World Cup 2010 Sweepstake - Four-Play

Well Folks,

We’re getting to the pointy end of the jamboree that is the FIFA Budweiser-McDonalds-Sony-Samsung-Hyundai-Let’s-all-laugh-at-England World Cup and we now know the 4 teams that are going to compete for the semis. And of course the four lucky (by association) people from the 32 hope-filled participants of our Sweepstake that set off on this journey all those (what seems like) months ago.

As a reminder, here are the people still left in the sweep:

Natalie (Spain)

Ross (Holland)

“Yoppy” (Germany)

Andrew (Uruguay)

And prizes for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th to be distributed as follows:

1st 150.00
2nd 90.00
3rd 50.00
4th 30.00

Working the night shift as I am this evening and with less than two hours until kick-off, I’ve taken the opportunity to take a break from chasing, plucking and counting chickens whilst breathing in the discharge of the “rendering process” (whatever that may be) to have a look at what we have learned since the last update and to preview the upcoming semi-finals.

Hardly seems worth the while considering you’ll all know by the time you read these words who has already won the first semi but seeing as most of you have paid into the Sweepstake (Sidey – looking at you mate!), I figured what the hell, I might as well try and give you some value for money, right?

Well – for a start, all those people that have been saying “It’s a South American Cup” (believe me – there have been some) are now probably scurrying under a rock, burying themselves with great gusto into Wimbledon (but hasn’t that finished already?) or for a brave (but deluded) last few pledging they're allegiance firmly on the Last Great South American Latin Hope that is....erm....Uruguay.

Bye-bye Brazil – seems you weren’t that good after all. Maradona – the South American version of a leprechaun on smack - managed to give “Ze Germans” a massively ill-conceived motivator in the pre-match press conference. Well Diego, as you go home to a rapturous welcome from a surprisingly easy to please Buenos Aires population, you can comfort yourself with the realisation that perhaps “Ze Germans” weren’t that “nervousssh” after all. Indeed, like the cars that hail from the Fatherland, the German football team continues to run like the well-oiled machine they generally are at these tournaments. And oh how that annoys the English.

Yes, the match-up with Spain in the second semi-final looks like it is going to be a cracker. Especially considering the Spanish coach del Bosque, goalkeeper Pepe Reina, golden boot shoe-in David Villa, and (probably) Manuel from Fawlty Towers have all been saying (again) that Torres will unleash his hitherto undiscovered skills at finding the back of the old onion bag in Spain’s upcoming match.

I can hardly wait.

But hey – perhaps an awful World Cup will keep the vultures from taking Liverpool’s prized asset away from us....even if it means my extremely misguided 5 dollar bet on him to win the Golden Boot has proven to be an over-enthusiastic heart over-ruling a more than willing brain.

But back to tonight’s semi final. And here’s where the World Cup gets really exciting for Yours Truly and (at least four of) our sweepstake participants.

Now, I’m not (much of) a betting man but there’s something about the World Cup that brings out the “I can beat the Bookie” mentality in me. But, true to form, things have not been, well - to form.

So far, my friends at have welcomed into their corporate, sweaty, slightly damp-smelling overcoat’s heaving pockets :

  1. The aforementioned 5 dollar bet on Torres to be the leading scorer of the tournament. A player who is now, quite frankly, looking like a man that would struggle to score his ar5e on a barbed-wire fence
  2. A 20 dollar bet on a draw between Germany and the Socceroos. How they must have p!ssed themselves at that one – great way to start ‘sticking it to the bookie’ that one
  3. And then of course there was the cheeky 5 dollar bet on England to win......THE TOURNAMENT....... Well, I figured on the off chance that if they were going to do it and I had to listen to it for the next 50 years then I may as well gain financially from it

But then here comes the good news, for you see, not all my money (at least not yet) has gone Centrebet’s way and I’m sure their struggling to catch some zzzzzzz’s these days when they must realise that I still have a little bit of money out on a long lend in their bank account:

First, there’s the not so silly looking 20 dollar bet on Spain at 7-1 to win the tournament. Oh yes – that would cover my bets (and sweepstakes) that would. And still leave me with enough money to treat myself to a bottle of cheap sangria at the nearest Tapas bar.

However, as my dark horse punt, I placed a 5 dollar bet on Uruguay to win the tournament at ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY FIVE TO ONE!

Now wouldn’t that make the whole experience worthwhile?!

To the people that would say “ah but how can you cheer on a team that cheated to win the tournament?” I could give them 625 answers but for now, I’ll give them just the one....

“Está justo celoso. ¡Venga en Uruguay - permítanos golpe el Atasca-Llevando holandés!”

Of course, by now you’re all p!ssing yourselves because you already know that Uruguay, the nasty cheating team that they are, have been kicked out of the World Cup....

By a team full of players wearing fluoro and clogs.

And where else could that happen but at this great jamboree that we call the FIFA Budweiser-McDonalds-Sony-Samsung-Hyundai-Let’s-all-laugh-at-England World Cup?