Organisation - June 19, 2014

Of football and science

My eldest son takes the biscuit. There is no reasoning with him anymore: a normal conversation is just not possible during the world cup. His standard answer to any question is, ‘Loser, who cares as long as Holland wins!’ Followed by a curse. I am having a hard time with it. It’s not so much the swearing as the fact that you cannot reason with him. Louis is more important than his father right now.

So how would it be, I wonder, if Louis and not Louise were to become our board chair? ‘Van Gaal’ sounds a bit banal. ‘Fresco’ conjures us blissful scenes filled with organic hamburgers. As far as the name goes, I’d opt for Fresco. 

But if Louis manages to make Holland world champions, confidence will be restored. The wheels of the economy will start turning again, and Louise will benefit from that along as much as anyone. Tax revenues will go up and the WUR will be less dependent on the business world for research. But I’m still not a fan of Louis’s. I once read a quote of his in a football museum: ‘Quality is a matter of ruling out chance.  Louis prepares for every match with scientific precision. Everything is 150 percent thought-through. That way you can force a victory. I disagree with him 100 percent. I would almost reverse it: precisely through chance you can get something of quality. It is precisely that creative moment of Robin van Persie’s, that sudden inspiration, that helps you win the match. You cannot force quality. Not in football and not in science. There is no such thing as 100 percent certainty. No, Louis would not be the right board chair for us. There is always a chance that you miss your goal. Let Louis carry on coaching the team. That still leaves us with the question of whether we’ll get that intuitive freedom from Louise. But when all is said and done, football is a nice game, as is science. And everything will go back to normal on 14 July. My son included.