Putting an asterisk on every VFL/AFL premiership ever
Recently there's been a bit of a debate around the traps concerning this 2020 season and whether or not the eventual premiership should have an asterisk next to it. And that's a silly debate, because of course every VFL/AFL premiership ever can have an asterisk next to it. Just pick and choose the asterisks that you personally believe should exist:
clearly the season should have ended on the drawn Grand Final, 69 to 69
Coleman kicks his 100th goal for the season in the concluding minutes of the GF - a story stolen directly from Jack Titus in 1940, you have to ask what else was faked about Essendon allegedly 'winning' this premiership #fakenewsflag
season destabilised by breakaway competition rumours
season tainted by biff: Lethal breaks Neville Bruns' jaw, John Bourke for the Pies reserves gets suspended for 10 years and 16 matches
illegal Tasmanian bank account
compromised draw with the new expansion teams
compromised draw with the new expansion teams
illegal Tasmanian bank account
replay of drawn Pies v Eagles QF pushes back whole finals schedule, disadvantging Essendon
take your pick of option 1, you can't play a legitimate GF at Waverley or option 2, match tainted by Bound for Glory
Vic teams get their zones taken away and a foreigner team wins as a result #AntiVicBias
Baby Bombers bust their way through the salary cap
rules tinkering: arbitrarily changing the length of quarters from 25 to 20 minutes
Diesel Williams the recipient of not only payments outside the salary cap but also one of the first ever racial vilification charges
West Coast forced to play 'home' semi final at the MCG
psychological warfare: Port Adelaide entering the comp and blasting innocent ears with their terrible club song - Crows unfairly advantaged by being already partly immune to Port bullshit - alternatively steroids in the AFL
Crows somehow allowed to win flag from 5th on the ladder edit: and while losing their first final, just like Carlton the next year
finals system is so shit that Carlton finishes 6th, loses first final, yet progresses to semi-finals where they play West Coast who are once again forced to 'host' a semi at the MCG - Blues make it to the GF where they're rolled by Norf
season compromised by accommodations for the Olympics (and retrospectively, Lions' intravenous saline scandal and Carlton's salary cap breaches)
Lions' intravenous saline scandal (and retrospectively, Carlton's salary cap breaches)
six games not involving Carlton forcibly moved to Princes Park after Carlton moves games to Docklands - meanwhile Carlton wins the spoon and then has their salary cap cheating exposed, fuck 2002 Carlton basically - also Adelaide forced to 'host' a semi-final at the MCG
all the non-Vic teams made finals #AntiVicBias
Brisbane forced to 'host' home prelim at the MCG - also because Port's win triggers insufferable debates about whether to count SANFL Port's flags
1) Cats commit murder in broad daylight and get away with it, 2) disgraceful Melbourne v Carlton spoonbowl with priority draft pick at stake, 3) 'Guttergate'
morally bankrupt Hawthorn triple team Fev to stop him also getting to 100 goals
take your pick of option 1, season tainted by Melbourne's tanking or option 2, Hawkins hitting the post
St Kilda robbed in broad daylight and the police did nothing about it
edit: NitroXYZ's suggestion - St Kilda robbed of momentum by replaying the GF the following week rather than playing extra time, replay replaced with extra time from 2016 season onwards
tainted by Meatloaf and the lavish Gold Coast concessions
season tainted by Essendon doping regime and the lavish GWS concessions
season tainted by revelation of Essendon doping regime
Brendon Bolton coaches Hawks to five wins from five games while Clarko out with Guillain–Barré syndrome yet nobody tests Bolton to see if he's some kind of cyborg or superman (though clearly swapped back for the real human version to go coach Carlton)
treatment of Adam Goodes puts a stain on the whole comp
umpiring so biased the AFL had to apologise for it
THEY'RE WEARING THE WRONG JUMPER
edit: NitroXYZ's suggestion - Cats forced to play 'home' QF at their opponent's home ground; veryparticularskills' suggestion - Cotch dodges suspension after PF
Sheed played on
edit: PyrrhicNicholas' suggestion - Maynard was blocked
FIRE and Kids – The cost of raising children in Australia
This post has been inspired by this recent podcast featuring three of the biggest names in the Aussie FIRE blogging community, and the follow on discussions in the Aussie Firebug Facebook group about how much it costs to raise kids in Australia. As all three acknowledge they don’t have kids so it’s not something they really have any experience with. As someone who has two young kids I thought it would be useful to write about it from my perspective. Obviously my situation isn’t the same as everyone else’s, there are plenty of people who would be horrified with how much we’ve spent, and others who would wonder how we manage to spend so little. Everyone’s situation is different, so what works for my family wouldn’t necessarily work or others. My oldest child has only just started school this year so I can’t really speak from experience beyond the 0-5yo age range, but I’ll talk through some of the typical costs, what we have and haven’t spent money on so far, and what we’re anticipating in the future. The costs people actually talk about The first two things that almost always come up when people start talking about the cost of babies are prams and carseats. Yes, you can spend a lot of money on these things if you want to, prams in particular. From a quick look at Baby Bunting the most expensive pram there is nearly 3 thousand dollars, and I’m betting that with a few accessories you can easily get over that mark. No, you do not need to spend that much on a pram. Yes you can probably pick one up on the cheap from Kmart or Target etc for well under a hundred bucks, but it’s probably not going to be as sturdy or hold much of the gear you take with you. Happily a pram is also the sort of thing where you can pretty easily and safely pick one up secondhand or get a hand me down from someone else. We bought a Babyzen Yoyo, which is basically a small sized pram although it still has enough storage room for us. It folds up so that you can take it on a plane as carry on luggage, is quite light, extremely maneuverable and very sturdy. I’ve taken it running plenty of times, it’s even got a Parkrun PB of 22:06! This thing is absolutely gold. Unfortunately it’s priced as though it’s made of it as well. There wasn’t an option to get one second hand because it had only just been released so we had to pay full whack. I think we spent over a thousand dollars on it including all the accessories and the lie flat and sit up seats etc. It was worth every cent. It’s been going for 5 years and 2 kids and is still in great shape, we’ve never had a problem with it at all. My wife tells me it is one of the best things I have ever bought her, although we both use it obviously. And at the end of the day a one off cost of $1,000 for us as a family is going to have basically zero impact on when we hit FIRE. Plugging the numbers into a compound interest calculator and using 7% annual return over 30 years I miss out on $8,000, which is about a month worth of returns on my target portfolio. I can live with delaying retirement one month for about 5 cumulative years of having a really good pram that works great for us. Similarly you can spend a fair chunk of money on car seats. This is one of those things that I wouldn’t want to get second hand because you can’t see if they’ve been broken or not and safety is a huge priority for us and presumably everyone else. Happily car seats don’t tend to cost that much, you can pick one up for a couple hundred bucks or less pretty easily. If you do that it tends to be one for a much shorter age range, say 0-2yrs whereas I think you can get ones which will take your kid from 0-8 but they cost a lot more. In any case per kid you’re probably looking at a thousand bucks total, and this could easily be a lot less. Again it’s not going to make any appreciable different to us reaching FIRE. So as easy as it is to point at this sort of stuff as being ridiculously expensive and over priced etc, it’s really not going to make much of a difference to most people. Sure you don’t want to spend any more money than you have to, but you also want to make sure you’re getting something that works for you. The other one off costs There are also a bunch of one off costs for babies and young kids like cots, beds, mattresses, baby carriers etc. From what I’ve been told you want to buy a baby mattress new, but that’s only about a hundred bucks at Target, potentially cheaper elsewhere. We have an Ikea cot which cost about the same, you could easily get one second hand or likely for free just by asking around your friends who will probably be delighted to get it out of their house. Some people do co-sleeping in which case you don’t need the cot and mattress although you may like to kid yourself that your baby will actually sleep in their own bed, maybe even through the night. It’s nice to pretend sometimes! As kids get older you’ll need a proper bed for them, again you can probably pick this up second hand pretty cheap and a mattress can be easily had for a couple hundred bucks. So none of these things are really going to have much of an impact so long as you’re a decent saver already. The big costs you see When you don’t have kids it can be great to live in a studio flat or one bedroom apartment in the inner city close to all the bars and restaurants and all the rest of it. You can stay in your local area and have plenty to keep you entertained, there is probably a supermarket nearby and plenty of public transport so you may not need a car either. Once you have kids, it’s likely going to be a different story as your priorities change. It may be that you’re happy renting with kids, but lots of people tend to prioritise stability and security when they have kids and that means owning your own home in most cases. I’m not saying everyone will want this, but a lot of people will. So now that you have kids you almost certainly want a second bedroom and if you’re planning on having more kids maybe a third or fourth etc. Obviously kids can share bedrooms for a while at least but sooner or later they will probably want their own space, as will you. You’ll also be wanting parks with playgrounds nearby and somewhere you can easily take your kids for a walk or kick a football around, ideally in a good school district which can add a couple hundred thousand dollars to the cost all by itself if you’re in Sydney or Melbourne. And if you want to live somewhere cheaper but send the kids to a good private school, well that can cost anywhere from the low thousands to multiple tens of thousands per year. Similarly if you didn’t have a car before, you will very likely want one now. I’ve mentioned before that we drive a base model Corolla which works just fine for us so far, but you’re still probably looking at $20k plus if you buy one new, mid teens if you want one used. If you want an SUV or a luxury model car, be prepared to fork out a lot more. In the same vein if you were previously going on lots of holidays and plan to keep doing so, well you now have at least one more plane ticket to buy, might need a bigger hotel room etc. As I talked about in this post about big ticket items, that all comes at a real cost. We bought land and built a house, so I can say that we spent roughly $100,000 more on that than we would have otherwise. The ongoing costs There are also a bunch of ongoing costs for kids as well. They need to be fed, they need clothes and shoes, they need medicine, and a bunch of other stuff that costs money. I wrote here about a bunch of things that we do to keep costs down, but the reality is that you still have to fork over a decent chunk of change. On top of all that contrary to what you might have been told public school is not free, there are a bunch of things that you have to chip in for here as well. We’re not at the stage that we’re forking out a fortune in extra utility bills etc but we certainly use the washing machine a lot more than we would if we didn’t have kids, there are extra lights and tvs etc on so there are extra costs there as well. There are also a bunch of extra items that you don’t really need to spend, but probably will. For us this includes stuff like swimming lessons, some sports like AusKick (AFL) and Junior Blasters (cricket), occasionally taking them to a theme park or zoo etc. They also get birthday and Christmas presents, and if they get invited to other kids parties they take a store bought gift with them. The above is about what I think our 5yo costs us at the moment based on our spending, our 2yo is probably about two thirds of that due mostly to her not eating as much and not getting swimming lessons yet, as well as not being in school or doing sports. I’ve left the holiday line blank because this is hugely variable. Last year we did a trip to the UK and it probably cost us about $3,000 extra between the two of them, next time it will be another couple thousand dollars more because the youngest one will need her own seat rather being on someone’s lap for the flights. So our spending for our eldest is about two thirds of the costs quoted in this article for a 6yo girl, I would assume that apart from a boy maybe eating a bit more the costs should be fairly similar. The main difference compared to our costs seem to be education and transport. Also, it was somewhat shocking to me just how expensive swimming lessons are! This is actually at our local council aquatic centre and is the cheapest in town. We do get to use the pool whenever we want, but that only tends to be once or twice a week at most. At least the lessons will hopefully only be for a few years for each child, although after that we may be forking out for something else instead. The hidden cost of kids The biggest cost is often actually one that doesn’t show up as an expense, the opportunity cost of one parent giving up paid employment entirely for a while or doing part time hours (I’ve used the phrase giving up paid employment here because looking after kids and a house is definitely work!). If we say that you’re giving up a full time paid job that’s at minimum wage of roughly $20 an hour for 40 hours a week, 48 weeks a year, then that’s $38,400 a year ($33,605 after tax and medicare levy) that the family is giving up for however long this goes on for. If you’d otherwise be earning more than that, then the opportunity cost each year is even higher. On top of that there is the hit to your career and future earnings, because those are definitely going to be impacted as well. If you’ve got two kids that are separated by two or three years and you as a family want a parent at home until they go to school, well that’s 7 or 8 years of missing out on that money which works out as around $250k based on a full time minimum wage job. I’m pretty hopeful that my wife would be earning more than minimum wage as well so for us it’s even more than that. On the plus side, she gets to spend more time with the kids although that probably feels like a mixed blessing some of the time! Alternatively if both parents want to keep working then there will likely be childcare costs for the first 4 or 5 years and then before and after school care, as well as missing out on spending time with their kids. Because we haven’t gone down this route I don’t know exactly how much it costs, I do hear plenty of stories about it being $100 a day minimum around where I live and it’s a lot more in capital cities. There are subsidies available for this, but you can pretty easily be spending tens of thousands each year on childcare while they’re young and then once they’re old enough before and after school care. You may be lucky enough to have grandparents or other family nearby that are happy to help out with this if they live nearby, but that won’t apply to everyone and it’s unlikely to reduce the cost entirely. The costs that are yet to come At the moment our kids are still young and fairly inexpensive. Between the two of them they tend to eat roughly what a grown adult eats, but from what I’ve been told that will change fairly dramatically as they get older. They’ll need new clothes more frequently, more shoes, potentially play more sports, go on more school excursions, you get the idea. Education could be another factor. There is a public high school that will be built in the next few years quite close by, and assuming that it’s decent our kids will likely be going there. But if it’s not, then we’ll have to look into private schools which can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands. There will be extra curricular stuff as well. Given my wife and I are both horrible at music it seems unlikely that our kids will be doing extra lessons there, but there are plenty of other areas like sport or extra educational activities that we’d be considering. I know a few parents who have kids who are in elite sports programs (as in regional or state teams) and the costs here can very quickly add up, likewise if extra education is needed or wanted then that’ll be an extra expense. Government and other assistance I know that depending on your circumstances that there can be government assistance in the form of Family Tax Benefit, childcare subsidy and possibly other programs as well. We don’t get any of these which is fine, we don’t need them and they are presumably meant to be for those who do. If you’re not sure if you should be getting any of these then Centrelink does have this payment finder. We did get the one day a week Kinder program for 3yos and 3 days a week Kinder program for 4yos, although these both also came with costs of roughly $1,500 a year so it actually cost us money, again this is fine, just a reminder that it isn’t actually free. Depending on your employer you may also be able to get parental leave for a while, and there is a minimum payment which they have to make so long as you’ve met some requirements. Some employers may also have some continuing support with subsidised childcare and the like. None of this was applicable to our situation but at least some of it will likely be available for others. So what’s the bottom line? For us the biggest actual one off cost so far has been the bigger house and land that we purchased because we wanted our kids to be able to have plenty of space inside and outside the house. That cost about a hundred thousand dollars more than we would have paid if it were just the two of us. All the other stuff like a pram, car seats, cots/beds, mattresses and all the rest of it have been maybe $5,000 total, which is tiny by comparison. The opportunity cost has been bigger than this though. When we had our first child when we were in Hong Kong my wife wasn’t working much anyway as there just weren’t that many jobs she could do and my wage easily supported both of us so she was doing some very casual part time work and so not doing that work afterwards didn’t impact us much. In Australia though she probably would have been earning at least $40,000 a year after tax, so we’ve foregone almost $200,000 on an after tax basis there. Which as I’m sure you can imagine has a pretty big impact on when we will hit FIRE, particularly given we’ve got another few years or her not being in paid employment at all and then likely only working part time after that. So I would guess we’ll be looking at forgone earnings of at least $500,000 by the time all is said and done, and it could quite easily be a lot more. The actual ongoing costs of the kids so far haven’t been too bad. Between the two of them it’s about $8,000 a year at the moment, although we would anticipate that this will go up a fair bit over time as they start eating more and getting into more extra curricular activities. I get that this is spending that isn’t a necessity, but do I really want my kids to miss out on a bunch of fun stuff so that I can retire a year or two earlier? No, no I do not. So far the total costs look something like this. You can see that by far the biggest cost has been the earnings that we’ve missed out on because my wife has been at home looking after the kids and doing the household stuff (yes I do some of it because I think it’s important that we share the jobs and to role model stuff for the kids, but the reality is that she is at home a lot more than I am and does more of it). Buying a bigger house and land is next, and the actual costs of feeding and clothing and all the other one off stuff for the kids is a tiny proportion of the actual cost. All up I’m hopeful that we can keep the ongoing costs to somewhere between $125k and $150k per child from birth through to age 18, although if private school is necessary then that will push up the costs a fair bit. This is less than half of what this article suggests, so although it sounds like a lot of money it’s actually fairly frugal by comparison. To put it in perspective, it’s basically spending about 7 or 8 grand a year on each child. There are plenty of people out there who spend more than that on food alone, let alone the rest of their living expenses. As I said earlier travel costs are on top of this, and this can increase the costs quite a lot! Travel is a huge part of the reason we’re pursuing HIFIRE, and we want to be taking the kids on plenty of holidays while they’re growing up. That’s obviously discretionary spending to a large extent, but we do have close family living overseas who we want to see every couple of years or so, and it’s not fair to expect them to always be the ones travelling. I would guess that we’ll be looking at about $50k per kid in travel costs by the time they turn 18. That’s about 3 grand a year, which doesn’t sound wrong based on the cost of international travel. It may be less than that which would be great, but could also be a fair bit more. So all up for the two kids we’re looking at about a million dollars from birth to age 18. About half of that is the foregone wages from not working, which is by far the biggest impact. The actual cost of the kids is about another 30%, then travel is 10%, another 10% for the bigger house and land. And then right at the end is less than 1% for the one off stuff like prams and baby seats and cots etc. How could we spend less? Obviously there are other things we could be doing instead to keep the cost down. The biggest expense is the wages that aren’t being earned because my wife is looking after the kids and the household stuff. We could have chosen to have her work and instead pay for childcare and after school care etc. If we did though then she wouldn’t get to spend as much time with the kids (which she tells would be welcome some of the time!) and there would be a lot more house work and shopping that would need to be done after work or on weekends for both of us, we’d potentially eat out more often as it’d be more of a hassle cooking meals each night, as well as a bunch of other tradeoffs. So having her stay at home was our preferred method, and thankfully we’re in the financial position where we can afford to do it that way. Other people make different choices, or they’re unfortunately not in a position to make a choice, they need both partners working or if they’re a single parent have to do it this way. We could have also gone with a smaller house and less of a backyard. I shared a bedroom with my brother for part of our childhood and we both managed fine. It’s not ideal, but it’s certainly doable, and we could have saved a lot of money by having a smaller house. Again we chose not to because we wanted a bigger house and a decent sized backyard for them to be able to run around in and we can afford it. We don’t have to travel, although it’d be a bit rough expecting family to travel overseas to see us every year or two and then not reciprocating. Still, that would save a fair amount of money. It’s pretty hard to say how things will work out with the actual costs of raising the kids. I know roughly what we’ve spent so far, but it’s pretty difficult to know what we’ll be spending in future as they get older. They’re likely to be eating a fair bit more food, s they grow they’ll need new clothes and shoes, they’ll presumably be playing sport and doing other extra curricular stuff which will all cost money. $150k per kid from 0 to 18 seems like it’s a lot less than what it costs most people, but then we already live a fair bit more cheaply than most others so maybe it’s about right. At the end of the day we’re happy with the choices that we’ve made so far, but there has certainly been some room to have spent less money than what we have, or to have had more money coming in through both of us being in paid employment. Obviously it has an impact on when we will hit our FIRE number, but I’d rather take a little bit longer to get there than to make different tradeoffs along the way. Have you got kids or are thinking about having them? How do you think it will impact on your FIRE journey? Original post with pretty charts, pictures, tables etc is here.
CMV: Males are genetically predisposed to gambling
Gambling or betting on things seems to be an extremely male-dominated behaviour, especially here in Australia (and we spend the most on gambling per capita worldwide). On a subjective level, almost every one of my male friends and colleagues gambles daily, and social conversations amongst friends often tend to steer towards what's going on in the horses/greyhounds/NRL betting/AFL betting/under-12 disabled Ukrainian volleyball if that's all that's left. Blokes will make bets with each other over things like the coin flip before a game, the exact time of kick off and if a racecaller will say a catchphrase during a race. I believe that part of the reason is that betting advertising has become part of our daily life here. TV ads, radio, print media, social media; literally everywhere you look. They've even managed to seamlessly entwine betting watching sport - every ad break or pre-game show there is a representative from one of the bookmakers showing live odds, tips and gambling strategy. They have TV pop-up ads showing live odds. They even have banner advertising that is cookie-generated so you literally can't escape being marketed to if you're online at all and have looked up a sports result that day. In recent years, gambling ads are now primarily for racing and sports betting rather than, as in the past, for lotteries. On the flip side, none of my female friends or colleagues have any interest in gambling. Quite a few follow sport here but never put any bets on or talk about gambling. Is this because sportsbetting marketing is extremely targeted towards the male demographic? Here in Australia we also spend the most on gambling advertising over all other countries in the world. Our major bookies (Sportsbet, Ladbrokes, Neds, BetEasy) have incredibly male-oriented advertising with TV ads that specifically target men from 18 to 40 - this is obviously their bread and butter market but why? Sports betting advertising often features men standing together, drinking and watching a sporting match. Have a look at some examples of this targeted advertising all showing the single male demographic. Is this due to the fact that sports in general are more popular with men, and this is the reason for the propensity to sports bet? I think men are genetically predisposed to gambling or betting. From an evolutionary point of view, men have been more likely to be competitive with each other in providing for their family/tribe and having the ability to fight for alpha male status. END NOTE: I am not referring to casino gambling. For some reason Casino gambling is a lot more gender equal.
I Can Make You Hot!: The Supermodel Diet (by Kelly Killoren Bensimon) -- Part Two
I hope you all have taken full advantage of the past 48 hours or so to regain some sense of normalcy after our adventures through Part 1 of Kelly Killoren Bensimon's I Can Make You Hot!Without further ado, Part Two: I resume my journey through the truly incomprehensible mind of Kelly Bensimon with a chapter entitled, "Thursday: Tricks of My Trade." Now that we've learned about the basic building blocks of hotness, Kelly promises to share even more hard-earned advice to help us really kick things up a notch. And, as she reassures us:
I'm actually glad for the mistakes I've made because anyone who doesn't make mistakes doesn't learn, and if you don't learn, you're boring!
And if you're boring, you're not HOT! I think I'm starting to get the hang of this! One of Kelly's most important life lessons came at her first horse show, when she made an unbelievably devastating misstep: "I decided to have an egg on a bagel from the food-service van." What kind of unimaginable ripple effects did this poor decision set off? I continue on to learn that Kelly "did all right in the competition." And…that's literally the whole story. Kelly legitimately refers to this as "one of my biggest lessons," as it taught her "to never eat more than I normally would." If life-changing breakthroughs were this easily sparked in my own life, I can't even begin to imagine how self-actualized I would be at this point. At this point in my reading, I have reached the book's first insert, which contains about a dozen glossy color photos from various phases of Kelly's life. Unfortunately, I am far too preoccupied by this picture, in which a carefree, wind-swept Kelly clenches her infant daughter under one arm with all the grace of an NFL wide receiver, to pay the rest of the spread much mind. We continue on as Kelly introduces new dimensions to the basic tips she's previously introduced. For example, you may have had some vague idea that water was important, but Kelly -- always there to help us learn and improve -- digs into the specifics to make sure we're up to date on the HOTtest tricks of the trade:
Staying hydrated is important no matter what you're doing, so I always try to drink eight glasses or about a liter of water a day. Soda isn't water. Coffee isn't water. Water is water. Drink throughout the day; don't try to get it all down at once. You wouldn't drown an orchid, so don't drown yourself.
I am putting in my formal request for a Public Service Announcement in this format, but using the last line of that passage. Also, Kelly clearly does not know how poorly I tend to my houseplants. The next page informs us that, "hot isn't just caliente; it's also spicy and sultry." Kelly promptly launches into yet another list of miscellaneous grocery items, this time focused specifically on "red-hot foods." Except it includes entries like "popcorn with sugar and cinnamon," and "Mike and Ike candy," so I'm not convinced Kelly didn't just lose track of the thread entirely by the time we got a few items in. However, this does seem like an appropriate time to introduce this picture, from the book's second photo insert, which clearly depicts the sleep paralysis demon that has haunted my dreams for the past several nights. We're also treated to this chapter's first "hot button issue" panel, in which Kelly pulls back the curtain on the shadowy, pro-salt cabal trying to control us all with their anti-sodium legislative agenda:
We keep reading about how bad sodium is for our health, but if you eat fresh foods that you prepare yourself, you can determine and control the amount of salt you want to use. I, Kelly Killoren Bensimon, am perfectly capable of deciding how much salt I want to put on my food. I don't need anyone else to salt my food for me. I know that the amount of salt I choose to sprinkle on my food is not going to hurt me.
I read on to find a two-page spread in which Kelly expounds, in rhapsodic praise to rival that of Song of Solomon, upon her ardor for her beloved dehydrator -- "I though I was in love with coffee, but now I think my dehydrator is my truest love." Most of the passage is taken up by an unstructured list of the various things Kelly has attempted to dehydrate ("cucumber," "mangoes," "avocado") but she does manage to squeeze in a few infomercial-ready lines -- "Really, you should buy one; I promise you won't be sorry." Since repetition is the key to reinforcing new concepts, I appreciate that Kelly's next list (of "a few more lean tricks I've learned along the way") repeats a note she originally relayed to us just a few pages ago:
Drink water throughout the day (not all at one sitting).
She's also been thoughtful enough to provide a list of resources for us to use as we soldier on along the perilous journey to HOT. After all, as Kelly says, "I don’t expect you to carry this book wherever you go -- as much as I would love that." As someone who has never before ventured into the wild world of cyberspace, I really appreciated Kelly introducing me to so many fun, useful websites that I might want to check out! In case you, too, just haven't figured out how to navigate this whole Internet thing, I've included a few examples below:
www.amazon.com One-stop shopping for just about any book, periodical, or product you might want to read or buy in order to get HOT.
www.espn.com Everything you need to know to stay up to date on any sport.
www.webmd.com Useful, up-to-date, trustworthy information on medical and health issues.
Can't wait to check these out later! That Amazon one sounds super cool! I'm reminded quickly just how inelegant the transitions in this book are as we move directly from that list into the following:
I suggest that you take a picture of yourself every day…Some days when you're feeling your fattest, you may be surprised to see that you really look great.
Okay, so fat is NOT HOT. Except being comfortable in your body is HOT. And trying to be skinny is NOT HOT. But being skinny is HOT. Thank goodness I still have a few more chapters to go -- I clearly still have a ways to go before I truly understand the logic of HOTness. As it stands, I must admit that I'm a bit baffled. Of course, returning to the previous bit of advice, Kelly doesn't actually have to worry about taking her own pictures like us plebeians -- "Having been photographed so often has provided me with a permanent retrospective catalogue of my life." The chapter closes with these words of wisdom:
The best kind of vanity is being vain about what you put in your body.
Friday's chapter promises to introduce us to the world of "Hot Couture," and I am excited to see what tips and tricks Kelly has managed to accrue over her lifetime in the cutthroat world of modeling . But first, we abruptly transition to a story about Kelly meeting Madonna shortly after both women had given birth. Kelly had "gained a healthy fifty pounds," which I am led to believe, from the context of the anecdote, is NOT HOT. Madonna, on the other hand, was "flat-stomached" and therefore "HOT and cool." Of course, Kelly reassures us hurriedly that she lost all the weight within the following six weeks and was "actually thinner than I'd been prepregnancy." I am at an utter loss as to what the point of this story could possibly be, but -- blessedly -- Kelly is gracious enough to explain:
So what's the lesson here? That Madonna had personal trainers and chefs to whip her back into shape, and I didn't -- and still don’t. I shouldn't have been comparing myself to her in the first place. My advice to you is: don’t compare yourself to anyone else, only to your own personal best.
This is a perfect example of something Kelly does throughout this book, which is to present a completely reasonable piece of advice (don’t compare yourself to others), but couched within such a bizarre and logically disorganized narrative that by the time I reach the ultimate moral of the story, my brain feels like it's been run through a series of meat grinders, and I'm reduced to just nodding along in bemused acceptance. We get a "Kelly's Cardinal Rule" reminding us to "let your body be what your body is and be happy with what you've got." I'm starting to wonder if there is some sort of Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde thing going on behind the scenes here, in which two versions of Kelly are frantically grappling over control of the book's body-positivity dial. I'm literally don't even have to flip the page to see Kelly commiserating with us that "we all have days or occasions when we feel fat" and quipping about her "go-to fat outfit." But also:
Stop praying for what you don't have and be grateful for what you've got.
This amount of cognitive dissonance is truly proof that Kelly contains multitudes. Or has recently acquired some sort of debilitating short-term amnesia. Nevertheless, we continue:
But whatever your shape, show it off. Don’t try to hide it. Hiding is not hot.
Kelly next walks us through figuring out which "season" we are, based on the wisdom extolled in "Color Me Beautiful, the groundbreaking book that was so wildly successful in the early 80s." It's no surprise to me that Kelly, who earlier encouraged us to make our lives easier by using our PDAs, finds this to be an exciting new trend to share. Also, in case you weren't aware, "hair color is also important. You can lighten it or darken it or cover the gray." Lighten it or darken it? The boundaries of my mental universe are truly expanding. Some more fashion tidbits:
Scarves are hippie chic, cool, and always HOT.
If you're narrow, show off how narrow you are with a monochromatic palette.
Ankles are the new cleavage!
Narrow ankles only, I presume. Kelly's selfless, giving nature is highlighted yet again in the following passage, in which she explains:
All these celebrities have stylists who pull the clothes, accessories, and shoes that make them look the way they do. They charge a lot of money for what they do, so why not get some free advice based on my experience.
And what, pray tell, is this coveted advice that Kelly is so lovingly sharing with her readers, free of charge?
Save sweatpants for the gym.
Save PJs for the bedroom.
Dress as if you were the boss.
Remember what Carrie Bradshaw says: "Nothing is casual anymore, even when it says so on the invitation."
Manolo Blahniks are a girl's best friend.
Okay, so far be it from me to complain about the quality of free advice. But. Out of the five pearls of wisdom that make up the "KKBStyle Rules," two of them are rudimentary instructions to wear somewhat-situationally-appropriate clothing, and the other three are the kind of cute sayings that you would find on a piece of poorly bedazzled wall art in the clearance aisle of your local TJMaxx. I'm not impressed. Kelly next tells us how important it is to eat well and exercise, even "when you're premenstrual or having your period." That way, as she continues on, "you'll feel better because your endorphins will be flowing while your body is sloughing off unwanted endometrium and mucus." To be fair, Unwanted Endometrium does sound like a sick band name. Thankfully, the mental image of Kelly's mucus slough is promptly booted from my mind by a careening diatribe about the color red (HOT!):
I even painted my nails red the minute I started writing this book. I wanted to see my short red nails tapping away on my Macbook Pro. Almost every red dress is smokin' HOT, and I've never met a guy who doesn't think a woman in a red dress isn't hot. He's a liar if he denies it.
To repeat, Kelly says she's "never met a guy who doesn’t think a woman in a red dress isn't hot." Poor dear got a bit carried away with her negatives, but I'm sure she'll redeem herself in no time:
When I was sitting in the front row of a Marc Jacobs fashion show a few years ago, I wore a full, red short skirt, a tight red sweater, and red open-toed shoes. One of the editors from The New York Times was sitting across from me, and as we were waiting for the show to begin I kept crossing and recrossing my legs to make him laugh.
Sure, Kelly. To make him laugh. I can only assume she must have written some kind of hilariously clever joke on the gusset of her underwear to have had this editor so tickled pink red.
It was a long wait and after a while some guy I didn't know who was at the other end of the row, leapt towards me and screamed that he was obsessed with my feet. How crazy is it that red open-toed shoes and red toenails could create such a reaction. Red is HOT, even stalker HOT. Yikes!
I'm not clear where "stalker HOT" fits into this whole complex web, but it's reassuring to know that a wise soul like Kelly has such a nuanced appreciation of all of the different ways to be hot. She also gives us some "HOT tips for heating up your image." Like,
Put on a pair of jeans and a white tee shirt.
Put your hair in a ponytail.
Put on a pair of hoop earrings.
Wear your jeans a size smaller instead of a size larger.
For some reason not entirely clear to me at this moment, wearing jeans in your actual size does not seem to be an option. The chapter continues with a reminder to "remember what's on top of your head!"
There's nothing hotter than a HOT head of hair (unless it's a hunky bald guy).
Kelly follows up by offering a list of what she calls "HOT healthy options." Based on the preceding paragraph, you might assume that these tips would have something to do with haircare and hair styling. However, you would be wrong. Instead, we're instructed to:
Enjoy as much watermelon as you like.
Pack a picnic lunch of dehydrated fruit, chamomile iced tea, and mini pizzas made with corn tortillas, cherry tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. Eat your picnic in the park.
Come up with something fun you want to try and do it!
Personally, it seems like a bit of a cop-out to make one of the items on your list of fun things to do "make up your own fun thing to do." But who knows? Maybe cop-outs are HOT! Before my faith in our fearless leader starts to waver, however, I read on through the end of the chapter, and my surety is promptly restored:
Besides my hair and my legs, the one thing people always ask me about the way I look is how I keep my teeth so white. And yes, that's also a matter of genetics. I'm blessed with the whitest teeth on the planet, and, no, I've never had them professionally bleached.
The weekend begins as I turn the page to the penultimate chapter -- "Saturday: Heat Up Your HOT Image with Healthy Options Today." Saturdays, as Kelly tells us, are for fun activities. For example:
If you're in the mall, go to different stores and figure out which looks will make you HOT. Ask other shoppers for advice.
Parks are great for people-watching. Who looks fit and healthy?
I sincerely hope that any and all of my friends would give me a stern talking-to if I informed them that my weekend plans consisted of going to a park and…pointing out people I think aren't healthy enough? Kelly then warns us against overindulging on late-night snacks or alcoholic beverages, lest we wake up Sunday feeling "bloating, sluggish, and with deep regrets." Presumably, Kelly then proceeded to rail a massive line of cocaine and hammer out the following frenetic spiel:
You're not going to get fat from having a few drinks a week. You will get fat if your routine is to drink, eat late, and then lie around watching television the next day, eating and making bad food choices. Going out is fun, but when you sacrifice the next day, it's never fun enough. Don't have regrets; enjoy every day. This is a life plan, and yesterday isn't coming back ever again.
The chapter comes to a close with a reminder to "wrap up every day with a great big bow and be ready for your next adventure. But before we close out our week of HOT, we're provided with what I anticipate will be an incredibly useful reference material for us all, the "KKBfit HOT Quiz." If you'd like to take the quiz yourself, you can find it here. However, I'm not entirely sure I would classify it as a "quiz," since it seems to be mostly a set of questions followed by Kelly's feedback on various possible responses. For example:
How Kelly Green are you?
I had a Kelly Green Juice -- Wasn't it yummy? I had a smoothie from the health food store with a splash of spinach -- Great choice! I had kale chips, spinach, and quinoa for dinner last night -- I bet you woke up feeling great this morning! Other?
I presume that the lack of response after the "Other?" choice is supposed to represent Kelly staring at me in deranged disappointment for a few painfully protracted seconds. Some questions, like the one above, don't seem to have any wrong answers at all. In contrast, other questions have clear wrong answers, which Kelly wastes no time in making apparent:
Are you getting enough protein? How many days did you eat chicken, fish, or meat for at least one meal?
I had a grilled chicken salad for dinner on three different days -- That's good, but I wish you'd get a little more adventurous in your choices.
How KKBfit are you?
Haven't had a meal since last night, but I'm going to skip breakfast and go on a run. I won't eat anything until lunch. -- Sorry, but starving your body is not KKBfit.
Are you drinking enough?
I drink when I'm exercising but that's about it -- Not good enough! Try harder next week.
The quiz ends, leaving me entirely unsure of whether or not I've actually made any forward progress towards my HOTness goals, but the next page does promise help for those who "still need more inspiration." Here, it seems that Kelly has compiled a loose assortment of quotes, most of which (I have a sneaking suspicion) were found by searching the keyword "hot" on BrainyQuote.com. Also, this masterpiece from Kelly's ex-husband, noted fashion photographer Gilles Bensimon:
HOT-- It is not about the look, It is not only about the charm, It is the perfect combination: Sweet and tough, Sexy and reserved, Fragile and powerful, And definitely smart. -- Gilles Bensimon
Move over, Rupi Kaur! I hope with every fiber of my being that Gilles Bensimon has published his collected poetry in some kind of volume that I could purchase, read, and have, I'm sure, nothing but positive things to say about. After about a dozen similar quotations, Kelly continues:
Now, as you get ready for Sunday Funday, take a few minutes to think about how you define HOT. Has your definition changed or evolved since you started reading this book? If so, I'm doing my job.
In all honesty, my definition of HOT has definitely been…affected by this experience. So we'll call that a win! Kelly tells us a few stories about times when her friends and family members have come to her for guidance on how to be hot. She explains:
I'm not the food police, but I've made myself the Sven-arbiter (as opposed to Svengali) of what's HOT and what's not.
Case in point:
It's just not hot to belong to the clean plate club.
The chapter closes with a list titled "Why Don't You," which I believe is supposed to be a list of fun activities we can try during a Sunday Funday. Or possibly a list of terrible life hacks for stoned college freshmen:
Use an electric teapot as a clothing steamer.
Make grilled cheese sandwiches or press wraps using a hot clothes iron.
There are very few things sadder to me that imagining someone taking Kelly up on this last bit of advice as a fun way to liven up what must be the most preternaturally boring existence possible. If your idea of fun is white bread and Kraft Singles getting slowly warmed over on your clothing iron, I can only imagine the fit of hysterics that you'd be thrown into by a passable Minions meme. And that brings us to the end of the week. But not -- lucky you! -- to the end of this book. Au contraire -- the remaining 100 pages or so of I Can Make You Hot! feature dozens of unique recipes from the culinary mind of none other than the indomitable Kelly Bensimon herself. In her intro, however, she makes it clear that
No one on earth would ever call me a chef.
Of course not, Kelly -- they'd call you a cook. Otherwise, it's creepy. This portion of the book begins, reasonably enough, with Breakfasts. These include such thoughtfully named delicacies as "My Favorite Cereal" and "My Favorite Pancakes." The recipe for the latter begins with the following introduction:
I'm not the greatest pancake maker, and I probably never will be. But what I am very good at is thinking of unusual things and doing them.
Frankly, I can't argue with that. As she continues:
When in pancake doubt, have fun, add fruit, and see if pancakes can be a vehicle for creating great memories for your family.
Next time I'm in pancake doubt, I'll know just what to do! We move right along into the Soups and Salads section, and are promptly introduced to Kelly's "Jimmy Achoo's Chicken Soup." Which is apparently a play on Jimmy Choo and also described by Kelly as "filled with veggie exploitation," which sounds terrifying. Of the next recipe, "Rich and Skinny Cauliflower Soup with Kale Chips," Kelly reflects:
I adapted this recipe from one I found on the Internet. I wish I could tell you exactly where, but I can't.
The recipe calls for kale chips, which Kelly goes out of her way to inform us can be purchased "at health food stores and many well-stocked supermarkets." We also get a few general "HOT salad tips" that can be applied to many of the recipes throughout this book, such as
There are so many different types of lettuces available today! Try different ones to see which you like best
When you order a salad in a restaurant, ask for the dressing on the side. You're a grown-up and you should get to decide how much you want to use.
With that under our belts, the grown-ups among us move on to "Meat, Chicken, and Fish." In her recipe for "Grilled Rib Eye with Herbes de Provence", Kelly tells us about meeting the famous chef who inspired this dish:
When I met Eric, who was still in his thirties at the time, he still had dark hair. I was caught off guard because I thought all chefs were older, had gray hair, and smelled like garlic.
So perhaps Bethenny should have taken it as a compliment? Kelly continues,
He's since invited me many times to go into his kitchen and cook with him, but my fear of losing a finger by being overzealous has prohibited me from accepting.
It's unclear to me exactly what this means or why Kelly would even be particularly worried about this possibility. Does she have habit of excitedly snatching vegetables out from other people's knives? Does Eric have a reputation for slicing anyone who dares to get in his way? Before I make any headway with this particular mystery, we're introduced to the next recipe, the "Pencil-Thin Skirt Steak." As we learn, "Everyone looks slim in a pencil skirt, so it's only fitting that skirt steak is one of the leanest cuts of beef you can buy." We get a recipe for "Sultry Roast Chicken" in which Kelly shares with us that "in fact, chicken without ginger doesn't taste like chicken to me anymore." This would be more believable if we weren't, a mere two pages later, introduced to a notably ginger-free recipe for "Second-Chance Chicken." As Kelly explains,
I hate the idea of leftovers. To me, eating leftovers means you're too lazy to start over, and I've never wanted my girls to think that we weren't starting fresh.
In the introduction to the recipe for "Bad Girl Wings," Kelly gives us yet another poignant insight into her life as a mother:
These chicken wings are Sea's favorite. I'm sure she loves them because she knows I love wings (she's a cutie like that).
It would obviously be ludicrous to assume that Sea actually enjoys chicken wings authentically. Much more likely that she just loves them because Kelly does. HOT! In a segment labeled "hasta la vista taco bell," Kelly recounts a traumatic experience in which she "discovered that my favorite food choices [at Taco Bell] added up to 580 calories." To me, this seems like a perfectly reasonable amount of calories for one daily meal out of three, but according to Kelly, I am embarrassingly off the mark. Rather, she sighs, "I guess that means my Taco Bell days are over -- unless I decide to chance [sic] Sunday Funday into Fatso Food Day." Not HOT. Kelly tells us about the creative process behind the development of the next recipe, "Spicy Sultry Shrimp and Mango Stir-Fry" (which, for the record, is the second recipe to have the word "sultry" in its title).
This was one of the first dishes I made when I started to cook -- as a science experiment. My "method" was to think of foods I loved and which ones I thought would go well together.
Fascinating! Think of ingredients you like and combine them into a dish that you will then likely also like! The next recipe, for "Kelly's Kalamari," features the following introduction:
I still love fried calamari, but it doesn't love me. Whenever I eat it, it goes right to my stomach and makes a little pooch -- eww!
As a reminder, this is the same Kelly Bensimon who told us that loving our bodies is HOT and dieting is die + t. But also, eww! We trek along into the next portion of the recipe book, succinctly titled "Pizza, Pasta, Potatoes, Grains, Vegetables, and Sides." We get a recipe for "Pizzzzzzzza!," which instructs the reader to obtain pizza dough, pizza sauce, mozzerella cheese, salt and pepper. Spread out the dough, add sauce and cheese, and cook! This is yet another time I'm glad Kelly told us early on in this book to take detailed notes -- these kinds of nuanced culinary creations can only come from the mind of a true master. The same kind of true master who would, as we soon learn, conceive of this particular travesty -- "Pink Pizza." Imagine with me, for a moment, that a dear friend invites you over to their house for dinner. I'm making pizza! they implore you. Come over -- we'll hang out, have a couple beers, catch up on old times! Excited for a chance to relive the glory days, you eagerly accept, only to be met -- upon your arrival -- with this abomination.I thought you said we were having pizza? you sputter nervously. This is pizza, your friend intones, as their eyes slowly fade to black and their hands reach out to wrap themselves around your throat. Kelly goes on to share a recipe for an "Asian-flavored noodle dish" that she has christened (and it truly pains me to type this), "Me Love You Springtime Noodles." Somewhere, the last ember of hope for humanity quietly fizzles out. The following recipe, for "Pasta with Oddkavodka Sauce" begins with a warning:
When you make this (especially for children) just be sure you cook off the alcohol so that you aren't serving vodka to minors or have to assign a designated driver for your guests.
This seems like reasonable and conscientious advice. Until I read on and learn that the recipe calls for 1/8 cup vodka, and makes four servings. If your guests need a designated driver after consuming a half-tablespoon of vodka each, I would strongly encourage them to seek medical advice forthwith. I am reminded once again how different Kelly's and my worlds are with the following exclamation:
Try using quinoa in this recipe instead of the rice -- I call that having your cake and eating it too!
Oh, to live a life in which your most selfish indulgence was quinoa. I suppose this should have prepared me for a few pages later, when Kelly remarks:
Both hummus and guacamole make great toppings for steak or fish. They're my version of béarnaise sauce.
I love hummus. Hummus is great. But there is no possible existing parallel universe in which hummus and béarnaise sauce are interchangeable. One of the final recipes in this section is cryptically titled "Have an Impromptu Pepper Party" and instructs the reader to scoop out the insides of a bell pepper and stuff it with "whatever ingredients suit your fancy." Again, I feel like this fails to meet the definition of an actual recipe, per se, but it is supposedly "quick, fun, and satisfying." We're nearing the book's end (for real this time) with a section on "Breads and Desserts." This includes an inspirational passage in which Kelly shares a personal anecdote:
On Season 4 of the Real Housewives of New York City, I made a mixed fruit pie for my kids with what was left over in the fruit bowl…Don't be afraid to try new things, make mistakes, and have fun doing it.
I can only hope to someday be brave enough and fearless enough to make a mixed fruit pie. Blessedly, the final section , titled "Beverages", looks like it might have exactly what I need in the aftermath of finishing this book. The "GIN-Ginger Beertail," for example, which "was originally made with gin, but I don't like serving gin drinks because I think it makes people mean." We also get a recipe for something called "Babylove," which (thankfully) seems unrelated to another of my favorite reality TV cesspools. It only seems appropriate to share the final recipe of I Can Make You Hot! with all of you. I will definitely be downing approximately seven of these tonight, and I hope some of you will be joining me in spirit. Cheers:
Gummi Bear Martini If you don't have a paper umbrella handy, Gummi Bears are a great way to put more fun in your drink. Makes 1 Drink 2 parts orange, grape, or other-flavored vodka 1 part Triple Sec 1 part white grape juice Splash of cranberry juice Gummi Bears, as many as you like Combine the vodka, Triple Sec, grape juice, and cranberry juice in a tall glass. Add ice and fill the glass with Gummi Bears.
ETA: I am so disappointed in myself for forgetting to include that Kelly has a ceviche recipe that instructs you to marinate raw fish in lemon juice for exactly two minutes before serving. In the interest of food safety, perhaps it was for the best that this nugget momentarily slipped my mind, but sharing this information with you all is the burden I have been cursed to bear. 🙏🏼
Hi KinFam! I just wanted to make a general post about one of the most amazing apps out there. I have been having so much fun on it and earning some decent KIN. This was taken from the play store: PeerBet is a fun and free peer-to-peer social betting game that lets you place bets against other players on the latest sports, political and entertainment events.Unlike most other sports betting apps, PeerBet is completely risk-free, without ever requiring a credit card. It is therefore a perfect game for people who love to guess the outcome of sports and current affairs, but don't want the associated risk that comes with betting. I have been actively smashing out as many bets about professional wrestling as I can and also the NRL (National Rugby League) in Australia. There is a strong community of soccer fans on there with plenty of markets to bet into. I can't reccomend the app enough and it's been a fantastic hobby of mine, especially during isolation. Download the app and come for a punt! For those who don't mind Ref links: https://peerbet.io/invite/ZN4hkCEjGz76Dq747 And for those who would rather not use them: Androidhttps://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=io.peerbet.peerbet IOShttps://apps.apple.com/au/app/peerbet/id1441354291 **I am not a member of the peerbet team, just an enthusiastic user**
A very English problem, a very real conspiracy and a plea for help
I thought I’d bring to your attention the current plight of Wigan Athletic, an English football (soccer) team who play in the Championship (1 league below the Premier League). A brief history below but please bear with me until we get to the recent news featuring the actual conspiracy to defraud by Dr. Choi Chiu Fai (Stanley). Wigan Athletic were elected to the football league in 1978 and after many years gained promotion to the Premier League in 2005 until they were relegated in 2013.Along the way Wigan got to the League Cup Final in 2005 losing to Manchester United and won the FA Cup (the holy grail of English football) by beating Manchester City in 2013. The success of Wigan Athletic is mainly down to a local businessman, Dave Whelan. Whelan took control of the club in 1995. It was Whelan’s passion, financial input and backing of various managers that saw Wigan elevated from a lower division club to a club who competed from 2005–2013 in the Premier alongside the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool Manchester United, Manchester City etc... Wigan also qualified for the Europa Cup (old UEFA cup) for 2014-2014. Whelan sold the club to the Dr. Choi Chiu Fai owned International Entertainment Corporation (IEC ) in 2018 and it was announced that Former Everton boss Joe Royle and his son Darren will now join the board. Darren was to replace David Sharpe (Whelan’s Grandson) as chairman, while Joe was to become a director. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/41636508 IEC are a Hong Kong-based, Cayman Islands-registered company which owns a hotel and casino in the Philippines. It is believed that Darren Royle introduced the Whelan family to IEC and has connections to KB88 a betting company based in the Philippines who are Wigan's shirt sponsors, the relevance of this will become apparent later. When Whelan sold the club to IEC, the club was in a very good position financially and at the point of sale was debt free. The conspiracy: As with all UK football the impact of the Covid outbreak saw Wigan and all other top-tier teams without revenue from gates and matchday purchases, however the league was resumed on the 20th June without fans and Wigan just above the relegation zone. Despite their lowly league position Wigan restarted their season with a 2-0 win over Huddersfield. They then went on to beat Blackburn 2-0 (27th June) and Stoke City 3-0 (30th June). These results gave Wigan Athletic a boost up the table and left them eight points clear of the relegation zone with six matches left to play. In the month of June, Wigan Athletic were sold again to Next Leader Fund LP. Their major shareholder is Dr. Choi Chiu Fai the same man who is the majority shareholder and chairman of IEC who sold the club to NLF. Initially NLF was majority owned by the same majority owner of IEC, Dr Choi Chiu Fai, with Au Yeung as a minority shareholder until Au Yeung was announced as the owner of more than 75%. In doing so NFL agreed a loan from IEC for the amount of 24.36 million pound sterling. The loan attracted an interest rate of 8% rising to 20% if the loan wasn’t repaid within a year or if the club defaulted on payments. The English Football League applies a deduction of 12 points for any club going in to administration (this is important). This will be applied at the end of the current season if Wigan Athletic finish above the relegation zone or in the next season if Wigan Athletic get relegated. Currently a 12 points deduction puts Wigan Athletic firmly at the bottom of the league and makes them favourites to be relegated After the takeover had been agreed and ratified by the English Football League (EFL) the club was put in to administration, this was 7 days after the deal was done. The reasons for the club being put in to administration was stated as Covid, Brexit and loss-making finances of the Championship. Wigan Athletic fans rallied around to investigate Choi and Yeung to see what they could dig up and one Wigan fan confronted EFL chairman Rick Parry and secretly filmed him saying that administration was linked with a bet in Philippines on Wigan being relegated. A single bet may be stretching it a bit but playing the exchanges knowing that at least one club is guaranteed to go down is not. As unbelievable as it sounds it does look like the plan was to cash in on Wigan Athletic being relegated but after we restarted the season with 3 straight wins lifting Wigan right out of the relegation zone the only option open to them was to put the club in to administration guaranteeing that Wigan would have 12 points (equal to 4 wins) deducted. We know that Dr. Choi Chiu Fai (Stanley) is a high stakes poker play and a major gambler and that he has been involved in quite a few ‘dodgy dealings’ in the past. He also appears in the Panama Papers ( https://offshoreleaks.icij.org/nodes/12163042 ) but so far our efforts to track down Au Yeung haven’t been that successful. It should also be noted that for someone to own a football club in England they need to pass a ‘fit and proper' test administered by the EFL. I cannot see a reason that even a cursory glance at the takeover would not have raised multiple red flags. We now have the support from our local MP and the leader of the opposition but I cannot express in words how much this club means to the community, a true family club left devastated by Dr Choi Chiu Fai and Au Yeung. I reach out to the autists, fellow conspiracy people and justice seekers to help us fight this and dig up all you can find. We are all working hard to raise funds to try and get the club through to the end of the season but all I'm asking for is any information you may have on the main protagonists or associates (unless of course you want to donate). We hope that we can survive as a club and plan to use all the relevant evidence we can gather to help us to to appeal the 12 points deduction. I realise that there is a large contingent from across the pond and we play football with different shaped balls but any help at all will be really appreciated. I'd also appreciate any suggestions on how we could get the information of our current plight to more people. Links: Rick Parry video : https://twitter.com/i/status/1278729830645850113 Request for investigation : https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/53309675 Fan lettesummary : https://twitter.com/JayWhittle6/status/1278616643724328960/photo/1 Crowdfunder : https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/official-wigan-athletic-football-club-fundraiser TLDR: Help wanted in investigating a dodgy loan\betting scam relating to an English football club involving Hong Kong businessmen(?) and a very suspect review of the owner by the English Football League. PN: I had to create a new account as I can't login with my old one (not that I ever had anything worth posting).
AFL asks Sportsbet to curb ad controversy as season restart looms
The AFL has demanded assurances from one its biggest sponsors that they will curtail some of their controversial advertising ahead of the code’s return to the field next week. Sources have confirmed with The Australian that the AFL wrote to wagering market leader Sportsbet this week about their sponsorship deal, worth about $8m annually and one the betting giant is set to assume after its recent merger with BetEasy. Sportsbet’s irreverent advertising and branding campaigns have long attracted the attention of punters, making it an essential part of the company’s rise to becoming entrenched as the biggest digital or corporate bookmaker in Australia. But some of the advertisements, including those featuring former NRL Todd Carney and a parody of Prince Harry, have also attracted criticism and controversy in the wider community. The AFL is understood to have raised concerns about these types of advertisements being featured during coverage of the sport or in digital form connected to AFL betting offerings or any other advertising. Sportsbet executives would not comment but are understood to have been extremely keen to not fall out of favour quickly with the AFL, and scrambled to put together a presentation for AFL executives to try to allay their fears of being associated with a sometimes controversial brand. There are potential doubts about the long-term future of the partnership, however. In a statement, an AFL spokesman said: “We have strong relationships with all our corporate partners and work closely with them to ensure that we are aligned and we look forward to working with Sportsbet as they move to transition the BetEasy brand.” The AFL had renewed its wagering partner deal with BetEasy at the beginning of this year after first striking a surprise five-season deal with the then upstart brand worth more than $40m in 2015. Then and earlier this year, BetEasy beat out its then rival Sportsbet for what is considered one of the most important sports betting deals in the country. While both wagering companies were close in dollar terms, it is understood the AFL was more comfortable with BetEasy’s more conservative advertising campaigns and having its branding associated with the sport. The BetEasy brand is now being subsumed by Sportsbet after each brand’s global parent companies, The Stars Group and Flutter Entertainment, finalised a $US12bn merger in early May. While the AFL had inserted some break provisions in its contract with BetEasy in case of a change of ownership, the league has realised it is unlikely to be able to strike a deal with any rival brands with the season restart around the corner and a tough economic climate in general for the business sector. Therefore next Thursday night’s clash between Collingwood and Richmond will prominently feature Sportsbet footage on stadium signage and it is likely the wagering giant will also buy significant advertising slots for television coverage. The AFL is also battling doubts over another big sponsorship deal it has with airline Virgin Australia, which has been in the hands of administrators Deloitte since April after entering voluntary administration because most travel has being shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Virgin’s deal with the AFL is worth up to $10m annually and involves it usually flying players, umpires, coaches and officials around the country to matches. Sportsbet is the market leader in the $4bn Australian online betting industry with a share of about 25 per cent, while BetEasy has about 14 per cent. Globally, Australia accounts for about 15 per cent of the merged Flutter-Stars business. The pair had combined earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $300m in Australia last year. https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/afl-asks-sportsbet-to-curb-ad-controversy-as-season-restart-looms/news-story/d7b10911600adeaf133de4038d9fff64
Gambling or betting on things seems to be an extremely male-dominated behaviour, especially here in Australia (and we spend the most on gambling per capita worldwide). From a subjective level, almost every one of my male friends and colleagues gambles daily, and social conversations amongst friends often tend to steer towards what's going on in the horses/greyhounds/NRL betting/AFL betting/under-12 disabled Ukrainian volleyball if that's all that's left. Blokes will make bets with each other over things like the coin flip before a game, the exact time of kick off and if a racecaller will say a catchphrase during a race. I believe that part of the reason is that betting advertising has become part of our daily life here. TV ads, radio, print media, social media; literally everywhere you look. They've even managed to seamlessly entwine betting watching sport - every ad break or pre-game show there is a representative from one of the bookmakers showing live odds, tips and gambling strategy. They have TV pop-up ads showing live odds. They even have banner advertising that is cookie-generated so you literally can't escape being marketed to if you're online at all and have looked up a sports result that day. In recent years, gambling ads are now primarily for racing and sports betting rather than, as in the past, for lotteries. On the flip side, none of my female friends or colleagues have any interest in gambling. Quite a few follow sport here but never put any bets on or talk about gambling. Is this because sportsbetting marketing is extremely targeted towards the male demographic? Here in Australia we also spend the most on gambling advertising over all other countries in the world. Our major bookies (Sportsbet, Ladbrokes, Neds, BetEasy) have incredibly male-oriented advertising with TV ads that specifically target men from 18 to 40 - this is obviously their bread and butter market but why? Sports betting advertising often features men standing together, drinking and watching a sporting match. Have a look at some examples of this targeted advertising all showing the single male demographic. Is this due to the fact that sports in general are more popular with men, and this is the reason for the propensity to sports bet? What's going on here? Are men just genetically predisposed to being competitive? END NOTE: I am not referring to casino gambling. For some reason Casino gambling is a lot more gender equal.
[OC] An insight in the world of football kits - 454 teams that play in the most unusual colors
I would like to start with a humble warning, that this will be a longer than "usual" post. Hopefully, it will compensate with the amount of information you might deem as interesting. :) After finishing my first journey into the world of colors in football, by counting which teams play in red & black color combination, I decided to pursue my next curiosity: How many football teams in the world play in unusual colors? By this, I was thinking of teams which have a “main” color that is rarely used (grey, brown, purple, pink, etc.) or use an uncommon color combination. Because of this coronavirus madness that is going on, I was able to spend more hours for this project than I planned, so in the end I was able to go into almost every single league in the world. I checked teams from over 400 divisions, of different tiers, from all continents. Although it’s not an official list, I tried to include as many clubs as possible on it. Now, you're probably asking yourself "How do you measure how rare or how common is in football a color / combination of colors?" An exact answer is impossible to give, so I started the study using my own experience as a football supporter, finally finding an useful purpose for the thousands of hours spent on watching football games. Therefore, I used a subjective point of view and excluded the color combinations that I, personally, considered to be the most common in football teams, namely:
One-color kits: white, black, red, blue, yellow, green
Most 2-color combinations that contain white or black: white-blue, white-red, black-yellow, black-green, etc.
Other combinations: red-blue, red-yellow, blue-yellow, yellow-green.
An exception was the color orange, where I excluded only the orange+black combination, which is much more widespread than all other combinations that include orange.
The selection criteria for the teams were as follows:
The team should have their main kit in colors which are different than the ones enumerated above;
The team must have played or been associated with the colors for several seasons;
The team should be currently active (dissolved clubs were not included).
But enough introduction, let’s jump straight into the list of the most uncommon kit colors in the world of football:
CATEGORY I - Teams with 1 main color
1.Purple(includes purple+white or purple+black) - [73 clubs] Notable teams: Fiorentina, Anderlecht, Toulouse, Austria Vienna, Real Valladolid. Other teams (by conference): UEFA (photo gallery here) - CE Carroi (Andorra), SV Austria Salzburg, Austria Klagenfurt (Austria), K Beerschot VA (Belgium), Etar Veliko Tarnovo (Bulgaria), NK Dubrava (Croatia), Daventry Town FC (England), Istres (France), VfL Osnabrück, Erzgebirge Aue (Germany), Ujpest, Békéscsaba 1912, Kecskemet TE (Hungary), ACD Legnano, AS Ostia Mare, Gioiese, Casoria Calcio 1979 (Italy), St. Andrews FC (Malta), FC Argeș, ASU Politehnica Timișoara, ACS Poli Timișoara (Romania), FK Graficar (Serbia), KFC Komarno (Slovakia), NK Maribor (Slovenia), Real Jaen, Alameda de Osuna EF, CD Becerril, Atletico Guadalajara, CD Guadalajara, CD Liendo, CD Santurtzi, CD Palencia, La Baneza (Spain) (Spain), Afjet Afyonspor, Hacettepe, Orduspor (Turkey). Rest of the World (photo gallery here):
COMNEBOL - Club Villa Dalmine, Sacachispas FC, Club Atlético Quiroga (Argentina), Deportes Concepcion, San Antonio Unido (Chile) Defensor Sporting, CA Fenix (Uruguay), Metropolitanos FC (Venezuela).
CONCACAF - Orlando City, Louisville City FC, Oakland County FC (USA), Pacific FC (Canada), CD Chalatenango (El Salvador).
CAF - Mountain of Fire and Miracles FC (Nigeria), Mbeya City FC (Tanzania), AS Denguele Foot (Ivory Coast), Fovu Baham FC (Cameroon), AS Sonabel (Burkina Faso).
AFC - FC Anyang (South Korea), Kyoto Sanga, Sanfrecce Hiroshima, Fujieda MYFC (Japan), Heilongjiang Lava Spring (China), Hanoi FC (Vietnam), Nagaworld FC (Cambodia), Persita Tangerang, Persik Kediri, PSGC Ciamin (Indonesia), Al-Ain (UAE), De Abasin Sape (Afghanistan), Perth Glory (Australia).
OFC - AS Manu-Ura (Tahiti).
2.Burgundy (includes burgundy+white, or similar shades: maroon, claret, dark red, wine red) - [74 clubs] Notable teams: AC Torino, Metz, Sparta Prague, CFR Cluj. Other teams (by conference): UEFA (photo gallery here) - FK Sarajevo (Bosnia), Chelmsford City, FC Northampton Town (England), JJK Jyväskylä (Finland), Dynamo Berlin (Germany), AEL Larissa (Greece), UM Selfoss (Iceland), Galway United (Ireland), Reggina, Cittadella, Salernitana, Trapani, Livorno, US Pontedera, Arezzo, Reggio Audace FC, Fano, US Capistrello, AC Morrone, AC Locri, ASD Bovalinese, Borgosesia Calcio, Milano City FC, Union Clodiense Chioggia, USD Breno, Olympia Agnonese, ASD Travestere Calcio, AC Nardo, ASD Citta di Acireale (Italy), FC Džiugas Telšiai (Lithuania), Nardo FK (Norway), CD Fatima, Clube Oriental de Lisboa (Portugal), Rapid Bucharest, Viitorul Ianca (Romania), AC Libertas (San Marino), Heart of Midlothian FC, Stenhousemuir FC (Scotland), NK Triglav Kranj (Slovenia), Independiente de Vallecas, CD Cenicero (Spain), Hatayspor, İnegölspor, Bandirmaspor, Elazigspor (Turkey), Cardiff Metropolitan University FC (Wales). Rest of the World (photo gallery here):
COMNEBOL - Lanús (Argentina), Jacuipense, Ferroviaria, S.E.R. Caxias do Sul (Brasil), Deportivo Liberacion (Paraguay), Club Atletico Torino (Peru), Carabobo FC (Venezuela)
CONCACAF - Sacramento Republic FC (USA), Valour FC (Canada), Deportivo Saprissa (Costa Rica)
CAF - Manzini Wanderers FC (Eswatini), Generation Foot (Senegal), Moroka Swallows FC (South Africa)
AFC - Vissel Kobe, FC Ryukyu (Japan), Al Wahda (UAE), Al Markhiya (Qatar), Shahr Khodro FC (Iran), Al Nasr SC (Kuwait), PSM Makassar (Indonesia), Nejmeh SC (Lebanon)
OFC - Matavera FC (Cook Islands), FC Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands).
UEFA - HNK Sibenik (Croatia), Blackpool (England) SV TEC (Netherlands), Hapoel Rishon LeZion (Israel), Pistoiese (Italy), FK Banga Gargzdai (Lithuania), Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza, Zagłębie Lubin (Poland), CD Burgos Promesas (Spain), AFC Eskiltuna (Sweden), Alanyaspor, Adanaspor (Turkey), FC Mariupol (Ukraine).
COMNEBOL - Nova Iguaçu FC (Brazil), Cobresal, Cobreloa (Chile) Envigado FC (Colombia), Universidad César Vallejo (Peru).
CONCACAF - Houston Dynamo, Rio Grande Valley Football Club Toros (USA), Deportivo Achuapa (Guatemala), Cibao FC (Dominican Republic), Guayama FC (Puerto Rico)
CAF - RS Berkane (Morocco), FC Nouadhibou (Mauritania), Polokwane City FC (South Africa), Akwa United (Nigeria), Dire Dawa Kenema (Ethiopia), Salitas FC (Burkina Faso), Côte d'Or FC (Seychelles), Fosa Juniors FC (Madagascar)
AFC - Jeju United FC (South Korea). Shimizu S-Pulse, Omiya Ardija (Japan), Ratchaburi, Sukhothai FC, Nakhon Ratchasima, Sisaket FC, Kasetsart FC, Udon Thani FC (Thailand), FELDA United (Malaysia), SHB Đà Nẵng (Vietnam), Albirex FC Singapore, Hougang United FC (Singapore), Borneo FC (Indonesia), Sporting Clube de Goa, FC Goa, NEROCA FC (India), Saipa FC (Iran), Sanat Mes Kerman (Iran), Brothers Union FC (Bangladesh), Ajman Club (UAE), UMM Salal (Qatar), Al-Hala SC (Bahrain).
UEFA - CS Sedan Ardennes, US Lusitanos Saint Maur (France), Alba Adriatica, Union Feltre (Italy), Speranța Drochia (Moldova), SP Cailungo (San Marino), Amio SD, Laracha CF, Apurtuarte Club, CF Jacetano (Spain), Amed SK, Karşıyaka S.K., Diyarbakirspor (Turkey)
COMNEBOL - Club Agropecuario, Sportivo Atlético Club Las Parejas (Argentina), Portuguesa RJ, Pato Branco EC (Brazil), Boston River (Uruguay)
CONCACAF - AD Carmelita, AD Guanacasteca (Costa RIca), SV Robinhood (Suriname)
CAF - Stade Tunisien (Tunisia), MC Alger, JSM Bejaia (Algeria), Africa Sports d'Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Teichman City FC (Ghana), Canon Yaounde (Cameroon), Defense Force SC (Ethiopia), AS Pikine (Senegal), Masters Security FC (Malawi).
AFC - Lokomotiv Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Adamstown Rosebud FC (Australia).
UEFA - OFC Sliven 2000 (Bulgaria), Braintree Town FC, Mansfield Town FC (England), Lions Gibraltar FC, ASD Czarlins Muzane (Italy), Aalesunds FK (Norway), AE Roses (Spain)
COMNEBOL - Duque de Caxias (Brazil), Academia Puerto Cabello (Venezuela)
CONCACAF - FC Cincinnati (USA), Lobos UPNFM (Honduras)
CAF - Real Kings FC (South Africa), Sunshine Stars (Nigeria)
AFC - Albirex Niigata (Japan), Queensland Lions FC, Riverside Olympic (Australia), Wellington United (New Zealand), Thai Port FC (Thailand), Al Fayha (Saudi Arabia), Al Karamah SC (Syria), Homenetmen Beirut (Lebanon)
UEFA - Enosis Neon Paralimni FC (Cyprus), Scunthorpe United, Weymouth FC (England), Argja Bóltfelag (Feroe), Glacis United (Gibraltar), Cobh Ramblers FC, Drogheda United (Ireland), USD Vipo Trento, FC Rieti (Italy), Gzira United (Malta), Veles Moscow (Russia), Keith FC (Scotland), Pontevedra CF (Spain), AC Bellinzona (Switzerland), Colwyn Bay FC (Wales)
2.Blue + Yellow + White [1 club] -CA Bella Vista (Uruguay) 3.Blue + Yellow + Black [1 club] -Real Sport Clube (Portugal) 4.Blue + Green + White [1 club] -St. Louis FC (USA) 5.Blue + Orange + White [2 clubs]
2.Red + Yellow + Blue + White [1 club] -ASDC Verbania (Italy) 3.Red + Yellow + Blue + Black [1 club] -Coras de Nayarit (Mexico) Here they are. 454 teams from across the entire the world, from Feroe Island to Papua New Guinea or the 4th Italian league. This should be about it. However, if there are by any chance teams that I might have missed, please feel free to leave a comment and I will add them on the list. Thank you for reading and hope you enjoyed it!
SportsBetting.com.au Sportsbook Review. SportsBetting, as the name suggests, is an Australian focused bookmaker catering for the paradise down under, which offers a range of sport betting services on its platform. The bookmaker, first established in 1998, is fully licensed and regulated by the Northern Territories Government of Australia, so Bet on horse racing, AFL, rugby and other events with Sportsbet. Join Australia's Favourite Online Betting and Entertainment Website. Sportsbetting.com.au should be good at providing sports betting markets, as the name would suggest. However, we are a little disappointed. They have a good range of markets available when those markets are relevant, but a lack of futures betting is a worry. Form analyst Ben Beare gives his daily bets for Sportsbetting.com.au. Follow him on Twitter. Odds are correct on Sportsbetting.com.au at the time of publishing. GRAFTON R4 #5 MURUNGAL $3.40 #7 ZARU $16.20 Murungal ran 3rd behind the smart Peltzer three starts ago at Kembla Grange. He was then a bit weak late at Kensington but looks to have returned… sportsbetting.com.au pty ltd is licensed and regulated by NT Government of Australia. For South Australian residents, Sportsbetting’s gambling operations are governed by the South Australian Gambling Codes of Practice. Think! About your choices. Call your state based gambling help services on 1800 858 858.
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