By David S. Wills
Some people are against betting. I think that makes these people uptight fools, but that’s just my humble opinion. I’m not saying betting is a good thing. On the contrary, betting is foolish, but so is drinking and smoking, and they’re both pretty cool.
For some people it’s a religious thing, and for others it’s common sense. I can understand the common sense factor. After all, I rarely bet. It doesn’t make much sense. Betting is silly. But it’s fun. And as I mentioned above, silly things are often fun.
What pisses me off is when people apply their morality to others. Religion is the biggest perpetrator of this foul deed. Just because your book says don’t bet doesn’t meant that others have to follow suit. You can find out soon enough that betting is silly. Try losing all your money to a faceless casino.
That makes me think that the sensible thing to do is to encourage betting. Why not have mandatory field trips to the casino for school kids. Let them lose their lunch money and go hungry for a few days. See if they still think betting’s cool.
I used to bet on the World Cup, even from a young age. I did it with my family and my friends, and I’ll do it again this year. (Just don’t go telling the authorities. That sort of thing doesn’t fly in Kimchi Country.)
The best bets involve small amounts of cash, or freakishly good odds. They also involve short waits. I wouldn’t want to stick $100 on Man Utd to win the Premiership. I’d rather choose teams for the World Cup with the winner buying drinks, or put a few pennies on the newly promoted team from the Championship to make it into Europe.
My favourite bet of all time (not involving myself – something another person did) was an old guy who bet that Xabi Alonso would score a goal from within his own half. He did, and the old gent made off like a bandit.
My own betting triumph came a few years back whilst watching Liverpool. Javier Mascherano walked onto the field looking more like a rapist than normal and I shouted to my dad. “Dad! Phone the bookies! Tell them he’s getting sent off by halftime! What odds?!”
I put a measly pound on Mascherano’s red card and he was sent off in about half an hour. The money meant nothing. The pride came in simply being right.
Which is why I enjoy Fantasy Football. I’m keenly aware that that makes me a nerd and a loser, but it’s also a glowing light in my life. I can bark at the TV all I like, but when I pick the perfect eleven and shoot to the top of the league I feel invincible.
(It should be noted that I’m currently bottom of my Fantasy Football league. The lesson: Never bet against Frank Lampard, regardless of how much you hate him.)
Here are some bets I plan on making in the coming years, with the odds I anticipate being given. They may not make me rich, but I like to back the right fighter.
Top non-Old Firm SPL player to sign for Rangers or Celtic and spend the rest of career on the bench – 1/10
Shaun Wright-Phillips to sprint past the ball at least five times during a game – 1/5
Arsenal to lose a key player to injury, having based their entire team around him all season, consequently costing them their title bid – 1/4 (Quote from Legbrokes.com)
Arsene Wenger to blame the injury on a conspiracy – 1/4
Craig Bellamy to switch teams in a storm of animosity – 1/3
Real Madrid to attempt to unsettle key Premiership player by having his friends claim he’s already agreed to move to Spain – 1/2
Alex Ferguson to say something racially/culturally/socially unacceptable, then to apologise and walk away without punishment – Evens
Sex scandal involving top Man Utd and Chelsea players – Evens
Rafa Benitez fired – 5/1
Non-Old Firm SPL team to win the league without Rangers or Celtic being penalized for sectarian abuse – 1000/1
North Korea to win World Cup – 2000/1 (this is an actual quote from William Hill)