You Do Thumb Thing To Me
In order to improve, we have to evolve. Way back in 1782, a Judge decreed that a husband may continue to beat his wife, as long as the stick with which he administers the castigation is not thicker than his thumb. Some called this political correctness gone mad, but I prefer to think of Judge Buller as a progressive idealist.
Football has also had its fair share of forward thinkers. In 1987, the football league introduced the antidote to dull end-of-season match-ups. It wasnʼt a time-machine to talk Mrs Mourinho out of that extra glass of wine; but it was the next best thing; the play-offs literally revolutionalised the beautiful game.
With the possible exception of a stag-party in Amsterdam, or a minor operation for the wife, watching the play-off finals is as close to a perfect weekend as youʼre likely to find. The only way to improve the experience is if a little profit can be made, and as luck would have it, a pearl of a punt has brazenly presented itself in the Championship finale.
If somebody offered you 7/5 on the outcome of a coin-toss, youʼd rip their arm off; thatʼs why Jackiey Goody flopped as a bookmaker. Derby are trading at 2.40 on the exchanges to win promotion, even though theyʼre facing a West Brom side who finished a distant eight points behind them in the league. Itʼs time to stand up and bet like a man; Iʼm asking the wife for a few quid to get on.
Michael Jackson and Robbie Williams should both start for Blackpool against Yeovil; the league one play-off will either be a thriller or a camp useless sorry excuse for entertainment. The red-hot Seasiders are on a nine match winning streak; Iʼll be getting involved at a balcony-dangling 13/10.
Saying goodbye to the Gay Meadow may sound like a sequel to Brokeback Mountain, but itʼs a reality for fans of Shrewsbury Town. All Bristol Rovers are interested in is the taming of the Shrews, the Pirates will land the spoils at 7/5.
Itʼs 1/100 that the Scottish FA cup final proves a more entertaining spectacle than the dross served up in the English showpiece. A young lady actually fell asleep in the boozer where I watched the ʽactionʼ, although that was my fault.
I normally avoid taking an interest in a match with a heavy Scottish contingent; you just canʼt trust a footballer whose idea of lean cuisine is to lightly dip a Mars bar in a deep-fat fryer. Celtic have lost three of their four matches though, the 10/1 for a Dunfermline upset is sitting on the verge of appealing.
The Republic of Ireland look a great bet in their International friendly. Itʼs been alleged that the Bolivian team are dismayed with this fixture; they were hoping to meet Scotland to get a little bit of business done on the side. Get your green on the Irish at 5/4.
The Welsh are also in action against New Zealand, and somewhat surprisingly, thereʼs not a rugby ball or a nervous farm animal to be seen. The following few words are rarer than a Robbie Savage appearance on QI; Wales should win this match. The 1/2 for a Welsh win is the prize lamb in the paddock.
I asked the wife if there was anything she would change about my body; she said there was just one little thing. Personally, I just want wider thumbs. This weekʼs accer is the actual definition of perfection; Derby, Blackpool, Real Madrid and Seville will all oblige at an impeccable 12/1.
By Gerry McDonnell