“There are many harsh lessons to be learned from the gambling experience, but the harshest one of all is the difference between having Fun and being Smart” – Hunter S. Thompson
“Gambling: the sure way of getting nothing for something” – Wilson Mizner
“Victory is a fleeting thing in the gambling business. Today’s winners are tomorrow’s blinking toads, dumb beasts with no hope” – Hunter S. Thompson
At the viewing centre, the dark burly nigga was sobbing softly as the others celebrated the unexpected victory. Manchester United had lost the match to Leicester City. From two goals down, the foxes had surprisingly made an unforeseen comeback and won the match by 5 goals to 3. I couldn’t take it anymore. I cursed out at the gaffer and wished death on his favorite cat. I hoped he choked on his noodles during dinner at his favorite Chinese restaurant in Manchester. I said other curse words and stood up to leave.
As I turned to pay for the drinks I had during the match, I saw the dark burly nigga again, his head buried deep into his palms. He was no longer sobbing quietly. Rather, he was crying out loudly and was consoled by a fair lady who could be his girlfriend. She was telling him to take heart and try again. In a fit of anger, the dark burly nigga stood up abruptly and tore a piece of paper he was holding into tiny bits.
“This life no dey fair at all. I don dey try combo since. Just today, all my games enter. As I just dey hope on this foolish club, dem come fumble. Now 350k don go like dat. Fuck you Van Gaal”, the dark burly nigga screamed as he shed tears of regret. I quickly realized the dark burly nigga had lost a bet. TRAGIC!
Sports betting and online gambling – the twin brothers that have succeeded in twisting the minds of young men nowadays. It is no different from the poll games most of the old folks engaged in back in the days. I doff my hat to bookmakers and make a toast to their wisdom. My goodness! I mean, how do they do this? Keeping gullible folks enthralled and gambling away their living, hoping for the big break. These bookmakers are what I call ‘legitimate fraudsters’. They sure know how to capitalize on an unhealthy habit and make cool cash off the lost ones. No matter how hard one tries, you CANNOT make more money than the bookmaker deems fit. It is like staying in a correctional facility; the wardens decide how much meal ration you get on a daily.
A lot of people are gonna argue whether sports betting is an unhealthy habit or just a fleeting guilty pleasure. Well, I am in no position to decide for anyone. I won’t lie, in most cases, yours truly engages in some form of gambling. Personally, I enjoy shooting dice while sipping brandy; so this article is not intended to condemn anyone. After all, we all have one guilty pleasure or another. But in all honesty, it is important for the people that partake in such activities to curtail their excesses. Men have staked cash meant for upkeep of their kids on sports betting, only for them to lose the stash and come home to a visibly angry wife who gives the husband a serious pounding he would never forget. But it doesn’t end there because such a man would still proceed to do the same another day without recourse to the feelings of the wife and the welfare of the kids. We have heard tales of poor unemployed men stealing cash that their wives hid in certain ‘holy’ places to gamble with. Young guys spend their upkeep money to stake on games hoping to beat the bookmakers. Back in the university, there was a certain guy that usually spends his pocket money to stake on Lotto and Baba Ijebu. He was always broke and kept borrowing from people, promising to pay back with interest. He never did; he just escaped from the school and nobody saw him again.
For many, the addiction to sports betting and online gambling is like one hooked on crack. It could be likened to a brainwashed zealot who hopes that partaking in the Eucharist would cleanse him of his sins. So he proceeds to church every Sunday morning, and as the priest raises his voice with the chalice in hand, beckoning on the faithful to say the prayers of humble access, the zealot walks up to the altar and takes the blood and body of Christ.
It is important for all victims of this unhealthy habit to rid themselves of this plague that is eating deep into the pockets of many. Don’t hope on the government to enact policies to stop gambling. Don’t hope that the bookmaker would have a change of heart. Don’t hope that the priest would lay his hands of your big head to cast away the demon of gambling. No one would do the cleansing for you except yourself. In total honesty and humility, do a soul search and tell yourself the truth. Because only the truth a person tells oneself would set him/her free.
So I am sitting in the same viewing center on this sunny afternoon, waiting for the match between Valencia and Elche to commence. All my 9 games have entered and this last game is the only one left. On my ticket, I gave Valencia 3 goals handicap. I am apprehensive so I proceed to buy a bottle of my favorite beer and drank from it. A couple of minutes later, the dark burly nigga entered together with the fair lady. He was smiling and thanking the Lord, singing praises to the Almighty and showing his ticket to anyone that cared to see. It was obvious he had a good day. I made a sign of the cross and prayed to my guardian angel to have mercy on my sinful self. The match commenced and I was virtually on my feet, shouting ‘Blood of Jesus’ at will, begging all the angels and cherubs to show mercy.
Eventually, the match ended in a draw and my accumulator failed. TRAGIC! I stood up, paid for my drinks, took a final glance at the dark burly nigga and his fair lady and left. I walked straight to the car, put my head in my palms and wept bitterly. I am never gonna gamble again, I swore. I would give my life to Christ and change for good.
But the next week, I was back at the old habit. TRAGIC! Phucking addiction!