax there, Caroline, we're talking sport here). However, his 301-yard miracle shot at Hazeltine's 15th stands out. From the upslope of a fairway bunker, while nearly slipping, he managed to get it to pin-high. Tiger said he would have paid in to see such a shot. "So I asked him for 50 dollars," joked Harrington.

537 The seconds it took for Bernard Dunne to be slammed to the canvas by Poonsawat Kratingdaeng-gym. Also the amount of seconds it takes to pronounce his name.

1000The estimated number of cyclists who followed twit Lance Armstrong around Phoenix Park. Sorry, tweeter. He tweeted the cyclists. So they're twits. We think.

2016The year when Brazil will next host the Olympics after they saw off competition from Chicago and, most impressively, Barack Obama. One wonders exactly what aspect of their proposed Copacabana Beach Volleyball extravaganza sealed the deal?

3000Tony McCoy passed this amount of winners during the year. And still the BBC sports twat of the year awards ignore him.

82,500serena Williams' fine in dollars after threatening to do something with a tennis ball to a lineswoman which has only ever been seen before via pixillated hardcore pornography sites (So someone told me). Sadly, overshadowed fairytale US Open comeback of Kim Clijsters. Sadly, it was a year when scandal surpassed fairytale.

100,000amount in euros that Bohemians were bailed out by the FAI. Nothing untoward in that whatsoever. We repeat nothing untoward. Not a thing. No sirree. Please look away. Go on. Out. Move along now.

650,000The amount of money Harlequins' disgraced winger Tom Williams sought during the attempted cover-up of the Bloodgate scandal. When Williams returned after his four-month ban, he was substituted with blood pouring from his head. Thankfully, the real stuff this time.

Irish Independent

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