I've never been very patriotic. I mentioned at the time that I always wanted the England cricket team to triumph, but hey, if they didn't, I'd soon get over it. I could just never buy into the whole pride-in-the-nation thing that so many others obviously could. It wasn't in my makeup.
And then I watched the Olympics on Saturday night, and was truly moved. What an incredible, magical, unforgettable night of sport that was. Call me a great big softie, but I had a tear in my eye when the lovely Jessica Ennis was interviewed after that 800m run that brought the Gold medal in such exhilerating style. I had a lump in my throat as Mo Farah kicked for home at the end of a totally absorbing half an hour of tactical, punishing, rough running to claim his own piece of greatness. And the long jumper? The lad done good.
How refreshing is it though, to see massive achievement from athletes that come across as being "normal" people? Compare with so many Premiership footballers, obsessed only with how much they can earn, with what they drive, and who treat others - not least their employers - with so little respect. I don't remember seeing any Olympic athlete interviewed after winning a medal, coming across as being as egocentric or arrogant or plain nasty as so many in the England football team. The athletes simply come across as normal people, revelling in their fortune in having been born with a God-given talent, and who have worked so bloody hard to make as much of that talent as they possibly could.
Farah and Ennis - true representatives of our country. Two people taken to the country's heart. One of mixed heritage and the other an asylum seeking immigrant from Somalia. THAT is what finally, after 41 years, made me feel truly proud to be British. It was with that thought, when the Union Jack was hoisted after Ennis had been given her gold medal, when the majority of the 80,000 in the stadium had belted out the national anthem with exquisite passion, that made me think that this country isn't all bad after all. It has it's issues - let's face it, it's only a year on from the worst riots seen for many years that left the national mood somewhat different to how it is now - but it has it's good points too.
Isn't sport a magical thing?
Well so far this month, it's been a relapse into the pattern or losing money on the horses and seeing the sports side of the portfolio scrambling to minimise the effect on the bottom line figures. The weekend was a microcosm of this overall scenario, with a rotten weekend on the horses - Northern Monkey (0/5), On The Nose (one placed from six, no winners), The Market Examiner (0/1), Winning Racing Tips (one placed from two), and The Sportsman Racing (0/1).
Summer Of Football carried on where they left July though and found four winners from four. The service really is on a spectacular run at the moment, which we know won't last as variance strikes and results return to the norm. More impressive than the simple results over the last five or six weeks though is the mentality of James, the service operator. I hope he doesn't mind me printing this, an exerpt from a monthly review of the service he sent out to members today, as I haven't asked permission, but it does give an insight into his way of thinking and I'm sure he won't mind...
Remember to remain disciplined with and keep betting at proportional stakes to your betting bank. This current run will come to an end but I will do my best to avoid it. Interestingly my short list for yesterday had 4 bets on it which I ruled all of them out on value. 3 were losing bets and one was a void... I love it when that happens!
I have seen a bad run with the service. I remember a horrible weekend not long after I joined. These spells are of course inevitable, and will undoubtedly strike again at some point. But with the level-headedness with which James is treating this current golden spell, my confidence in SOF is growing and growing, and it is becoming what I would consider to be a long term part of the portfolio.
A mixed weekend for Form Lab Lite (one winner, one void bet, two losers) and break even for Service X (4/8). What I would say about Service X though is that through no fault of it's own, bets that are released on the Saturday are backed in a rather haphazard manner at present. I don't put money on if the price has collapsed and doesn't later rebound closer to kick off, and with my playing cricket, I'm missing as many bets as I'm hitting. I'm not unduly concerned though because of course the cricket season lasts only into early September, after which things will return to normal.
The month to date figures are below.
Northern Monkey: Staked 12pts, -12pts, roi -100%
On The Nose: Staked 12pts, -5.4pts, roi -45%
The Sportsman Racing: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts, roi -100%
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 2.2pts, -0.728pts, roi -33.11%
The Market Examiner: Staked 4pts, +2.2pts, roi 55%
Total roi: -65.64%
Summer Of Football: Staked 5pts, +3pts, roi 60%, ROC 15%
Form Lab Lite: Staked 5pts, +1.565pts, roi 31.3%, ROC 3.13%
Sportyy: Staked 1.5pts, +2.7pts, roi 180%, ROC 3.37%
Service X: Staked 61pts, +8.737pts, roi 14.32%, ROC 8.737%