GAMBLING on football is now a multi-million-pound industry thanks to online betting apps and the proliferation of possible wagers.
These days, you can gamble not only on the score or result of a match, but on almost any occurrence during the game, such as the number of fouls, throw-ins, penalties, yellow cards, etc. Or there are ‘novelty’ bets, such as whether Luis Suarez will bite anyone.
So what other bizarre wagers will the football bookies conjure up to part us from our cash? Let’s cross over to the Betyershirt® Stadium for live commentary on the PremierPunta® League game between Groynestrane Wanderers and Earlybath Albion …
‘Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to this match sponsored by Betyershirt®, the bookmaking firm that proudly boasts it’s full of the biggest punts in the business. Okay, our opening opportunity for you to win big comes with the Quietest Minute’s Silence. Use the app to place your bets now.
‘And first to go hush-hush are the Albion fans. Just listen to that silence! You could hear a pin drop. Oh, I’ve just been told that a pin has actually been dropped in Row 82, so it’s not a perfect performance.
‘Now it’s the turn of the Wanderers fans. Boy, that’s an unearthly silence. Ah, I see why – they’ve all stuffed their scarves into their mouths. Well, there’s nothing in the rules against that, so they win!
‘Next, place your bets on the Loudest Minute’s Applause. Let’s start with the Wanderers fans – and our decibel clapometer is already registering 150, which will take some beating.
‘Now it’s the Albion supporters’ turn and they’re clapping like crazy, but they’ve peaked at only 120 decibels. There’s obviously a few limp wrists out there. Hold on though, I’ve just been told the Wanderers fans were illegally using their old football rattles to add to the noise. They’ve been disqualified!
‘Okay, next let’s have your bets on the Most Offensive Terrace Chant. The Albion fans are first off, but they’re only giving a very subdued rendering of that old chestnut, “You’re s**t and you know you are.”
‘What can the Wanderers lot offer? Oh my goodness, their chant is unbelievably scathing, scandalous, scurrilous and slanderous! Who knew there were so many different swear words for “referee” or rhymes for “anchor”? A Wanderers win.
‘A quick reminder. Before the match starts, don’t forget to place a bet on our Great Expectorations feature. This is for picking the exact moment when the camera first inadvertently focuses on a player who’s blowing his nose, spitting, or adjusting his man parts.
‘And now as the players go into genuflection mode, it’s time for our next punt, the Neatest Knee-Take. Place your bets. Well, Wanderers are superbly in unison, knees gracefully touching the turf at exactly the same moment, heads bowed with millimetre-perfect angular precision, expressions impressively solemn.
‘As for Albion, their goalie is unfortunately slightly behind his teammates with his kneefall. He’s never really recovered his confidence after being bitten in the jockstrap area by a mole when he knelt at the start of an FA Cup match last year. So today, Wanderers are the bee’s knees.
‘Next up is the Quickest Release of an Eco-Nutter. As you can see, two climate zealots have chained themselves by the neck to the goalposts at either end of the ground. Stewards from both teams will race to release them, but using only a Swiss Army knife. It’s time to bet.
‘And there they go! Well, the Wanderers stewards are sawing away at their nutter’s chain using the knife’s toothed blade attachment, but it’s tough going. As for Albion … oh, boy! They’ve cleverly used the knife’s spoon attachment to dig up the goalpost and are now slipping the post upwards through the chain and freeing their nutter. What a win!
‘More excitement from the stewards now with our ever-popular Pitch Invader Punt. Have a bet on who’ll catch an interloper first. There goes today’s invader and, oh my – he’s in the buff, a streaker! That’s going to make it extra hard for the stewards, because they usually grab fugitives by the shirt tail.
‘Well, he’s ducking, diving and dodging all over the pitch and the Wanderers steward is knackered. But look at the Albion steward – he’s casting off his own clothes to give him extra speed. He powers forward and rugby-tackles the invader. Great tactics!
‘Now we have a straight contest between the two club managers with the Best Goading of a Match Official. The object is to see who can harangue the ref or his assistants most forcefully from the technical area. Time to place your bet.
‘The Albion boss is straight in there effing and blinding, casting doubt on the ref’s parentage and recommending a visit to Specsavers. And yes, it’s a red card – he’s off. But now the Wanderers manager is ranting – and he’s actually provoked the ref into knocking him out cold. When he wakes up, he’ll be delighted to know he won.
‘Now, as you can see, a Wanderers player and a Albion player are being substituted at the same time. But who will linger longest on the pitch, pathetically trying to run down the clock? Bet now on the Slowest Exit by a Subbed Player.
‘I’m hearing that the Wanderers man is refusing to come off because he claims he’s spotted a rare endangered earthworm and dare not risk moving and disturbing it until scientific teams are brought in to examine it.
‘Meanwhile, the Albion player has fallen to the ground rubbing his eyes, claiming he’s been blinded by the LED lights on the electronic board that signalled his substitution. He says he must stay where he is because the slightest movement brings on an unbearable headache. The bet result could take a while.
‘And that’s it for today from Betyershirt®. But please remember our advice: Gamble responsibly – but not too responsibly!’