Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Small Murphy’s…Maybe

I have nothing but admiration for the reunited Spice Girls. Their music may have been atrocious, and you’d struggle to find a greater collection of dogs outside of Battersea, but their trailblazing work in the field of ginger acceptance remains unsurpassed.


The minging quintet penetrated the public consciousness to such an unprecedented degree that the entire English language evolved as a result. The bints were slightly embarrassed when the meaningless soundbite ‘Girl Power’ made it into the dictionary, but the moth-eaten, passé, semi-fossilised has-beens are rightfully proud of their place in the official betting glossary.


The ‘Baby’ bet is the absolute certainty: it only goes down on rare occasions. The ‘Sporty’ is the one that looked good in the beginning, but on closer reflection; it could really go either way. The ‘Ginger’ is the loose punt you only consider after a few pints. The ‘Posh’ is the all-in mug’s bet, where you end up living on bread and water for a week, and the ‘Scary’ is a complete guess, like when Mel B reached the ‘father’s section’ on her daughter’s birth certificate.


I like to think that my ante-post football bets are straight out of the ‘Baby’ drawer. Manchester United won the league last season with Darren Fletcher, Park Ji Sung and John O’Shea all playing a prominent role. The deadwood will now be replaced by Hargreaves, Anderson and Wayne Rooney’s personal favourite, Nani. The 13/8 for the champions retaining their title is an exquisite piece of business.


In the relegation market, I will be going in hard on Wigan. The appointment of Chris Hutchings is probably reason enough, but the signing of Titus Bramble is an absolute clincher. Get on now at 11/8, or face a level of disappointment unseen since Eddie Murphy last opened his mail.


I used to really enjoy playing cricket at school, but my dreams of becoming a fast bowler were shattered by a particularly cruel PE teacher. I still remember the day he pulled me to one side and told me I had a disappointing length.


The whole set up of the sport is fundamentally flawed though; if I wanted a game to last five days I’d challenge the wife to noughts and crosses.

The one-day international is a far more entertaining spectacle. England have been priced up at 4/7 to see off the ineffectual Windies in Sunday’s opener; I’d be considering getting on if KP was playing on his own.


Big Brother’s Tracey remains a surprisingly popular figure outside of the house. Celebrities to have spoken up on her behalf include Eddie Izzard, Dana International and Hayley from Coronation Street. Nice guy Liam can still be backed at 9/2 for outright glory: that’s an old fashioned shoo-in.


I find playing darts quite frustrating; there’s nothing more embarrassing than suffering a bounce-out when you’re on top. Paul McCartney refuses to watch an entire match; he’s just happy to see a couple of legs. Phil Taylor is a clear favourite for the Las Vegas Desert Classic that kicks off on Monday, probably because of his years of experience at trying to get three in a bed. Barney is the new power; get on at 5/2.

Copyright (c) Gerry McDonnell & soccerphile.com

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