clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

300GATE: An inquiry into the infamous Frank Lampard Day goal discrepancy

After being recognized for 300 career goals last week at Yankee Stadium, fact-checkers pointed out that Lamps really only had 299. They’re wrong, AND HERE’S WHY.

We take our maths seriously here at Hudson River Blue.

Need proof? Well, for starters, we audit every Yankee Stadium chicken bucket we purchase so as to keep Legends Hospitality honest. Nobody’s skimping us on chicken and covering it up with "extra" fries. Nobody.

We’re tabulating every single crumb, damn it. After all, numbers matter— so, when reports emerged over the weekend that Thursday evening’s mayoral commemoration of "Frank Lampard Day" in honor of Lamps’s 300 career goals was mathematically premature, we had to spring into action.

Here’s what Sky Sports wrote on Saturday:

Detailed research from the Sky Sports stats department has uncovered that Lampard was in fact on 299 career goals ahead of New York City FC's match with DC United, when the celebrations took place.

Whoa. And Frankie didn’t even realize it himself? Ouch. Further:

In 1999, Lampard played and scored in West Ham's League Cup quarter-final tie with Aston Villa at Upton Park.

However, the match had to be replayed as West Ham had fielded an ineligible player, Emmanuel Omoyinmi.

Lampard also scored in the rearranged fixture, although West Ham - who had won the first match on penalties - lost.

Those two goals were both included in Lampard's scoring total for West Ham by NYCFC when they were calculating his career scoring record. In fact, his goal in the initial tie does not count as the game was void.

NYCFC listed Lampard's West Ham goal tally as 39. It should have been 38.

This would appear to be a critical error: 300 is a wonderfully round number, while 299’s angular clunkiness borders on the grotesque, and would be wholly ill-suited for civic consecration.

Frankie's "real" 300th?

But we’re here today to declare, as unequivocally as we can, that the maths were not wrong. We came to discover that, in fact, it is the lamestream media that’s really at fault here.

*A shuffling of papers is heard*

First of all, the many trans-Atlantic goal auditors failed to take into account the exchange rate between Lampard’s current nation of residence and his former one.

As Ohio State University sports economist Stephen Shimonsky, Ph.D., told us via email:

As we all know, it’s patently easier to score a goal in Minor League Soccer than it is in the top leagues in Europe, particularly in England, where Lampard played professionally for nearly two decades.

Since Lampard plays in the U.S., we’ll norm-reference his career statistics to his MLS record, counting each of his 12 goals entering Thursday night as 1. That means he’s got 287 goals in Europe that ought to count for more — barely, marginally more, but an important distinction — than that dozen in America. After running extensive regression models, my department has determined that each of Lampard’s European goals is worth 1.0034843 U.S. goals. Again, barely a difference, but absolutely worth accounting for. Thus, if we put it all together, (287 x 1.0034843) + (12 x 1.0) = 300.

The New York Mayor’s Office was not premature in recognizing the 300 goals figure at all, technically speaking. But I certainly understand why various outlets, including Sky and the Irish Independent, were confused by the details.

Facts only.

***          ***          ***

Editor’s Note: Dr. Stephen Shimonsky is not a real person, and all quotations and computations associated with his personage are entirely fictional.