Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene and advises you to never take his betting advice. He likes old guitars and old music, never eats press box hot dogs, and can be heard on 1500ESPN at 2:05 p.m. weekdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon.
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Had a column idea. Kept hearing that the betting shops in London offered humorous and bizarre prop bets. Wanted to see if that was true.
So I asked the people at my hotel to point me toward a few betting shops. I'm staying in Euston; they recommended taking the bus to Angel.
It didn't look far on my map, and I prefer walking when possible, so I set off on foot.
A career of covering sports in America's major cities has taught me this: You don't know a city until you've gotten lost in it. You don't know New York until you set off the for the Upper East Side and instead find yourself in Harlem.
Inevitably, I got lost. I found myself on street after street of quaint shops and restaurants, and then I found myself on streets that made me frequently check my wallet.
Finally, after a few extra miles and a jaunt through a bunch of residential neighborhoods, I found a betting shop.
It was called Wiliam Hill, and it was small and sweltering. There were two employees behind what I assume is bulletproof plexiglass. One customer stared at a video screen, and one perused the racing forms. They didn't offer bets on the Olympics.
The woman behind the glass pointed me to a betting shop called ``Coral.'' It was bigger and marginally nicer, and did offer bets on Olympic events, but they were mundane. You could bet on who would win the gold in various events, but I was hoping for a shop that offered odds on how many Mary Poppinses would be in the Opening Ceremony. (I was going to be the over.)
No such luck. I found a larger William Hill with the same results. On my way back to Euston, I found a place called Betting Shop that did offer prop bets on the Olympics, like 6-to-4 on Usain Bolt winning both the 100 and 200. But no Mary Poppinses.
I wanted to bet on how many times Paul McCartney will utter the syllable ``Na.'' No such luck.
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