'Like Chess, Only without the Dice' German Football's Greatest Sayings

By David Gordon Smith

Part 5: An Early Bath for Math: 'Our Chances Are 70:50'

Christoph Daum: Sometimes using 51 percent of your brain is not enough.

Christoph Daum: Sometimes using 51 percent of your brain is not enough.

You wouldn't think you'd need to know much mathematics to be a professional footballer. After all, when it comes to goals, you rarely have to count above three, while with yellow cards an ability to count to two is more than sufficient. Nevertheless, many footballers seem unable to avoid commiting verbal fouls whenever they talk about numbers.

- Fussball ist inzwischen Nummer eins in Frankreich. Handball übrigens auch. (Football has become the number one (sport) in France. Handball too.)

The German sports journalist Heribert Fassbender shows he is not exactly number one when it comes to figures.

- Es steht im Augenblick 1:1. Aber es hätte auch umgekehrt lauten können. (The score is currently 1:1. But it could also have been the other way around.)

Another mathematical classic from Heribert Fassbender, still struggling to understand the concept of the number one.

- Jetzt stehen die Chancen 50:50 oder gar sogar 60:60. (The chances are currently 50:50 or even 60:60.)

Former Bayer Leverkusen manager Reiner Calmund revealed himself to have an IQ of over 140 when his intelligence was measured on a German TV show. Apparently they didn't take his understanding of probability theory into account.

- Unsere Chancen stehen 70:50. (Our chances are 70:50.)

Like Calmund, former VfB Stuttgart player Thorsten Legat also appears to believe that 120, not 100, is the magic number when it comes to statements on probability.

- Man muss nicht immer die absolute Mehrheit hinter sich haben, manchmal reichen auch 51 Prozent. (You don't always need to have an absolute majority behind you, sometimes 51 percent is enough.)

Football coach Christoph Daum shows that sometimes using 51 percent of your brain is not enough.


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