Stephen Hawking is the man.
Not just because his theories regarding black holes and gravitational singularity theorem in the framework of general relativity have changed the way we understand science but because, apparently, the 72-year-old loves his soccer.
So much so, in fact, that he spent a chunk of his Wednesday discussing England’s World Cup chances. Unfortunately for fans of the Three Lions, however, things look bleak.
After analyzing data since the 1966 World Cup — take that Michael Cox! — Hawking concluded that the heat, altitude and distance from home could all be detrimental to England’s chances.
According to Hawking the 5 degree celsius rise in temperature in Brazil reduces England’s chance of winning by 59%, while Roy Hodgson’s men are twice as likely to win playing at 500 metres below sea level. “Like all animals, the England team are creatures of habit,” he said. “Being closer to home reduces the negative impact of cultural differences and jetlag. We do better in temperate climates, at low altitudes with kick-off as close to the normal three o’clock as possible.”
Other conclusions Hawking came to (from Paddy Power):
1) Daniel Sturridge would lead England in goals scored due to his current form and Wayne Rooney having never scored before in a World Cup.
2) England are more likely to win wearing a red strip because they are seen as more aggressive and dominant.
3) The presence of WAGS is irrelevant.
4) England play better in a 4-3-3 than 4-4-2.
5) England is more likely to win with a European referee, under whom the side has won 63% of its matches. “European referees are more sympathetic to the English game and less sympathetic to ballerinas like (Liverpool’s Uruguay forward Luis) Suarez,” said Hawking.
6) With penalties, a run up of more than three steps gives a player a better chance of scoring, left and right footed penalties have the same chance of going in and bald/fair haired players are more likely to score than dark-haired players.
So who does Hawking have winning it all?
Brazil, of course. “You would be a fool to overlook Brazil. Hosts have won over 30 per cent of the World Cups.”