Heart or Head?
Footy season, all three winter codes are just starting. Which means the nightmare of ‘tipping’ is here again.
If you are a regular reader of this column, or you know me, then you are aware that my opposition to gambling, gambling websites, gambling ads on TV and gambling sponsorship is near the top of my angry list. I reckon were at the same place that we were in the 70s and 80s with ads and promos for ciggies, in the 90s and 00’s for alcohol, we haven’t learnt much at all, it would appear. I guess they pay them big bucks, but it’s hard to see how the famous sporting stars rationalise their role in the promotion of gambling in the media. Saying ‘gamble responsibly’ is used like a waiver at the end of an ad, as if everything’s OK after that.
I’m a mathematician by trade, so I know that the more often or continuously you bet, the more you lose (multiplying a fraction by a fraction makes a smaller fraction – it’s not hard to understand), and pretty soon you’re at zero, no matter how much you started with. Betting on The Cup is a little different, because most people know they are flushing their money down the toilet anyway, and that it’s a one-off for the year. I’ve also been known to hit the bottom pub in Millthorpe for a beer and a dollar bet (to celebrate finishing a good run, or when a mate is visiting) – but a dollar or two on a horse that contains a loose reference to Star Wars or my favourite songs still allows me to make comment about the perils of gambling I believe. I guess it’s just too profitable for the governments to wipe it out – even if it means gullible and addicted people are the ones wiped out instead. Sigh.
Anyway, it’s League, Union and AFL season. Tipping time. The best part about being in a tipping comp? It’s free. The only thing I’m gambling with/on is my reputation. I’ve been living on the glory of taking out a tipping comp with an extended group of mates way back in about 2011. Last year I finished second, which in many cases is even worse than finishing last. Your so-called friends can be pretty harsh with their cutting humour when it comes to rankings and results in a tipping competition, but we all keep backing up for a dose of that medicine every year. My biggest problem in tipping competitions, especially the league, is that I have too many teams that I just tip, no matter how certain it might appear that will come out victorious. For example, as a Doggies supporter with one blue eye and one white eye, how can I ever tip Manly to win a game, or the Eels, or the Rabbits? That doesn’t leave me many places to go when those teams are playing a very lowly-ranked team, I’m sure to pick the low team and lose my shirt, just because of the history between my Dogs and those teams. I don’t think I’ll ever get over it. I’m also a mad Brumbies fan, which means when the Tahs are on a roll, my tipping is out the window. I can’t tip Collingwood or St Kilda in the AFL either (just because of the Melbourne thing going on in the back of my head, I think), so I’m shot there as well.
Tipping head or tipping heart? With the Dogs, the Brumbies and maybe the Swans too looking like they’ve got a looooong season ahead of them, I may just have to let head rule over heart and waste a tip or two on those teams I can’t stand. Oh, the pain. At least I’m not spending/wasting money or falling for those gambling ads.