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The Grand National: The Race That Stops A Nation

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Bangor on Dee horse racing” by Paul (CC BY-SA 2.0)

There are many big horse racing meetings and races in the UK, but one race stands above all the others as the race where everyone places a bet, and everyone stops to watch it. That race is the Grand National, an event that takes place in April (the 2018 edition of this fantastic contest will take place on April 14th) so mark that day in your calendar as one to remember.

The build up to this unique test for horses is huge, and there are many trial races where horses will battle it out against each other to prove they are worthy of taking their place in the 40 strong field that will head to post on the day of the race. What makes the Grand National unique is the challenge of both the distance and the fences that require jumping.

The fences that the horses jump are extremely unique, and they require a special horse to just get around the course safely, let alone win the race. Then, there is the test of the distance, which is four miles, two and a half furlongs, a huge test of stamina and one that certainly favors the bravest horses and jockeys out there.


2011 Grand National winner Ballabriggs” by Carine06 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Betting on the Grand National is huge, and many people will place their bets either on the day of the race or well in advance. People who only bet once a year will turn out in force to head to their local bookmaker and place their bets, before sitting together as a family to watch the fantastic spectacle live on TV. Oddschecker has many free bet offers for the Grand National available already and many people will have already placed their bets on the race, such is the importance of the event.

The favorite for the race right now is Blaklion, a horse who finished 4th in last season’s race. That experience will have done him well, and he has proven that he has the ability and heart to jump around these fences not only once, but twice before. That puts him in pole position and he looks to have a great chance of running well in the race.

Last year’s winner, One For Arthur, will unfortunately not try to repeat his heroics of last season as he has been ruled out of the race due to injury, leaving the door open for a new champion.

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Sports

Which NFL Teams Are Standing Out This Season?

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We’re six weeks into the NFL regular season, and it is a good time to look at which teams show signs of being Super Bowl contenders this year, and which players you need to look out for. Of course, with a few months still left in the season, anything could happen. So if your team isn’t looking so hot right now, keep rooting them one, because anything can happen!

Pre-season predictions for 2018 NFL

What can be fascinating is to first look back at what everyone was saying before a football was kicked or quarterback sacked. Have the teams and players that generated the most draft-based excitement gone on to fulfill this promise?

Looking back to pre-season, many expected the LA Rams to do well with Sean McVay at the helm. Their record to date seems to back this up, as we will look at further below. Other tips that many had for teams to dominate their division in the 2018 NFL season were the Houston Texans, the Oakland Raiders and the Jacksonville Jaguars due to the players at their disposal, but these haven’t quite come off.

What all this shows is that while great fun, picking teams to do well before any of the action has kicked off is kind of hard!

Which teams have stood out so far?

As we head deeper into the NFL season, the following teams have shown that they are forces to be reckoned with:

  • Cincinnati Bengals – with a current record of 4-1, the Bengals have started like a rocket. Playing against the Dolphins last week, they were down 17-0 in the 3rd quarter and yet still managed to pull off a 27-17 comeback win. This sums up their play to date – not especially entertaining or dominant but always managing to get that victory. They have some great young players in their ranks, such as Andy Dalton, and a very competent head coach to lead them in Marvin Lewis.
  • Kansas City Chiefs – if you are a Chiefs fan, then you will be loving the 2018 season so far! With a record of 5-0, they have really shown what they are made of. Hopefully, this winning streak will continue for the remaining of the season. Last time out, they put in a dominant performance to win 30-14 against the Jaguars. Linebacker Dee Ford and defensive lineman Chris Jones look to be the players that will really keep them on the winning track.
  • Tennessee Titans – something of a surprise for many is the Titans’ current form and record of 3-2. The main driver here is their new coach Mike Vrabel, who has really built a strong team and winning mentality. Recent victories over the Jaguars and Eagles were done with key players missing and some, such as QB Marcus Mariota, even playing injured. Their main strength is a vibrant offensive game that sees them high up in the NFL scoring stats.
  • LA Rams – beating the Seattle Seahawks last game weekend by two points was a close call but one that has given the Rams a 5-0 record so far in 2018. Much of their success has been down to star quarterback Jared Goff, who many believe will be an MVP candidate. Coach McVay has got them playing well especially on the offense and molded the players into a robust unit.
  • Chicago Bears – another team that has stood out so far this season has been the Chicago Bears. A very decent 3-1 record sees them leading the NFC North. A 48-10 win over the Buccaneers last game showed what they are good at. A very aggressive defense keeps things tight at the back, while their offense now looks as good. QB Mitchell Trubisky has come to life, and jet-heeled receiver Taylor Gabriel is also looking good.

Get in on the action

There is no doubt that watching and catching up with all the action is amazing. If you want to get even closer to the game though, why not back your favorite team with a bet? Online sports betting not only allows you to profit from the teams that are standing out right now but also enables you to get all the latest news on your team’s progress.

The 2018 NFL season is already sensational

The 2018 NFL season is shaping up to be one of the best ever so far. With hard defenses, big-throwing quarterbacks and speedy offensive players, it all adds up to a superb spectacle for fans. If you enjoy football, then the above teams are worth watching.

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Sports

Courtyard Seeks Passionate NFL Fan To Embark On Dream Season Of Travel

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Lately, we’ve seen a number of “dream jobs” popping up, and Courtyard by Marriott is joining the fray as well, looking for their first-ever Courtyard NFL Global Correspondent. The gig? Traveling the world and attending the world’s most exclusive NFL events!

Sounds too good to be true, but it’s 100% real. Here are the details from their press release:

There are 180.2 million NFL fans here in the United States, but only one will get the chance to pursue their NFL passions and travel the world to attend exclusive NFL events as the first-ever Courtyard NFL Global Correspondent. The lucky fan will embark on a dream season of international travel and exploration to discover the passion that unites NFL fans around the world and share their findings with fans, followers, Courtyard guests – and the world at large.

“As a brand, we have always enabled our guests to pursue their passions both personally and professionally on the road, so they can continuously move forward” said Janis Milham, Senior Vice President and Global Brand Leader, Classic Select Brands. “This year we are extending that shared mindset to our NFL programming, giving one lucky fan the chance of a lifetime to pursue their passion for the NFL in a season-long capacity.”

This season-long opportunity will include travel to NFL events around the world, including games in London, Mexico City and Minnesota, culminating in Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII. Courtyard is seeking individuals who have a love for and knowledge of the NFL, are comfortable in front of a camera, are passionate and enthusiastic storytellers and are always looking to move forward in their personal and professional journeys.

From September 6th through September 24th, interested fans are encouraged to submit a 60-second video online at www.CourtyardCorrespondent.com.

Aspiring correspondents must be passionate about the NFL, football, food and travel and be a member of either Marriott Rewards or SPG. Entries will be judged based on charisma, passion and overall NFL expertise. Finalists will advance to an interview round and the Courtyard NFL Global Correspondent will be announced on October 16th.

Not a bad gig, eh? So don some face paint, turn up the energy, and submit a memorable video that is sure to get you noticed. Who knows, you might just get the job!

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Drinks

Bud Light Kicks Off The Football Season With Two New ‘Dilly Dilly’ Spots

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I don’t know about you, but I just cannot get enough of those hilarious Bud Light Dilly Dilly commercials. And lucky for us, Bud Light is back with two new “Dilly Dilly” ads to celebrate the long-awaited return of the NFL football season.

Bud Lights For Everyone:

During the college football kickoff weekend, Bud Light previewed this spot, which depicts our regal King gifting his kingdom’s loyal habitants with his favorite light lager, Bud Light, when one of the pub patrons asks for a mead. The ad highlights the one friend in every group who tries to show off their sophisticated palette, even when it contradicts the group’s preference.

Royal Affair:

This commercial introduces two new characters from the neighboring kingdom, Count and Countess Pamplemousse. The Pamplemousse’s represent the snobby friends you always seem to invite to a party. Royal Affair celebrates Bud Light as the light lager of choice for a large group of friends (and foes).

Here’s hoping that these two are just the first in a long line of Dilly Dilly commercials that run throughout the season!

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