All is quiet in Predictorship House this week as shady executives huddle in dimly-lit corridors. As the competition enters its final phase, the discussion turns to vile punishments to be visited on unruly predictors: late submissions, score sharing, insider dealing… â€˜Fowlâ€™ play is suspected and chickens are likely to come home to roost.
How else can we explain this weekâ€™s run of 10 points? Has Mark Lawrenson been sidling up to the referees at half-time? Is Matt Whiteâ€™s return to form due to a defamatory â€˜Red Cardâ€™ blog about the chairmanâ€™s activities with the pet cat? Has Rob Molloy been passing sweets to the chairmanâ€™s wife? In the dog-eat-dog world of the Predictorship, the Chairman warns his regime will ferret out the offenders and there will be no more pussy-footing around.
And it wouldnâ€™t be the first time that the heady scent of predicting success (or maybe thatâ€™s the fumes from the litter tray…) has gone to a manâ€™s head: Nick Watson – the self-styled â€˜massive, massive predictorâ€™ is strutting around like a cock in a barn-full of hens as he rises to 4th place in the table with a respectable seven points.
Given an average score of 6.58 this week, thereâ€™s not much to sort out the sheep from the goats, but the judges are ever watchful as Mark Young locks horns with his old rival the Moonerazzi, and gambles past to a seasonal high of 16th place. The Chairman insists he wonâ€™t tolerate any kidding around.
Formal disciplinary procedures are handed out to only two absent predictors in Week 35: James Bradley (for the 10th time this season) and Steve McHugh. James, now 20 points adrift from the pack at the bottom of the table must be sick as a parrot.
But the medals remain in the cupboard this week as Predictorship Cup Chairman Matt White refuses to hand out the Prediction of the Week award: with only 25 correct scores this week (for the predictable games at Sunderland (12), Tottenham (7) & Stoke (6)), and with most of the rest more lack-lustre than a dead herring, no player is deemed worthy of the accolade. There are however honourable mentions for four players who went for a Fulham win at Manchester City: Rob Dimery, Rob Molloy and Mark Young went for 0-1; Joe Zalewski pushed the boat out and went for 1-2. Additionally, Maziar Sattari made a brave attempt with Aston Villa 2 Everton 3 (final score 3-3) and strangely, many people went for 2-2 for Villa-Everton.
Meanwhile the two-horse race continues at the top. Chris Butters stays ahead by a nose as Saleel Sathe nudges up just one point behind her. Get ready to place your bets for the final furlong…