Tuesday, 28 May 2013

How to make the richest game in football worth a few extra points

Format: Live televised sport
Entertainment: Championship Playoff Final
Duration: 90 minute game + 30 minutes extra time as it turned out
Exercise Equipment: Cross trainer at home
Gamification Rules: +1 resistance level per goal scored & level 16 max during goal celebrations, +1 per yellow card, +2 per red card, -1 per substitution. Under 4 minutes rest per goal, 2 minutes rest per substitution. Rest breaks during intervals. Minimum resistance = level 5, maximum resistance = level 16. 

Summary: Its estimated that £145 million was resting on this game to gain promotion to the English Premier League. Rather than resting myself on the sofa or nursing a pint in the pub, I decided to get on my exercise machine and work out to the climax of the English domestic football season. 

In my first exercise session since injuring my back, I was a bit apprehensive going into the match. I think some of that may have rubbed off on the players (more likely it was the aforementioned promotion/money at stake) as the game itself was tense and pretty dull. I don't know exactly how the contest was received by casual neutral fans as I had a bit more riding on the events of the match. 

The ResultsWith both teams not wanting to make a costly mistake, the first half - 45 minutes of exercise - was a stalemate, with an early injury substitution and a handful of yellow cards keeping my exercise resistance level down near the foot of the 'difficulty table'. 

Another injury substitution shortly after the interval was followed by a handbag scuffle only professional footballers could get away with. The resulting two yellow cards meant two levels up. Chances increased as players tired but I was able to see out the full 90 minutes with relative ease given the lack of goals. 

With all substitutions used as the game drifted into extra time, I knew the resistance level on my cross trainer was only get higher with more cards and the potential for a precious goal still driving both teams on. The problem was I had exercised for 99 minutes and was thinking of bowing out, worried about re-aggrevating my injury. Then football happened. Moments before I was going to take my place on the subs bench, Manchester United bound Wilfred Zaha wins a penalty for Crystal Palace. Up steps 39 year-old Kevin Phillips to fire his team ahead. The stadium irrupts and after a minute or so of the highest resistance level, I find the motivation to play on in the second half of extra time until the final whistle. 

At the end of my workout I had exercised for 1 hour 58 minutes 4 seconds, put a 35.6 kilometre shift in and burnt 717 calories. Imagine what kind of GamiFit score I would have put up if it had been a good game to watch?

Daily Fuel Intake: Not surprisingly, the extra game time made the extra difference to my Fuel score and I reached my goal for the first time since starting this blog! 

So congratulations Crystal Palace on winning promotion and for providing me with some exercise entertainment. I'm looking forward to seeing their legend of a manager back on MOTD next season. By the looks of it, so is Ian Holloway. 

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