Memories, Faded Water Coloured Memories

Filed in Other by on November 29, 2010

There’s nothing like a call from your ex-girlfriend in the middle of a windswept Wednesday afternoon while you’re skewing balls at the local driving range to make you a little sentimental and mess your head with thoughts of days gone by.

And these thoughts are always positive.

You forget the rubbish. You forget about the yelling. You forget about the monotony. You forget about the painful lunches with her parents and the mind numbing conversations with her pretentious friends about the urgent need to stop whaling. You forget about the three day row you had where you ended up on the couch without so much a word because you dared tell her pretentious friends, for sport of course, that whaling is a completely legitimate activity. You forget about the anguish and the spite and the carelessness and the terrible stir fry’s she’d insist you enjoyed.

When you’re swinging you’re three-wood, trying to hit that dimple drenched ball hard and straight, and the phone rings and you see the name and the world is all of a sudden a very confusing place, you tend to grab you’re rose coloured glasses, open up you’re new portable telephone and look for the nearest covered seating.

“Hey there, how are you?” she says, like she hadn’t left you two years ago to further pursue a life of pretentiousness and art show openings.

“Um, yeah, look, I’m alright” I reply, a little off balance, slightly lost for words.

“I’m in town for a few days and thought you might like to catch up, you know, for a drink or something” she goes on, oblivious, no, unconcerned, by my palpable discomfort.

“Um, I’m not sure that that’s a great idea” I splutter, the common sense instinct kicking in.

“Oh…you know, I know things didn’t end that well but…I just really wanted to see you…it’s been so long…I’m thinking about moving back to town and…”

Well, right.

And when you hang up the phone, the common sense that had kicked in decides to duck out for a cigarette break, and you get a little sentimental, a little teary, a little stupid. For a few minutes, you think about the good old days…when you stayed in bed for days and she’d make you breakfast and fetch the papers, when you drank vino and laughed all night, when you thought you were happy…but these thoughts aren’t real helpful on a windy Wednesday afternoon when times have changed and many moons have come to pass.

And the same is true in when the sun pokes its head up from under the covers on a Sunday morning and you’re up, full of hate and seediness, shaking your head in sadness and disappointment, as Brett Favre throws another interception to hurl away another game for the Packers.

You, of course, had backed The Pack as an outsider again and again you were a chance until our old pal Brett fires deep into triple coverage. The opposition inevitably drives in for seven and the game is gone and so to is the spread.


But then old Friday rolls around again and you’re making the necessary small talk required to your bookmaker, engaging him in discussions of “whores and horses” as The Pogues would say, when you are overcome with the urge…”Brett Favre was a great player…he is a great player

Well, wrong. Was a great player and is a great player are far from the same notion.

Favre was a great player, make no mistake about that. In the mid-nineties, there was no better clutch QB in the game. He would make impossible passes, call extraordinary plays, accomplish astonishing feats…he did what had to be done. Favre, simply, was the man.

The same with the mighty Sunline. She was wonderful, one of the great mares of her generation, unbeatable at her peak. But come her last race, her last Cox Plate, the edge was gone. And so was the greatness. When she farewelled with a gallant fourth to Northerly, she was just another very good racehorse and anyone who knows anything knows that great horses win Cox Plates, not very good ones. She had got old. She had reached the top but Father Time having caught up with her and when she ran in that Cox Plate, if you got your eyes focused just right, you could see her looking back up the mountain with a tear in the eye dreaming of one more moment at the top. But deep down…well, we all know those days are gone.

And George Gregan was once unparalleled as a scrum half and a Wallaby. He was an integral member of the All Golds in his prime. But those days were at least five years ago and now…nothing but a liability, a millstone for Australian Rugby to bear.

These were great athletes, legends who inspired and achieved and led with courage and will and stood proudly atop the peak of their mountain. In their prime, they were heroes. They were idolised and adored and in a betting sense, could be relied upon to “get the job done”, as they say.

But as a gambler, it is a fairly important quality to differentiate between was and is, then and now. It’s crucial, as a punter, that when Friday rolls around and you sit in silence and solitude considering the weekend action that you’re not looking on through the old rose coloured glasses because if you are, you have taken the wrong turnoff and disappointment and destitution are the only stops along this route.

You have to take the emotion out. It’s not always easy. But it has to be done, from a financial point of view anyway.

It hurts, sometimes, to imagine Favre throwing three picks or Sunny getting run down or Gregan slowly standing at the back of a ruck, unable to properly feed his backline. But you have to face the fire sometimes, you have to grasp reality. When betting, you have to view the game or the race or the player in perspective…not the distorted prism of days gone by. Simply, you have to bet on recent form. If you want to bet on the memories of days gone by, bet on The Glory Days, bet on the good times, well…good luck in the gutter.

Do yourself a favour. Get cranked on some Velvet Underground, find yourself a nice juicy hammer and smash those rose coloured glasses to smithereens. I sure as hell don’t want to watch Brett Favre deplete my bank balance or for that matter, any ex-girlfriend deplete it either.

And that, wise reader, is that.


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