At 4.15 this afternoon the Grand National will be run at Aintree and that means that millions of pounds will be changing hands at betting shops across the country. People always say that betting is a 'mugs game' and they are, of course, right. Quite simply, people lose a lot more than they win. It would, however, be extremely hypocritical for me to sit here and say that only fools bet on sport.
The truth is that I am here writing this with my own betting slips lying on the table beside me. One of the best advertising slogans was Sky Bet's 'it matter more when there's money on it'. There is no better way to spice up a Saturday afternoon then a cheeky betting slip in-hand and Jeff and the boys on the TV.
By sticking a few bob on a horse you can turn an relatively dull event into something that suddenly becomes very exciting... come on Big Fella Thanks!
Yet with this excitement comes the inevitable frustration and disappointment. Despite having an accumulator which only has five teams only, all of whom are favourites, there will always be an upset. The day always starts with such promise, the bets are a sure thing, how could it possibly not come in?! In reality, the long odds you get on such bets are a reflection of how unlikely they actually are.
Every one has their own 'methods' and 'systems' that they use, teams they will or wont bet on. Ultimately, as people say, 'the house always wins'. Who cares. You never really expect to win but the point is that by putting a quid on an accumulator you can turn a unappetising Hull v Burnley match into a gripping and entrawling contest. No one can predict sport, that is why we love it.
One sporting event that promised to be extraordinarily entertaining, bets on or not, was the clash of the titans last night between Audley Harrison and Michael Sprott and the fight did not disappoint. If you were foolish enough to miss it then you missed a classic, so I hear. Harrison had put his career on the line and so the boxing world stopped to take note of this momentous occasion.
Harrison, who won a gold at 2000 Olympics, has been accused of fighting with no heart since turning pro. It seemed that this criticism was going to be justified again as for 11 and a half rounds Harrison's performance was lack-lustre. Having sustained a shoulder injury Audley was reduced to having to box with one arm and had therefore been out boxed throughout the fight. As the bell rang to start the final round Harrison was comprehensively behind on all scorecards and yet with only a couple of minutes to go he landed one of the best left hands you are likely to see this year. It knocked Sprott spark out and against all odds Harrison had claimed the most unlikely of victories.
It is likely, however, that claiming the vacant European Heavyweight belt with one wild punch will silence his critics. I am sure when he beats one of the Klitschko brothers and goes on to unify the division we will all be eating our words!
Thoughts, comments and opinions please...