Football and gambling have been in a very long term, but not always happy relationship. Once upon a time, way back when dandelion and burdock was still delivered by the pop man and wagon wheels were MASSIVE, this relationship was embodied by the Pools. The magic and mystique as the pools man called at my grannie’s to collect the pools money and the coupon. All those little crosses on that grid, filled with teams from exotic locations that this little midlander had never heard of…like Grimsby. And that expectation that you really could get the right number of score draws, home wins or whatever the heck it was to win the treble chance! Ah the treble chance. Didn’t know what it meant then. Don’t know what it means now. But it sounded great.
These days of course you don’t need a little man coming round to relieve you of your hard earned readies. Instead, egged on by Ray Winston you can blow a fortune on a myriad of outcomes via phone or online.
And don’t worry even the players are doing it…regardless of whether the rules allow them to or not. Step forward Andros Townsend of Spurs, Cameron Jerome of Stoke and Ian Black of Rangers to name but three who have in recent months fallen foul of English and Scottish FA rules in relation to players and gambling.
I have in my time flirted with the odd football bet but to be honest I’m not a big fan. I can put myself through enough emotional turmoil while watching my football team without needing to spice it up with a bit of investment worry thank you very much. And only disloyal bastards bet on someone other than their own team. Plus I have seen the devastating impact that gambling can have on people’s behaviour and state of mind. Ever seen a grown man, standing by a TV screen, trying to usher the ball away from England’s goal because he has got a bet on England winning anything-nil against Moldova (with odds of 7-20 for flips sake)? It really is not a pretty sight.
Still nothing wrong with a small wager on the outcome of Friday’s Celebrity Masterchef final is there? The steaks (BOOMBOOM) were high. Winner chooses Saturday brunch venue.
This may seem a minor issue but let me tell you, in Islington with its myriad of brunch destinations and with an easily distracted bloke in tow, the power that being in charge of that decision brings is immeasurable – Obama? Putin? Making big macho decisions are we boys? HA! Kiss my lost fox posterior. Being able to say NO as the other half looks fondly at the rubbish caff..which he often chooses and then complains about, that’s real power. Oh and we don’t have brunch cos we are posh. It’s cos we can’t be arsed to get up early on the weekend.
I plumped for the people’s choice, Ade Edmundson, while the other half (perhaps distracted by his Moldova wager) backed the Street-Porter (only a fool would have backed Les Dennis). I like to think that Ade’s winning dishes put his opponents to the sword in much the same way as SACFC’s own John Frendo did to AFC Totton the following day – hitting the back of the net 4 times in a 5-2 away win.
I’d also like to say that my celebrations in response to these culinary developments were mature and emotionally intelligent. But apparently running around the living room, shouting “Get in Ade my son!” is a reliable dictionary definition of disproportionate……imagine what it would be like if it involved a SACFC football match AND the choice of brunch venue was in the balance. Now that really would be messy. Or maybe even a bit Messi.
The Prudent Fox
This week’s little ramble is dedicated to Pete Briggs who passed away on Monday 9 September. Leicester City fan, teller of dodgy jokes, winder-up-in-chief, placer of very modest ‘first to score’ bets, and all round good bloke. Cheers mate.