Sporting predictions that go wrong are not a new thing: over his long career as a motor racing commentator, Murray Walker learned to caveat his commentary, even to the extent of saying that the race leader was on “his last and po-tentially victorious lap”, just in case he (not for the first time) jinxed him. The latest World Cup has already seen some wrong calls, too.
Your pundit awaits: suave, sophisticated, and spectacularly wrong
For instance, anyone who tipped Spain to even approach their winning form of four years ago looked distinctly unwise as their tip went home after the group stages. Likewise any pundit suggesting that England would get to the knock-out stages. But the most spectacular wrong call, with a significant price tag attached, was made by Piers Morgan on last night’s semi-final.
Even before the tournament began, it had to be the host nation: “Brazil are going to win this World Cup at a canter. They’ve got the talent, the passion, the fans” he asserted last month. And by yesterday evening, he was so confident that they would beat Germany that he put £5,000 on it, in a bet against sparring partner Joey Barton.
And Morgan also knew who would be Brazil’s inspiration: “David Luiz will drive Brazil to victory tonight. He’s been my star of the World Cup. Such passion, commitment, determination”. That’s pretty unequivocal. How about another tip for individual greatness, Piers?
Yes, you got it: “Also fancy Fred to come good tonight. He has to eventually”. That was before kick-off: soon afterwards, as the Germans ruthlessly demolished what passed for the Brazilian defence, it became obvious that the Morgan Plan was not working out to its originator’s advantage.
But was he downhearted? Not a bit of it! Even as the goals piled up, he remained upbeat: “Never write off Brazil in Brazil. They will win”. This failed to have the desired motivational effect, at least, not until late in the second half, by which time the Germans had put seven in at the other end.
So it was time to eat a significantly sized portion of humble pie: “I backed Brazil to win, Fred to score and declared Luiz my man of the tournament. I feel a complete and utter prat”. Well conceded, that man. And Alder Hey Hospital can buy a special bed for parents to stay.
Not sure it will do his reputation for predictions much good come the new Premier League season, mind.