Wednesday, November 05, 2008

He is so money - part one of five

Everyone has them. Well, every male 18-79 has them. Those athletes that have won them a considerable amount of money, and thus become the object of same male 18-79’s affection. Forever, often. They can change sporting franchise, they can change country, they can change their name, doesn’t matter, the besotted male is going to always have a place for them in their heart. You know the guys we’re talking about here. You know the situation too. You had a stack of cash on a team, but the opposition is battering the goodness gracious out of your team and it is looking grim. Suddenly out of nowhere, your guy steps in, and quite literally single handedly saves the day.

Of course it isn’t always disaster recovery.

Sometimes it is just out and out domination. Maybe your guy dropped 48 on someone in the NBA. Maybe they scored twice in the World Cup Final. Maybe they struck out 17 in Yankees Stadium. Add it all up and the answer is always the same, you benefited financially from said performance, and like an elephant, you will never forget.

Let’s meet my guys.

He is so money - part one of five

No, not the pretty-boy, Real Madrid bound fancy pants one, the big, chubby one, who scored billions of goals in the nineties and early current century. ‘Big Ron’ was sheer class in his time. He was an absolute nightmare to defend against, big, strong and with a keen eye for opportunist goals. Its funny how sporting pursuits fans and more so the sporting media get caught up in the ‘here and now’ in terms of athletes. For my money, ‘new’ Ronaldo does not hold a candle to Big Ron, not yet anyway. He hasn’t accomplished anything close to what Big Ron did. It’s like Maradona. Remember him? In the late eighties a pundit decided Maradona was the greatest player in the world, another pundit said quietly ‘Come back to me after he has scored 1,000 goals and won the World Cup a few times’ (as Pele had).

It was hard not to like Big Ron. In the hey day of Italian football on coverage on C4 in the UK, they openly referred to him as ‘Big Ron’ or ‘Ronnie’. For me, the affinity comes down to a couple of joyous sporting occasions.

First off, there was Big Ron almost single handedly dismantling Manchester United in the Champions League, in April 2003. The semi finals beckoned and a youthful, cocky, Manchester, down 3-1 from the first leg in Madrid, fancied their chances to advance in the tournament. A local bookie that I may have frequented at the time had just brought in a new special where if you backed a player to score the first goal in a game, and he got two, they would double your winnings. If he got three, they would triple same. You can probably see where this is going. That night, for whatever reason, I fancied big Ron to hit the back of the net, so I put twenty hard earned euros on the lad. Sure enough, Big Ronnie scored a magnificent hat-trick and the drinks were on me.

Then there was the 2002 World Cup. The 2002 World Cup in Japan has a special place in many an Irish lad’s heart, as that is the last time Ireland took part, and took part well too. Ireland were unlucky to lose in the quarter finals to Spain. The entire country came to a stand-still for the duration of Ireland’s participation. The tournament remained lively even as Ireland left. It might have been the most exciting, dramatic World Cup in recent memory.

Before the tournament bookies were offering a new type of bet, a player from a country to score the most goals in the tournament, and that country to win the tournament also. As is often the case with new bets, the odds were pretty decent at first. One player that snuck under the radar a little was Ronaldo, just back from injury. People were also openly questioning Brazil’s ability to win the tournament, many preferring to talk about the big European countries chances of winning.

The day before the World Cup kicked off I happened to trundle into a local bookie and noticed that the Brazil/Ronaldo combination was a tasty 40/1. I put 20 hard earned euros on it and stuffed the ticket deep into my wallet.

Sure enough Brazil took the tournament by storm on the back of Ronaldo’s predatory instincts, Brazil were World Champions and Ronaldo won the ‘Golden boot’ as the tournament top scorer.

As a side note, the most recent World Cup, the country/top scorer double was available in most bookies, however the odds have been shredded, with the most recent winning combination coming in at a tight, pre-tournament figure of 12/1. The 'New' Ronaldo to be top scorer and Portugal to win the tournament, for example, was a ridiculously tight 9/1 pre-tournament.

You just don't get the value these days!

He is so money.




Brian said...

My predictions for the other 4:
Roy Keane
Curt Schilling (currently unhappy his main man lost the election)
Pedro Martinez
you prob have to balance out the sports with some gridiron but its hard to rule out Mr Clutch Big Papi. Back when he could hit.

Cormac said...

ha ha - very good

Roy Keane - at first I thought 'what?!' then I thought, 'well yes, as a manager' - but not as a player!

Irish National baseball team

Irish National baseball team
Team Ireland at the European Championships, Croatia, 2000.

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports

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