I have a 15 year old daughter and a 13 year old son and while they both love playing sport neither of them spend much time on the couch with Dad watching it and I can probably blame myself for this.
While other children’s Dads indoctrinate them into supporting the likes of Manchester United or the Sharks from an early age this Dad shouts for a different team every week. It has been many years since the heart ruled the head for this sports bettor but the downside is my children have not bonded with any sporting teams.
This past weekend my daughter voluntarily attended the Lions v Stormers game with some friends. Her only previous experience of a live rugby game was about 6 years ago when she was dragged to the stadium on a family outing. I was quite excited about this although deep down I knew it was more about the social experience than the match itself.
This was confirmed when I sent her a WhatsApp asking her who she was cheering for? The answer was “neither” and it broke me to think that she was going to be there indifferent to what was happening in the match.
In a desperate move I messaged back “Tell you what, if the Stormers score 24 points or more you can have R100”. I was giving her a cut in my bet to try and get her interested, a desperate move by a desperate Dad.
The response was immediate and Angela was now cheering for the Stormers, some say money is not a motivator, for my daughter it is. What followed was unprecedented as I began to get messages from her during the game. The early ones were “it’s not looking good” and then a joke one claiming the money when the Lions reached 24 points.
Just before halftime the Stormers had a try disallowed and my phone beeped, “I can’t believe they had points deducted for that try” and then finally when a badly beaten Stormers team got their 24th point I got “is that a 24 I see” with a smiley face of course.
I enjoyed this unexpected bonding session with my daughter which I had to accept was brought about by a financial interest and not a love for rugby. This as you can imagine leaves me with something of a moral dilemma going forward.
Click here to join the Goodforthegame SuperBru Club and be sure to get invited into all of our pools!
This article was written for the CitiGaming supplement of the Citizen Newspaper and was published on the 12th of April 2018.