What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
Editor’s Note: Thanks to the movie The King’s Speech, George VI came back into the view of the American populace. If it weren’t for that movie, most Yanks had long since forgotten George VI’s role as a wartime leader and the fact he ruled sovereign over a quarter of the world.
Much as he did through the Second World War, His Majesty George the Sixth, King of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Defender of the Faith, Last Emperor of India, and Head of the Commonwealth endeavors to offer insights on the world of sport.
Greetings, my treasonous colonials! Even though by the point of a musket you Americans threw off your status as subjects of the crown, you still seem to harbor a fascination with the monarchy. This is one of those times when you Yanks seem to pay attention to the House of Windsor…what with it’s fifth member ascending to the throne.
The first monarch to reign from the House of Windsor was my father George V. Upon his passing in 1936, the crown passed to my elder brother Edward VIII. But if you recall, there was a bit of unpleasantness, his coronation was not to be, and he abdicated. As Edward VIII had no heir, I became king. My recently late daughter Elizabeth II reigned from my expiration in 1952 until last Thursday, when her ascendancy to Heaven passed the crown to my grandson Charles III.
You may not realize this, but this trip through the genealogy of the Windsors decries a frightfully relevant lesson in the entire purpose of this screed. Even with your treasonous nature, one bond shared by you Americans and your English antecedents is the love of the wager. As your Supreme Court recently removed many barriers to legal sports gambling, the art of the wager has been perfectly above-board in Great Britain for quite some time. As such, we Britons will gamble on just about anything.
My grandson was just a popular subject for just such betting. You see, when an English monarch ascends to the throne, they don’t necessarily have to keep their first name. Any of their given names may be chosen. I’m a perfect example. My parents named me Albert Frederick Arthur George; I was affectionately known as “Bertie,” since as the second son, I was no expected to become King. But when I did, I chose George as my regnal name not only in honor of my father, but I really did not want to be called “King Bertie.”
When he was born in 1948, my grandson was named Charles Philip Arthur George. From then on, there were bets as to what he would take as his regnal name when the time came. Philip was not a popular choice as that was the name of his father…who was not English. Arthur was not a likely choice; as you Americans would say, that “number” is retired for the legendary “Boy King” of “Camelot” fame.
In fact, your very own J-Dub had an opinion on this. You see, we Brits had an opportunity to civilize your blogger when he lived here in the UK for a time. While we may have failed to bring him into the world of gentility, we did manage to entertain him with our flavors of wagering. He took to it…to use a colloquialism…like a duck takes to water. He even put some of his American money on what the future king would be named.
As you might say, J-Dub dropped £50 on “George,” betting that Prince Charles would be continuing the tradition of Kings from the House of Windsor. He also was aware that like Arthur, some names are simply not chosen; more of infamy rather than the fame of Arthur.
There hasn’t been a Richard since King Richard III, the last monarch from the House of York. Notorious for his repressive and brutal rule, Richard III was known for slaughtering all his political rivals until he was killed by John of Gaunt (the father of Henry IV) in 1485.
Speaking of Henrys, it is important to note there has not yet been a Henry IX. That’s largely because Henry VIII may easily be the most infamous king in all of British history. Even Americans who know nothing of the history of the English monarchy are familiar with the exploits of Henry the VIII, arguably the last King from the House of Tudor. Most Yanks know Henry VIII had six wives, and separated England from the Catholic church so he could divorce wives rather than separate them from their heads. Ironically, what they don’t know is the religious turmoil stated by Henry VIII’s founding of the Church of England eventually led to groups like the Puritans, the Presbyterians, and the Catholics to leave England to found the New World colonies of Massachusetts, Virginia, and Maryland respectively.
That turmoil was also central to J-Dub’s theory as to why Charles, Prince of Wales would not choose to become King Charles III. The legacy of Henry VIII is three-quarters of a century of domestic strife and several European conflicts, including the English civil wars…which are the main reason for the infamy of the regal name Charles.
Until last Thursday, there hadn’t been an English King Charles since 1685. Charles I took the throne in 1625, and his fervent belief that he reigned through divine right led to conflict with Parliament, which he ultimately disbanded. This led to outright warfare, and after his defeat at the Battle of Naseby, Charles I was convicted of treason by Oliver Cromwell and the Parliamentarians and beheaded.
Charles II was known as the “Merry Monarch;” he was installed on the throne in 1660 after the death of Oliver Cromwell and the resultant return to power of the Loyalists. He was popular at first, but weak and inept. A trilogy of things then occurred to give his name it’s infamy.
First, the Great Plague of 1665 took place during his reign. The next year brought the Great London Fire. Fair or not, the real damage to his legacy came after his death when his young brother became King James II in 1685. James II created more religious turmoil by declaring England’s return to Catholicism, which led to a Protestant revolt led by Monmouth…who just so happened to be Charles II’s illegitimate son. This led to Parliament asking the husband of James II’s Protestant daughter Mary, the Dutch Prince William of Orange, to take the English throne.
This side of “The Pond” or that one, every gambler lays their money down believing they are on the side of the angels. When I asked J-Dub what he thought went wrong with his wager, he swore that the British would never support a King whose name has such continental roots. Knowing that during his time here, J-Dub became a Liverpool supporter, I asked who was the manager of his football (as we call it) team.
Knowing the answer is Jurgen Klöpp, he didn’t say a word…he just reached in his and plucked a 50-Pound note from his money clip. As he handed it to me, I reminded him that note is embossed with a portrait of my daughter. She was the longest-reigning and one of the most beloved monarchs in the history of England…and her grandfather (my father) was very German.
Keep that in mind as you consider his gambling picks.
Well, despite what my dead King friend thinks, I did something right last week. The J-Dub Gambling Challenge bankroll made a profit of $708, for a season total $5,790. That being said, let’s get right to it…
LEGAL DISCLAIMER (mandated by our very own Small Town Pizza Lawyer):
Thanks to the Supreme Court, gambling is no longer illegal at Bushwood, sir. However, the Supreme Court can’t really help me unless one of them is willing to keep Mrs. J-Dub from braining me with a cast-iron skillet if she found out how many dimes I’m dropping on college football.
That means that as far as she knows, all wagers are mythical in nature and this is in no way, shape, or form a gambling advice column. In other words, if you lose your own “real” money, that’s nobody’s fault but yours, so don’t yell at me when we meet at the plasma center on Monday.
If you think you have a gambling problem, go find the 800 number on your own. I’m not a goddamn public service announcement.
Since I live in the heart of Big Ten country, almost literally in the shadow of Ross-Ade stadium, those around me who know I’m a gambler will invariably ask me about the Boilermakers, so I might as well bet on them…
Purdue (-1.5) at Syracuse O/U 60.5 See Payday of the Week
Introduced by our own guest columnist King George VI (the grandfather of the current King Charles III), this feature is all about the line of the week that’s so outrageous it’s almost as crazy as we Americans find the idea of a monarch.
Lousiana-Monroe at Alabama (-49) O/U 61 $25 Over
We went back to the very first college football game in 1869, and the premise is simple…you’re the champ until somebody beats you. The current champion is the Brigham Young Cougars.
Brigham Young at Oregon (-3.5) O/U 58 $50 Oregon
It’s like the game says…the idea is to hang on to your cash. That means this is the “big play” of the week; the one that should make today “Payday.”
Purdue (-1.5) at Syracuse O/U 60.5 $250 Purdue
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