Friday, April 11, 2008

Bet on it

As a freelancer, sometimes you get some interesting opportunities. I've settled into a routine with the same outlets mostly over the last couple of years - The Press-Enterprise, SI.com, MLSnet.com and AP. Every now and then I get to write for someone like the Dallas Morning News (when FC Dallas comes to town) or magazines, which are always nice.

Well, this latest one was something pretty much unexpected. It's pretty strange, though, considering the outlet. I'm the local "expert" for this betting site based in Hong Kong. A local contact gave them my name and that was really awesome of them to do so.

It's funny going on there and seeing my face surrounded by Chinese words. That's me and that's what I wrote but what the hell does it say?

Actually, there are two ways to navigate the site: 1) try to use symbols and general knowledge about web sites to figure out what is what and take educated guesses at the information, or 2) click the English tab on the upper left-hand corner of the page. I tried the first option for a while until I realized that I had a number two option.

Now, I'm not necessarily going to transform into one of those "I got your Week 12 LOCK OF THE YEAR!!!!!" type Vegas acts. This may be a gambling site but I'm pretty much writing a straight preview on the games of the upcoming week. The one thing I do try to keep an eye on are trends because that is a factor to consider. For instance, Chivas USA has never lost at Columbus while Toronto FC has never been any good so it stands to reason that Chivas will at least draw in Ohio and Toronto will get blitzed on Sunday.

I'm supposed to write on five games each week and make a pick. I've been doing okay too - I got four out of five right last week. I picked FC Dallas to win at Houston so a late equalizer cost me a chance of gambling glory. Still, I may have made some guy's day in Hong Kong regardless.

The only difficulty I face, since I write it all in English of course, is the timing. My deadline is Tuesday 6 a.m. PT, which means that anything that happens later in the week is beyond my control. For instance, Amado Guevara is now on Toronto FC but it wasn't official until after Tuesday. I would have mentioned it in the game preview but I don't think that will affect the outcome of the game.

Anyway, there are other similar writers who do the same for this site from Norway, Sweden, Japan and Germany. It's actually pretty good stuff. Norway and Sweden are of interest to some because of the, ahem, Yanks abroad over there.

2 comments:

Matt L said...

very cool stuff. have you considered reaching out to other betting sites to see if they want/need an MLS analyst?

do you think it is worth it to come up to la for the tfc game?

matt

L.B. said...

Thanks. This betting site thing came up out of nowhere. We'll see where it takes me.

Yeah, I would think it's worth the trip to drive up. The game you went to last year turned out to be good and there was no Becks and no Landon. Plus, it's on a Sunday afternoon so you'll be out of the game by 2 or so and you can enjoy LA before heading back down. For sure.

I'll call that my LOCK OF THE WEEK!!! ;)