Forget footy - give us odds on being sent to the doghouse
It seems that our obsession with having a bet has even reached the rat community. If, however, rats can have a punt while considering the odds and make a decision based on reason, as the article suggests, it probably puts them a step ahead of most of us. As Kent Brockman may have said in response to this: “I, for one, welcome our new Rat Overlords.”
This news of course comes at a time when the ongoing practice of everyone’s favourite network, Channel 9, of giving live betting updates during sporting events, continues apace. During the summer it was Betfair odds during the cricket and now it’s TAB Sportbet during the rugby league season. Many people, including me, find the practice appalling, but Nine have never really been known for giving two hoots about what the ethical among us think, as long as there’s a dollar in it for them.
The League calls feature renowned punters Ray “Rabbits” Warren and Peter “Sterlo” Sterling giving live updates on the current Sportbet odds as the match they commentate on progresses, accompanied by a rather feeble-sounding closing rider about betting responsibly. Older readers in non-NRL states probably know Rabbits, aka Rabs, from his previous life as a horse racing caller. Younger ones may know him from his swimming commentary, which sounds much like his horse racing commentary.
In any event, this live in-show advertorial work got me to thinking of a way that this insidious practice of calling odds in real time might be turned to the benefit of the community. Imagine the possibilities if you were able to get a live update of the odds of the next decision you made as you went about your life, particularly those that are insignificant to most but highly significant to you. Let’s try just one example many of us should be able to relate to.
It’s Friday afternoon. You’re at the pub. It was a spur of the moment call, so much so that you’d already put your hand up to say you’d be home for dinner.
Everyone you’ve ever had a beer with on a Friday seems to be miraculously available today and they’re arriving at regular intervals and taking the opportunity to buy another round. As you get offered your next lager you hear Rabs’ voice in your ear with a live update: Current Sportsbet odds on you making it home and your wife still speaking to you are :
If you leave now - $4.00
If you let BT buy you another beer - $8.50
If you get talked into hitting the spirits - $49
Meanwhile, there’s a live cross to home. Your loving wife is there with dinner on the go. She knows your Friday night track record and has Rabs in her ear as well. If she starts dinner now, will he be home to eat it:
When it’s ready - $19.00
While it’s still warm - $14.00
When it’s in the bin and the kids are in bed- $9.00
Tomorrow - $5.50
With all of these options, you need to imagine being in the situation described and hearing Rabs’ voice in your head. Without his delivery style it’s ineffective, a bit like the cricket commentary will be without Richie Benaud.
Back at the pub, you’ve ignored Rabs’ sage advice and are now at the horns of another dilemma. Half of your mates are more scared of their wives than you are and have headed home on the second mobile call (leaving on the first one is just too embarrassing). You’re still there with the single, the divorced and those with delusions of relationship power. Rabs is back in your head. He’s heading to the bar again here. He’s got plenty of ticker this fellow. Tab Sportsbet says
He’s going to get refused service - $13.50
He’s going to drive the porcelain bus before he gets through this one - $8.00
He’ll see sense and leave, be really proud of himself, and then fall asleep on the train and wake up in the mountains - $3.50
Back at home, Rabs is making another appearance. She’s not happy this young lady. She’s got some form here too I’m here to tell you. What’s she going to do here?
She’s not going to speak to him for 3 days - $4.00
He’s sleeping on the couch - $2.50
He’s going to have to ‘enjoy his own company’ for a while - $1.50
All of the above - $8.00
What effect would this have on the average person? If Rabs was in your ear (as it were) would you listen to him, ignore him, check yourself in for therapy or gouge your skull open with a pig stabber?
Can you think of any other times when Rabs’ voice might talk some sense into you? Or are you more likely to play the odds like a rat? Let us know and, as always, bet with your head, not over it.
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