One thing I’ve always noticed in disclaimers, messages, and the like at big sporting events is the comment about ‘home team’ being fully supportive of diversity, and family issues, and the like. To be fair, in one of these cases, I’ve never heard it said in this country before a sporting event, but anyway… And to be fair to the majority of teams, these may be an exception to the rule, but I do wonder?
No names being used here, but sports fans will either know who I’m talking about, or will be able to google it with ease.
Firstly, lets cover the home issue, and one of my favorite sports, cricket. I know, US folk, you dont get, but dont worry, I’m getting to your sports shortly! One of the regular England Cricket Team players this week isnt getting ready to play for his Country this week, because he’s involved in a court case! Violence to others, homophobic behavior are the 2 main issues, probably brought out by over imbibing of alcohol, but all the same… I know, he might have needed to celebrate, and ‘chill’ after the game, but drinking can be kept to a sensible level, and at least the LGBT community wouldnt know what a homophobe he is, but anyway, all done now.
The thing is, I’ve seen numerous postings from England cricket fans saying that he’s being picked on, because he’s a celebrity, and that he’s being robbed of playing for England. No, he’s a violent homophobe, who started the events that led to the court case! Makes me glad I’m an Irish cricket follower, anyway.
So, to the US. Firstly, baseball. One player missed the first 75 games of the season, not due to injury, but because he was banned, because of some pretty serious domestic violence issues. To be fair to his previous team, they wanted rid of him, and most of the other 30 teams didnt want him, for obvious reasons. But one team, when they knew he was on offer signed him as fast as the world wide web would let them. To be fair, its seems most (if not all) of their players are as enthused about the signing as me. But clearly, despite comments prior to their games (I’m sure), this team are more interested in performance, than morals. In an ideal world, the guy involved will get a jail sentence in the near future, and I hope it costs the team money, support, and other things. However, given the state of the team that he plays for, the locals are just as likely to admire him for what he did!
Lastly, the shambles in College Football. A classic tale of events that did happen, then didnt happen, in terms not only of domestic violence, but in who reported it to who, and why nothing was done about it, and other numerous things. The coach who, within a week said he knew nothing about it, then when it was showed he did, said that he had known about it, and passed the information on, well, what would you believe, probably not much?
But again, over the last 2 days, there have been numerous protests at the school over events, and not in a positive way, re the domestic abuse! No, numerous supporters asking why the coach has been suspended for events, and demanding he’s given his job back. I suspect we will have an ‘inquiry’ which will tell us little or nothing, he will get his job back, and the university will hope the issue just goes away.
So yes, the next time you’re at a sports event, and hear the announcement about caring about diversity, family issues, and everything else, just laugh! They may do, but only until money talks louder!
Right, video time. One of those songs that many people, especially at the time, didnt realize was a cover version. As you will see shortly, it was. In truth, the cover version is far better than the original, but anyway…You choose.
Firstly, the cover
Secondly, the original version.
I must admit that when I heard this news yesterday, I was pretty stunned. Mind, its quite apt in the week in which I get (briefly) to Las Vegas, that the US decide to shake up their betting legislation dramatically.
For those who know, here in the UK, betting outlets are everywhere, in the form of betting shops, though according to some, nowadays they are more like mini casinos, or amusement arcades. As I now only go in once a year (or twice, if like this year, I get winnings), I have no idea of the pros, or cons of the glittery betting terminals now in all the shops, as I never even glance at the things. Apart from the Grand National, I havent had a bet since William Hill made me redundant in 2015, nor do I plan that to change…well, in the UK at least!
Up to now, if you wanted to bet legally on any sport in the US, you either did it in Nevada, or through a Nevada outfit, and that was it. Principally Las Vegas, though I suspect Reno had options too. Horse racing, well there is on course betting there, and some states have betting outlets, purely for racing, and thats it! Yes, I have actually been in an off track betting shop in New York State, firstly about 30 years ago (somewhere near Watkins Glen), and slightly more recently, when I went to Rochester, but they were like old fashioned betting shops over here, very basic, not places designed to stay in for hours. But other sports, oh no!
Oh, please, yes, people in the US bet on sports games outside of Nevada, very illegally, but it happens! So anyway, recently, the state of New Jersey started a court case to permit venues in their state to bet on all the other main sports. Yesterday, they won! In the case of Delaware, they seem to have only been waiting on the result of this case to start doing the same. On top of all this, numerous states have got things in early planning stages, and will follow in the near future. Some of those states listed didnt surprise me (Yes, New York was among them), but then there was ‘Bible Belt’ states like Kansas, and Oklahoma, wow! Yes, I could see the irony of me working in a betting outlet in Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma, in the footsteps of Clara Johnson! No, I dont imagine it will happen, especially with me being Transgender, but I cant deny I would love the irony of that!
Sadly, the only state I’m going to visit this year isnt on the list, Washington, and I dont think Florida was on them either, and thats only a maybe at this time. But yes, sports betting in the US, legalized, who would have thought it? So if anyone needs experienced staff to run one of these outlets for them…? Be a fun thing to do before retirement, I must admit!
Right, video time. The moment I knew I was blogging this, this song came immediately to mind. Not one of those songs that The Who are remembered for, but anyway…
Yes, the blog title is a play on a song title, but unless you’re as old as me, until you reach the video, you may well not know it.
OK, fine, non sports fans might want to walk away here. Its funny, I remember when sport had deep bred traditions, but seemingly nowadays, thats not enough. In golf, for example, in the old days (and not that long ago, in truth), with the exception of the Ryder Cup (which used to be GB v US, but changed to make it competitive), and a Matchplay Championship once a year, everything was individual play, strokeplay, mostly over 72 holes, over 4 days.
Now, we have a tournament in Australia where they play 18 hole strokeplay for 3 days, with a cut after 2, before having a wild 24 person knock out tournament, with matches over 6 holes on the last day! This week, for the second year, we have a pairs tournament going on in the US, with 2 different formulas of play over the 4 days. Next week, in the UK, we have a round robin group tournament, involving 16 pairs in matches over 6 holes, with all sorts of weird rules (time to play shot being one of them), and in a few weeks, in Belgium, we have 1 with 2 days of standard strokeplay, followed by a 64 player knock out thing on strokes, over 9 holes!
I guess this is all to try and bring in a new audience, or maybe its because I’m just old, and set in my ways, but seriously…do we need all this?
The other sport in the UK that seems to be desperately trying to ‘re-invent the wheel’ is cricket. Not satisfied with the rapid fire 20 over stuff, someone has now come up with the idea of 100 ball cricket, 15 standard overs, plus 1 10 ball one! And instead of counties, and affiliation, there are going to be just 8 franchises. Now, lets face it, for example, if there is a franchise for the North, in Manchester, if they think Yorkshire folk are going to support it? Or vice versa? I suspect, in truth, both will get one, for the rivalry. But equally, if they think a West Country franchise based in Bristol, would get support from Somerset?
For US reader sake, imagine a baseball team, over 5 innings, 5 outs per innings, and 1 franchise in Los Angeles. You seriously think Angels fans would support it in Dodgers stadium, or vice versa?
The big snag with the cricket one is also the one our cricket board, as opposed to India, Australia and the like dont, is the financial one. Unless these teams employ international names, as opposed to county journeymen, who’s going to come and watch? Snag is, these things cost money, and the ECB dont like spending it, so…?
Oh fine, guilty as charged, I will probably watch some of it, when Sky Sports pay for the rights to show it, I’m sure. But do we need all these gimmicks in our sports, or not?
Video time. The snag with 70’s songs is finding live video performances from back then. Pre video cameras, and at a time when film of so many shows were wiped after use, ah well… So strictly, this is 10 cc. In reality, its one of the original group, but all the same…
Generally nowadays, most sports that I’ve seen in person in my life, I’ve seen both pre, and post transition. In fact I cant think of one that I’ve only seen post transition in truth. There are a few, that I only saw live in school years, because of being on school teams, so in those days, annual trips gave me the chance. The two I remember strongly are tennis at Wimbledon (I wasnt any good, but hardly anyone played, so others got the chance to go, to fill the coach), and athletics, because despite all my physical limitations, there was something about me, and a shot putt, that just clicked for a couple of years, so…Crystal Palace, for some competition saw me there once. The only other two that ring a bell in that sense, are football, because of course when I was young, all boys were expected to go to the game, so I had that initiation of life in my time. I cant see me ever going now, in truth, but never say never, and all that…
The other, and probably only sport that I havent been to post transition, and think that it might be fun to do so, is horse racing. Not because I have any great interest in the sport nowadays, but purely and simply because I think it would be fun, just once, to get dressed up nicely, and taken to the races. Or at least go, if nothing else. In truth, I cant remember the last time I went to the races in this country. I’m guessing it would be Newbury, at some point in 2001, as I working there at the time. In fact, I have been to 1 meeting since then, but it was in the US, at Philadelphia Park, and even that must be about 10 years ago, or more. That was fun, no entry fees! To be honest, I suspect that one of the reasons I havent yet fulfilled my ambition to go to the races in a nice dress, and shoes, is the cost of entry to meetings over here, especially the bigger ones. Yes, Yorkshire sensibilities with money, and spending it, probably play a part in that call.
There is also the factor that one of the major reasons for going to the races is the gambling side of it, and lets face it, I’m a once a year punter now, so…is it a silly thing to want to do? I guess its just one of those silly, completing the circle of life things that I feel I would love to do?
So what brought all this on, you ask? Well, most of my race going has been less than major meetings, with just one little exception, the Punchestown Festival, in Ireland. Yes, that started today. In truth, I watched one race, the fun one. Yes, the one over the cross country course, much more fun than standard racing lol! I went there a few times in the 90’s, never been back since, and now probably never will! Likewise, the only course I’ve never been to, that I would love to go to, is a quirky one. Yes, Laytown, on the beach. I know, you wouldnt wear a nice dress to go there, lol! Still would be on my dream list, but likely to go no further now, I suspect?
Will I complete that circle in life, who knows? If you asked me honestly, probably not. So many reasons its silly to want to do it, and just the one that makes me want to do it, but I’m sure unless I get free tickets somehow, will not get done, ah well. But, maybe…? All the same, dont expect me to wear heels, if I do! 😛 As for Royal Ascot, I really dont think so! Please, me, in a silly hat?
Fine, what would I go to the races for, but to be one of those beautiful dames, of course! So, 30’s musical time…
Some of you may already know this, to others it might be news, but this is seemingly Transgender Awareness Week. Yes, I’m aware, shock surprise! 😛 I know, there are too many of these days, or weeks nowadays, seems to be at least a day for almost everything now, doesnt there? Sadly, it needs to culminate, next Monday, with the Transgender Day of Remembrance, for those less fortunate than others, who have met their death, for one reason or another.
In truth the main thing that amused me yesterday, was the hypocrisy of a small number of so called Christians, after an announcement yesterday by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of the Church of England. Clearly for some at least, and I suspect maybe a few more, they only accept his views when they coincide with their own. Yes, what happened yesterday was that he didnt support their ‘perfect’ view of events when he stated that he believed that children should be allowed to dress as they wish to, not necessarily to match their physical gender. To quote:
The CofE advised: “Pupils need to be able to play with the many cloaks of identity (sometimes quite literally with the dressing up box).
“A child may choose the tutu, princess’s tiara and heels and/or the fireman’s helmet, tool belt and superhero cloak without expectation or comment.
“Children should be afforded freedom from the expectation of permanence. They are in a ‘trying on’ stage of life, and not yet adult and so no labels need to be fixed.
“It may be best to avoid labels and assumptions which deem children’s behaviour irregular, abnormal or problematic just because it does not conform to gender stereotypes or today’s play preferences.”
So if a young boy wants to dress up as a princess, or if a young girl wants to dress up as a fireman, then let them do so. They need to be able to experiment, and see what is right, or wrong for them. Lets be fair, at that age, it might just be a ‘dress up’ thing, and nothing more than that. 98% or more of those children will discover that it was fun, but they do have the right physical body to match their needs, and it will go no further. Perfect, you might think? Oh, I wish!
I know, its the ones with the loudest voices that you hear, and they tend to be the more militant ones, and as so often, this is the case with his statement. I’ve seen every comment verging from
‘He should resign his position immediately, for suggesting this abomination’ through to ‘So is he going to do service on Sunday in a dress?’, and other crazy comments. The frightening thing is, these people really believe what they’re saying is right! And then people wonder why so many, of all LGBT groups are nervous about coming out!
I heard recently on Around The Horn (US sports panel show) that with the recent retirement of a football/soccer player in the US, that there is now not a single out, gay sportsman in any major sport in the US. Yes, we all know thats unlikely to be the case, especially in some of the less macho sports, like golf, for example. But, in the light of peoples attitudes, no one wants to come out as such. Yes, there are a number of lesbians in sport over there, but no men. Not that I suspect its any better over here, I believe there is one gay cricketer, is that seriously it?
I hope that in a decades time, anyone famous ‘coming out’ as LGBT will be about as sensational news as the weather forecast, but sadly I doubt that will be the case. But yes, the hope is there.
The video, sadly, what too many transgender people just have to focus on doing, and not just being able to live life as they should be able too. No, not the Bee Gees lol!
OK, some sports fanatics might like to look away at this point, just saying…right, have those crazy folk gone? 😉 Dont get me wrong, there are some sports I enjoy, baseball, and cricket being 2 of the obvious ones, but equally there are a few I cant stand, which include the soccer version of football (for US reader purposes) and boxing. So if you love those last 2 sports, and are still reading, get ready for ‘grumpy old woman’ moment lol!
I see myself as a sports follower, rather than a fan, in that yes, I have a few teams I follow, but none of whom do I get overly passionate about. No, not even the Dodgers lol!
Its fair to say I’ve been bored senseless by all the hype, and drivel that has been about over the Mayweather, and McGregor fight last night. Thank goodness its finally over, though I’ve no doubt its still going to get mentioned way too much over the next few days. Hopefully now, mighty mouth, aka McGregor will now keep quiet about it all, but I suspect that might be wishful thinking.
I’m sure most of the US sports actually have the infantile behaviour, relating to rookies joining the team, but I have to say that the NFL seems to take the biscuit. Fine, I know that by my standards, even the rookies in the NFL are on salaries beyond my wildest dreams, but why the senior players seem to find it amusing to get the rookies to pay absolutely preposterous amounts for a dinner, I have absolutely no idea? Seriously, does anyone with an IQ over 50 find this sort of behaviour amusing, because I dont! The latest team to involve themselves in this stupidity are the Green Bay Packers, where 12 players ‘took out’ some rookies to dinner, ordered the most ridiculous items, and presented them with a bill for over $34,000! Some of them will probably be cut before the season even starts, so how they are meant to afford this? Sadly, this isnt the first time, or even the second time I’ve read of this immature stuff this summer from NFL teams, so I really despair. Along with the whole Kaepernick based anthem stuff, I’m wondering if I really want to bother with the sport any more. Yes, CFL seems a lot more fun!
Ah, and finally the sport that inspired this rant, football. Though to be fair to the animals that support this sport, they were unlucky I saw this last night, because if First Buses ran a half decent service, I would have been out of Huddersfield before this happened. I got back into town last night, just before 5.00, and if the bus home had turned up, I would have missed the arrival back in town of the so called fans. Unfortunately it didnt, the next bus 10 minutes later (supposedly) actually left nearly 10 minutes late, so I saw the whole affair.
Not that I would have missed everything, because even as I was walking to the bus stop, I saw 2 fans having a punch up. Ironically, both were Huddersfield fans! Soon after I managed to see 4 people go by the bus stop, knocking 6 bells out of each other, but that was the more traditional 2 from each team stuff! Lastly I saw a group of about 20 men run by, shouting “Lets get the Bas****s” towards a group of visiting fans, but unluckily for them, a group of police were with said fans, so they were quickly cordoned off, and hopefully arrested!
Baseball at least seems to save all its punch ups to on the pitch, between players, most of which I see as pretty childish. Yes, I’m sure the Dodgers get involved in those, but never seen one yet!
But yes, all this only makes me grateful I dont get fanatical about sport, if thats what it does to you.
Fine, rant over!
Video time. A song from the 70’s, which I’m sure most will never have heard. But yes, I’m old, remember it, and it seems rather apt, given what I was trying to do last night
So, lets get away from me, for one blog at least, and look at the change of the sporting seasons, both sides of the Atlantic.
Starting over here, the cricket season is nearly over, and though I dont like to brag too much, it looks like Yorkshire are going to win the County Championship again this season. They might also win the 50 over tournament, but as the semi finals for that only take place over the next couple of days, lets not tempt fate yet. Also, similarly (though less immediately) the Rugby League season is nearly done, which still amuses me, as I’m old enough to remember it being a winter sport! Personally, I think it works better as a summer event, but I’m sure there are some who prefer tradition.
That means the football (soccer, for my US readers) season is already under way, and all those overpaid, overhyped footballers who think they are so wonderful. International games this weekend, and it was a comment made by an ex workmate (we’ve both left Hills, him before me) about the team England are playing tonight, that probably led me to writing this. Yes, San Marino, that mighty footballing nation. But on a night, 22 years ago, after a mere 8 seconds, they scored against England. Fine, England won in the end, 7-1, but it was funny at the time, at least.
Rugby Union is also getting under way, and this year, very soon, is a World Cup event, being held over here, in England. It starts just before I get back from New England, and ends just after I get back from Hollywood, so I wont see a lot. I’m not a big follower of the sport domestically, but show a bit more interest in the international game, but not sure if I will see much, if any of it this time around. Being honest, I havent even checked which TV company has the rights! Fine, its ITV over here. Some coverage in the US of their games, and the last few matches, but thats it. Funny to say, given I will be 8 hours behind, they might be on at unsuitable times for me lol.
On the other side of ‘The Pond’, its also a changing of the guards. Technically, the baseball season is drawing to a close. Well, the first weekend in October is the end of the regular season, but some issues are beginning to get settled already. Mind, the play offs will stretch to the beginning of November! For me, Kansas City, and the LA Dodgers have performed well, Seattle (to the so called experts at least), and Boston have under performed. Personally, I think Seattle were over rated, so not as surprised as the experts are, by their demise.
At present, I plan to get to a Dodgers game, that last season of the weekend, with luck.
The sport starting up, is what the American’s call football, both in the NFL, and the college game. College season has already started, though the serious conference matches generally dont start for a few more weeks. The NFL starts next Thursday. The one thing that has pleasantly surprised me, is how fresh I found the CFL, the Canadian version, seemingly more action than the NFL provides, maybe the different rules work? And very soon, about a month or so, basketball, and ice hockey will start up over there too.
But in all honesty, apart from the American football, its the summer sports I prefer, so…
Right, video time. One thing about US Sports, especially Football, is the cheerleaders. This song is probably the most apt for them. Mind, this isnt the cheerleader loaded version, but what I assume is the original demo one, though the other isnt hard to find. Oh, its the extended version too.
I’m pretty sure that a lot of sport nowadays is purely about the money making potential, with providing the general public with value, and entertainment a mere side issue. At least at times it feels that way.
I’m not even going into football, given the crazy sums that they charge people to go to a Premier League match nowadays, and even what some of the lower league sides charge, for an event that lasts about 90 minutes, crazy! But given I cant stand the sport, and have no wish to make it personal, lets leave it at that.
Not that (going up my scale of like) Horse Racing is an awful lot better now, what is charged for some of the major meetings (especially at weekends) sounds crazy to me, especially given that on top of the entry fee, you’re going to end up gambling more money, which may, or may not add to the cost of the day out. Fine, some days it might pay for it, but anyway…
And OK, I’m not going to defend what some of my beloved US sports charge for a seat, especially the better ones, because they can be pretty outrageous too. On top of which, you pay a good sum just to park your car, which given the prevalence of out of town stadiums seems a bit unjust too, if thats the only way you can get there?
But ironically, the sport getting my ire tonight is one of my favourites, cricket. Yesterday saw one game where not only was 126 a good score, it was a winning score, which for leading pro’s sounds crazy. Yes, I gather the wicket was to blame for that, which sounds daft, given that people pay to go and be entertained, not to see batsmen barely able to cope with conditions.
However, that wasnt as low as it got. Sky Sports were covering the game from Cardiff, due to the early end to the test match. It was a wicket that had previously been used, and sort of got back together for another match to be played on it. The commentators described it as an interesting wicket. Well, it was interesting if you want to see bowlers totally dominating, on a wicket where just about anything could happen. But for the people who’d paid a good sum, to see an entertaining cricket match, never mind!
The awful state of the wicket really showed up in the 2nd innings of the match, when both Hampshire batsmen got hit badly, by balls that leapt up from the pitch in a crazy fashion. Another ball in between, barely bounced! Anyway, after the second incident, the umpires declared the game abandoned, due to the unsafe state of the pitch. So not only did the paying public not get to be entertained, they got barely over half the match they’d paid to see.
Fair enough, if you want to pay large sums of money to go to sporting events, then go ahead and do it. I might add, that when on my own, I always go in the cheaper (though not the cheapest) seats at Baseball matches. But sporting teams, please at least provide conditions suitable for the contest, given how much you expect the public to pay to go and watch it.
The video, well its a question about yesterdays cricket, shall we say?
Oh, and fine, for the last time, given its now in its last 3 days, may I just ask that if anyone has a few spare pounds, dollars, euros, or whatever, and would like to help me change my name, the link is https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/e10ypc/ab/c2hJdb
Well, yes, one of these I did consider mentioning last night, but given I suspected I might be short of fresh material 2 days in a row, I sort of cheated, and left it until tonight. The other, a lovely touch that happened this afternoon, and just reminded me that there are some wonderful old fashioned gentlemen still about, in these modern times.
Strictly, there is a 3rd lovely thing thats happened in the last couple of days, but as thats something I might get to treasure in the future, I’ll hold back on that one for now, either until then, or when I need blog material, when I havent an idea in my head. Lets just say for now, I know a very sweet angel, and leave it at that! 😉 Be interesting to see if she spots this lol.
OK, the one I held back on. Any sports fan, especially cricket ones, will have noticed that the World Cup is being held at present, and yesterday (though strictly, it started Sunday evening, our time), Ireland played their first game, against the West Indies. Many years ago, the West Indies were the mighty force in cricket, and however good Ireland might be, we wouldnt have been expected to win. Though in fact, back in 1969, they underestimated us, and suffered a humiliating defeat, remembered to this day, by anyone Irish, or with Irish ancestry.
But in 2015, there was no danger of them underestimating us, we are a far stronger team now, and they a far weaker one, especially as they have left out a couple of their big names, seemingly in spite, for events unknown. So, despite the bookmakers making it look so (my firm were 1/6 for WI), this was always going to be a tight match.
At 87-5, it didnt look tight, and yes, thats the West Indies in all sorts of trouble, I might add! But somehow, they dug themselves out of a hole, scored just over 300, quite a challenging target for Ireland. Except…
…until near the end, where we decided to make hard work of getting across the winning line, it wasnt. In the end, the Irish victory margin was a comfortable one. And no, the celebrations werent that of a shock result, it was one that Ireland clearly expected to win, and did so. I would love to have seen it live, but the match was in New Zealand, so happened overnight here, so I only saw the Irish run chase the next morning, in a highlights show. I only saw much of the West Indies innings due to finishing at 10.00 Sunday night, then having it on while I caught up on here.
The other nice touch? I had a massage this afternoon, and afterwards, I went to catch the bus back towards town to come home. There were 2 men already stood at the bus stop when I arrived, so I took my place behind them. But, when the bus turned up, both insisted I get on first! I even tried to convince them otherwise, but they weren’t having it.
No, I dont know who either of them was, but if you read this, thank you so much, it was a lovely gesture in these modern times. Tomorrow morning, when getting on the train to work, no, I dont expect the same treatment.
So, lets dip back into the golden oldies pot tonight, for a song title they clearly attributed to me
A few vintage ladies there, but no Jean. Monroe is there though, and lets just say my angel looks a lot like her!
Somehow I doubt I have any Indian followers here, and if I do, and they are cricket fans, maybe they should leave now!
I’m old enough to remember that back in the dim, distant past, on a Saturday afternoon, on ITV, they would show wrestling, long before WWE and the like were ever dreamt about. Lets just leave it by saying that it was entertainment, not sport, I suspect even the commentator had a script to work to, in all honesty. But no one actually said there was a script, but…Yes, thats right, I mentioned it, WWE. Modern day wrestling, this time from the US, but at least to give them their due, they admit its scripted, and it can be treated by its fans as entertainment, not a sport.
Dont get me wrong, I’m not saying that supposedly clean sports arent fixed, only to a lesser degree, in different ways. Look at all the horse racing coups over the years, for starters. Fine, not every runner in those races was running according to a script, but the planning was there, and someone was picking up money ‘dishonestly’.
And its an issue that despite claims by the various boards that are getting worse, not better. Back when I first started in the betting industry, over 30 years ago, you couldnt do a single on a football match. Maybe, the cup final, and internationals, but otherwise the minimum was trebles, sometimes fivefolds for home teams, and betting on games outside the UK (apart from international matches), no chance.
Then in the early 90’s, rules were relaxed (so people could do singles on the live Sky matches, I suspect), but pretty much it was still win/draw/win, and that was it. Then we get to internet betting, and you get more markets on a match, and matches from further afield, pretty much anywhere in the world now, to be honest.
Thing is, certain folk in Eastern Europe and the like, might like to bet on football, but they dont like losing. So strange betting patterns start to creep in. And as for lower league football, last week of the season, most noticeably Italy, anything goes. I remember a game in that country where the draw price ended up at 4/11 (suited both sides), and unsurprisingly it was. Of course, some had got on at much bigger odds, but anyway.
No, this isnt just an attack on football, btw. Snooker’s record in betting fixes often makes football look innocent! Several players have had lengthy, or life bans, due to ‘interesting’ results.
Oh fine, the thing that got my ire today, cricket! Yes, in India. As several have proved over the years, match fixing is possible, but spot fixing on 1 over markets is just crazy, as a few Pakistani cricketers proved a few years back. 20 over cricket, with its wild price fluctuations simply opens itself up to opportunities like this, and the original Indian Cricket League was so in tow with the local bookmakers, you wouldnt believe. The funny thing is, the Indian Premier League (the official, and now only Indian version) took the high road about this, but…its as fixed as the ICL ever was.
Today, there was a game between Rajasthan, and Mumbai, for the final qualifying place in the semi finals. Not straight winner takes all, Mumbai actually had to win within 14.3 overs to qualify. Important factor here, there is a supposed cricketing god in India, called Sachin Tendulkar, and he played for, and now seemingly runs the Mumbai team. The other team, no cricketer worshipped in India.
So anyway, Rajasthan bat first, scoring what looked a very good score in the process, 189 in their 20 overs. So Mumbai have to score at over 13 runs an over to qualify. So Rajasthan bowl the biggest load of soft deliveries, and Mumbai are about to get there, and qualify. 2 needed to win off the last delivery that sees Mumbai through, a mix up, and a player gets run out. Then, its pointed out to everyone that if Mumbai score a boundary off the next ball, they still qualify. So the bowler bowls an inviting full toss down the leg side, the batsman hits it for 6, and Mumbai qualify. Fine, it might have been skill, but for the fact that not one Rajasthan player was showing disappointment in losing!
So, the next time anyone tells you the IPL is a genuine cricket competition, just laugh. Whether its more rigged than WWE, I dont know, that would be pretty hard. But a genuine contest, no chance, its controlled by the BCCI, and Indian bookmakers. And serious bookmakers take large bets on this, ah well…
Meaning there are too many chiefs involved, which leads me to this video, from my distant past.