My football programme
1) The first attempts (university; 1985)
The repeated attempts to finish my studies gradually came to an end. I had attended a few more lectures, but my inclination towards programming was stronger. Another lecture with Professor Letzner was all about programming. And there, too, I only attended the first few lectures and then took advantage of my access to the programming room.
There I first programmed Black Jack. But an old love and passion returned: the love of football and statistics. So the second thing I did was to develop a football programme. Of course, that was absolutely beginner-like. I didn’t know the first thing about databases. So I made up a kind of database. But still.
Little by little, I found algorithms on how to build and sort tables, how to create match schedules or make statistics of results, and so on.
And I was passionate about programming. The same principle as always: all or nothing. So, as you would imagine a real programmer, it was mostly from sunrise to – no, not sunset, but far beyond. Fortunately, it was winter semester!
So I was intensively busy programming and had declared my computer to be my friend and partner. Curious errors appeared with equally curious explanations, all new to me. I immersed myself in this world, skin and hair. And suddenly, what was going on? My computer is talking to me? What kind of message? It was like a flash, unbelievable, it couldn’t be true, a message flickered across my screen: “THE RESULT OF THE GAME HAMBURGER SV AGAINST 1.FC KÖLN WILL BE CANCELLED”.
I had never experienced such a shock, first the screen flickered, then my eyes, I was about to faint, and then — my eyes wandered to the neighbouring computer. Another programming freak was having the time of his life. Then it became clear to me: he had sent me the message on the screen. But there was no such thing yet, it was the first (and only) time I had received such a kind of message.
2) Predictions from the database (Uni; 1985)
My database grew and grew. The design mistakes I had made in the beginning were starting to take their toll, but I still kept track. So what could be more obvious to me than to design the programme in such a way that it could simulate a Bundesliga season itself? Just as I had done as a child with Tipp-Kick and 11er Raus cards. But now really realistic.
And I succeeded, even then for the first time, in making a kind of forecast for the games. The computer could even calculate probabilities. Today I can only speculate about the quality of that. But it was certainly not good.
3) During the SEL period
4) For the 1990 World Cup