Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What are the Odds?

Illinois has sent three governors to prison in the forty years I've lived here--Otto Kerner, Dan Walker and George Ryan. In Illinois it's always about money, not sex, and now that , a big Illinois fixer,has been found guilty, I'm wondering if Rod Blagojevich will become the fourth. Disclosure Notice: I voted for Walker and Ryan. I was too young to vote for Kerner at his final re-election campaign.

I wonder what the odds are? And how do I find out? I was in England during the NCAA tournament, and since I went to KU (go, Hawks!) I decided to bet on my boys. A friend who's a serious punter got her bookie to give me odds--7:2-- and I made me 22 pounds on the boyHawks. They won the day after I came home, so the money is sitting over there. And in April, I decided, DieHard Cubs fan that I am, to spend some of it on the Cubs. My friend's bookie is in a solo shop; he couldn't do pennant races, only the divisions and the Series. So I have 5 quid on the Cubs winning the Central Division, 5 on the World Series. The odds were 10:1 when I placed the bet, so if they come through for me, I'll have 50 pounds, which in today's money, is worth, I think $50,000. or maybe it's fifty million. I'm hopeful, but not optimistic--my first year with the Cubs was the year of the Miracle Mets. Realistic odds should have been more like a thousand to one. Still, I've put money on them this time; I care more. Want my bookie's name?

23 comments:

Violette Severin said...

If you go all the way back to IL gaining statehood, statistics show that the number of Illiois governors who have gone to jail is 50%. I don't know why anyone want the job with those odds. I am sure Rod is next.

Pete said...

"In Illinois it's always about money, not sex..."

In Illinois politics, and especially in Chicago politics, money IS sex. Blago's only the latest to get seduced.

Barbara D'Amato said...

Does anybody have statistics for other states? Are we just unusually lucky?

Libby said...

Hey, Sara... you might even have a chance at all those shillings this season... but then, it's always like this in June, isn't it?

Wilfred Bereswill said...

Libby beat me to it. It's only June. Sara, I have to say, you may have just blown that $50,000 USD bet.

Being from St. Louis I couldn't resist.

Sara Paretsky said...

Violette, that was a staggering piece of history--and what does it say about me that I feel almost proud of it?!!
Pete, yes, I suppose money is a sex surrogate. The late great Mayor Daley would tolerate any financial misdeeds among his cronies, but if you "stepped out on the little lady," he hung you out to dry.

Wilfred, I can't even comment. We gave you Lou Brock, you gave us Harry Caray. And, Libby, you're so right--the last time the Cubs got off to this kind of start, they finished the season 20 games under .500. But I'm a believer. I think Lou Piniella is a real manager. I think Ryan Theriot is a real hitter. And what about Reed Johnson? He says he owes his career to his granny--she taught him baseball!!! Every time he steps up to the plate, my grandmotherly heart swells!!

Oh, please, gods who like to sport with human happiness,give Barack the White House and the Cubs the World Series. After decades of Reagan, Bushes, Yankees, Cardinals, haven't we earned a respite??

Violette Severin said...

I don't know the statistics for other states. Illinois is unique though with its corruption.

V said...

@Pete: After living in Champaign-Urbana for a few years, I was under the impression that Illinois politics _was_ Chicago politics. Everybody in Chicago and Springfield seemed to think that.

I moved to Illinois the same year Blagojevich was elected, "because his name isn't Ryan." The news was full of Ryan's bribes; I think somebody else's trial was finishing around the same time. My coworkers assured me that every story I'd ever heard about dirty, backroom Chicago politics was absolutely true. I've since lived in two other states. When I saw Blagojevich on the news last week as part of the flood coverage, I told my fiancee how great I thought it was Illinois had a governor that hadn't been caught yet.

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