What Are The Odds?!
December 4, 2012
— agger, Betting Story, fellaini, first goalscorer odds, first goalscorers, flash fiction, holman, incredible bet, long shot, michu, sandro, short story, Sport Story, what are the odds, whitehead
By Emelie Okeke
My perfect Saturday. Up at the crack, down to the offy to get the morning loaf, the currant bun and a few rashers, get back in to watch the morning line, then Soccer AM and Footie Focus before checking all the sports betting sites to find the best odds, then heading to Ladbrokes just as the lunchtime match kicks off, in time to get that accumulator in that will hopefully pay for the night’s beer money. Then meet up with the rest of the mugs at the local in preparation for watching our boys at the Matchroom, or in the local for Soccer Saturday if we’re away that weekend. Often, Jeff Stelling and his mates seems a better proposition even when we do have a home game. And even if I do have complete morons for mates.
“See what Ray Winstone said in that Bet365 ad? Torres to score first at 5/1! I’ll have a bang on that!” Dave points excitedly to the big screen. Moron.
“Dave, I wouldn’t back Torres to score first place in a Fernando Torres lookalike competition right now, let alone the first goal in a Premier League match. Besides, Ray Winstone didn’t actually say that, he’s a diehard West Ham fan for one thing, and its just a large-scale version of his face next to a screen with an example of a way to waste your money backing Chelsea”.
Dave glares at me dolefully for a moment before motioning to the bar, muttering a sentence heavily featuring the word “smartass” as he urges me to get the next round of beers in. At this moment, Roller bounds in.
“Alright Dave, Si, what’s occurring then?”
That’s the great thing about Roller, win or lose he’s always cheerful and full of life. A useful pick-me-up after a bad loss, top man to have around after a win. The muppet never stops talking though. We exchange brief pleasantries, then take our pints closer to the big screen, where the West Ham vs Chelsea match is about to kick-off.”
“Did a safe-as-houses treble with William Hill on Chelsea thrashing the Hammers, Arsenal smashing Swansea and West Brom obliterating Stoke with William Hill, should be quids-in by 5pm! Can’t see any of that lot letting me down this weekend!”
Dave shakes his head dismissively. “Call that safe-as-houses? Na mate! For easy, its all about this five-timer I did with Stan James: New Zealand to bosh England in the rugby, Celtic to wallop Arbroath in the Scots Cup, PSG to make mincemeat of Nice, Bayern to ease past Dortmund, and Valencia to massacre Real Sociedad. Easy with a capital E-A-S-Y!”
While Si and Roller indulge in some grossly over-premature back-slapping over their apparent “sure things”, I reserve my judgement and quietly sup my pint as I watch Rafa Benitez try and communicate some tactics to his bewildered Chelsea players via undecipherable hand signals. They know I like to bet a little bit differently. Instead of lumping on a list of short-priced favourites, I prefer to go somewhat left-field. Soon it will pay off. Soon it must pay off.
“Alright then Si, go on, tell us, what have parted your hard-earned 50p on this weekend?”
I clear my throat. I reckon I’ve excelled myself this weekend. “Well guys, with there being six Premier League 3pm kick-offs today, I reckon I would do something akin to my lottery numbers and back players who have my numbers on their shirts to score first. So… Agger for 5, Michu is 9, Holman will be 14, Whitehead is number 18, Fellaini for 25, and Sandro as 34. Six 7p five-folds and an 8p accumulator. That would net me a cool half a million from Ladbrokes if it comes in.”
Blank looks from Dave and Roller, then they promptly return to their pints. They think I’m crazy. They may have a point.
Three and a half hours later, and I’m throbbing at the temples with anticipation, desperately awaiting from Jeff some goal news from the Hawthorns and the Emirates, news that could make me roughly five hundred grand richer in the space of an afternoon. With Dave to the left of me bemoaning Chelsea’s defensive abilities, and Roller to the right of me strongly questioning New Zealand’s rugby credibility whilst contemplating another accumulator with Paddy Power, my ears are strained to filter out the surround negativity in close proximity to me.
Then, ten minutes of sweet madness.
“Goal at the Hawthorns! Dean Whitehead for the away side!” Brilliant! And then… “The deadlock has been broken at the Emirates! And Michu has won it!” 1…2…3… “YESSSSSSSSS!!!!” I go decidedly mental at the bar. At long last, my numbers have come up. Dave and Roller forget about their betting woes and turn to congratulate me on my life-changing win.
“Well done mate, top man, we always knew your genius bet would come in! Drinks on you tonight! Get us a bottle of bubbly each, then we’ll try and clean up at the Coral. I have a great tip!”
My friends are morons. But I love them. And I love betting, for moments like these. Win, lose or draw, we’ll drink some more. My perfect Saturday.
What Are The Odds?! by Emelie Okeke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.