Joseph Conrad would be proud of this paragraph.
Best contribution to the thread.
Re the wider discussion, scores have declined somewhat in the last 20 years in most sports with a similar scoring system. Professionalism and money. If winning is worth millions and is watched by millions and gives you a 1 in a million social status, whether player or coach, you're going to make sure you get the margins right. Fitness, training, psychology, tactical preparation have all been transformed.