Weblog: Sports editor's view
Stop that, it's silly
WHAT is going on in the wacky world of sport?
There is F1 trying to shoot itself in the foot again and making a complete arse of itself all week, when back comes cricket, determined to defend its crown as the most ridiculous discipline around.
We're having none of that, says cricket, furious at being upstaged by the F1 world drivers championship scoring sheninigans, and hits right back with the farcical end to the first ODI between the West Indies and England in Guyana.
Taking the embarrassing episodes one at a time, the F1 PR disaster was totally uncalled-for and ill-planned.
Bookmakers offered punters the chance to void seasonal bets after it was announced that the drivers title (first place only) would be settled on most wins regardless of the competitors' points totals.
Then a couple of days later, they were offering refunds again to those who had placed bets in the interim period, when it was announced that a protest by the teams had forced the FIA to put off the planned change.
Net result: everyone in F1 is at each others' throats, bookmakers and punters don't know where they stand and those who ignorantly mocked the sport anyway have a genuine reason to pile on the insults.
In the autumn, after Bernie Ecclestone first mooted his dea of awarding medals to the first three drivers in each race and scrapping the traditional points system, the official F1 website ran a long article expounding the so-called benefits of change and inviting fans to vote on whether they liked the new system or not.
Funnily enough, the result of that survey wasn't used as evidence backing the move this week. I'll take a wild guess that the results would have mirrored those everywhere else, which say that up to 80 per cent of fans wouldn't mind a small change to the scoring (the teams' proposals for a 12-9-7-5-4-3-2-1 system was popular enough) but that hardly anyone not called Ecclestone or Mosley wants a winner-takes-it-all world champion.
On to the cricket, and the shots of Windies coach John Dyson as he carried the two, divided by the number he first thought of and then realised he'd been reading the wrong column on his Duckworth/Lewis calculations chart were priceless (but still not as good as those of Felipe Massa's father when he realised it might be best to stop celebrating his son winning the world title in Brazil last year).
It's always been an unsatisfactory sight to see teams marching off for bad light gleefully pointing to the scraps of paper that show them to be ahead of the target figure - far more satisfactory to see one run off the field and realise that they've lost.
Better still, of course, would be to complete the game, which was heading towards an interesting finish.
But wait. What's this? F1 has found another foot to shoot and has fresh ammo in the rifle?
Yes folks, that's right. Look forward to Diffusergate. It's looking likely that rivals teams will object to the designs of the rear diffusers (a fiddly bit of aerodynamics at the back of the car) being used by Williams, Toyota and possibly Brawn, in next week's Australian Grand Prix.
No protests can be made until the cars are presented for scrutineering in Melbourne, so be very aware that bets will be settled on a first-past-the-post basis - the eventual official winner could end up being decided in a stuffy old appeal court.