March Madness is one of the greatest sporting spectacles this great land has to offer, and there is no finer place to take it in than Vegas. People are betting on everything. Winners, losers, halftime scores, overs and unders. It’s pretty ridiculous. I was in Vegas this year to donate my money to the casino, I mean watch basketball and bet on some games, and while I stood at the sports book wondering how I didn’t win a billion dollars from Warren Buffet (oh, Syracuse, that’s why!) and if Virginia could cover, I stumbled upon a betting sheet for the World Cup, that had precisely two options for betting.
The first was who would win it all, and the second was who would win each respective group. Seemed straightforward enough, but it made me think, what if I wanted to bet on the World Cup with but not on those two things? What if I could bet on more fitting things, like who would be the first US player to get a card or if Brek Shea would have the worst hair at the World Cup? Those are some things I want to bet on. It seems there should be a broader selection of things to wager my hard earned dollars on, so I thought of a few good ones, similar to prop bets. I’m sure there are other great ideas out there too.
I think the best thing to wager upon would be who has the best hairstyle, both as an individual and team, like the Olympic ski jumping where you are trying to win a medal in each. I think the gold standard here has to be Romania in 1998. Literally.
Certainly Mario Balotelli would be a favorite, as would Brek Shea, if he could have mohawked his hair right onto the roster. So many good options though, with Ronaldo, Neymar, and Reus. Will you take the fro of Fellaini or the braids of Sagna?
You know there is that one team who will be there this summer that you want to fail. Not to lose, but to drop all points and painfully exit the tournament in last. Perhaps even pick up a couple red cards to go with the shame and scorn they will be looking at as they arrive back home. Maybe England perhaps, just to see the entire population melt down and turn into a puddle? A rival like Mexico comes to mind as I have no love for them. Even one of the favorites like Germany? Nothing better than cheering against someone you were going to root against anyway, but now with money on the line!
Another one would be who would get carded at the World Cup. This would just be delightful, as there is nothing better than watching Jermaine Jones get a silly yellow card know that he just won you fifty bucks! Will you lament the terrible calls when they are making you cold hard cash? Will Pepe’s nightmare challenges help pay for your exciting nightlife adventures?! Just think of the opportunities to turn yellow into green.
Maybe we could even get odds on certain players to score. Sure, someone like Ronaldo is going to have rough odds, but what about Tim Howard? I will take a Timmy punt at 1000:1 odds to sneak into the back of the net, or could we see another miracle goal like Giovanni Van Bronckhorst struck in 2010 from 35 out. I know another under-hyped left back has it in him, but which one? Could it be a South Korean? How often does the Ivory Coast’s left back get up field? Maybe even Steven Beitashour? What if we put own goals into the mix?
The one normal bet that seemed fun was to bet on teams getting out of the group. This applies perfectly if you root for a second tier team (AMERICA!) or even someone like Australia. I like Australia, but their odds of winning the World Cup are pretty close to the same as mine. Tim Cahill definitely looks better without his shirt on though. Betting on someone like Australia would be tons of fun, because you could cheer for them knowing they don’t have to pull off the impossible, just the very improbable. And we all know that the very improbably can happen at the World Cup, right undefeated New Zealand? Right.
I know there are some other good ones out there, so let me know your best ones so even if I can’t bet on them this summer, I can at least make them a drinking game with my friends. Because really, what is better than watching your friend drink after an own goal in the Ivory Coast – Greece game? Nothing! Except Clint Bomb Pop face. That’s as good as it gets.