Ciarán Murphy: Predictions are embedded in sport but why do we need them?

Pundits often find out these things are taken to heart and can come back to haunt them

Cork’s Kevin Flahive celebrates Mark Keane after they beat Kerry to win the Munster title last year. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Cork’s Kevin Flahive celebrates Mark Keane after they beat Kerry to win the Munster title last year. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Predictions are the stock in trade of the modern professional pundit, as Rio Ferdinand discovered to his cost last week. On the eve of England-Scotland, he confidently predicted a convincing England victory, and then after the game he just as confidently blamed his pre-match ebullience on the pandemic – basically, ‘I got emotional, it’s been a long two years, what can I say’.

Confidence is never in short supply in that parish, and maybe that’s what you need to call results before they happen these days.

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