Always Bet On Black (And Gold)

The Super Bowl is by far the most bet on sporting event of the year.  From straight up wagers made on the outcome to score grids passed out in the office, everybody gets in on the action.  Even politicians enjoy making friendly bets. This year, the mayor of Glendale made a bet with Pittsburgh’s Mayor Luke Steelerstahl (or is he back to Ravenstahl?) only a woman could love.  If the Cardinals pull the upset of the decade, Heinz Field will have a cactus planted outside for an entire year.  Drunken tailgaters will no doubt find creative uses for that one.  If the Steelers win, a tree indigenous to Western Pennsylvania will attempt to beautify the ugliest stadium in the NFL.

I’m a bit of a gambler.  Not the kind of degenerate who blows his rent money in one sitting or is the target demographic for the new North Shore Casino.  However, I want something a little more interesting than picking a winner so I prefer to make prop bets.   Prop bets are secondary wagers almost all sports books/casinos/online bookies take on secondary elements of the game.   Let’s take a look at a few of this year’s and I’ll give you the inside scoop on how I’m leaning:

How Many Times will NBC show Brenda Warner on TV during the Game?
Over/Under:  3½

If the NFC Championship Game is any indication, I’m betting the over.  Oddly, I’m okay with that. Wait, I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking why am I interested in shots of a woman who looks like a cross between Cloris Leachman and Rosie O’Donnell’s current girlfriend?

Because the Arizona beauty parlors are evidently staffed by miracle workers as a cut and a dye job have morphed her from Brady Bunch Alice’s butch cousin to this:

How many times will Al Michaels and John Madden reference Ben Roethlisberger as “Big Ben” during the Game?
Over/Under:  7½

Go under.  I don’t think I’ve ever heard Madden or Michaels refer to Roethlisberger as “Big Ben.”   They’re the type of smug asses who try to keep things “professional” and not appear chummy with any particular player, unless the player is named “Favre.”

The real question should be will Madden ever get over the Immaculate Reception back in 1974?

Will Matt Millen pick the correct team to win the SB on the NBC Pregame?
Yes:  -270
No:  +210

He has a 50-50 shot, right?  Then again, he picked one good first rounder in eight years with the Detroit Lions which is 17% accuracy.  Then again, he can pick the Steelers which you can’t argue with.   Although the Universal Rule Of Football Knowledge states anything Millen says is automatically wrong.  But if he picks the Steelers he’d be right.

I feel like I’m trapped in the episode of “Star Trek” where Kirk told the sexy Fembot he was a liar and it threw her into an endless logic loop until her head started smoking.

How many food references will John Madden make during the game?
Over/Under:  1½

Pittsburgh has a rich tradition of great ethnic cuisine and Phoenix has…um, tacos?  Regardless of the fact Arizona is a great cultural wasteland, Madden is a fatty foodie so two references is pretty much a gimme.

Which Teams Cheerleaders will be shown more often on camera?
Pittsburgh:  -175
Arizona:  +135

Considering we don’t have cheerleaders, I’d take a mortgage out on your home and bet it on Arizona.  Although if the first two home playoff games are any indication, there’s something hideously wrong with the Cardinal Cheerleaders because they’re never shown on camera.

EDIT:  Evidently that bet has been taken down by Vegas.  Looks like somebody recognized the blunder before it cost them a bundle.  If you see somebody walking around the Strip with a pronounced limp, that’s probably the guy.

Who will the MVP of the Game thank first?
God:  1/1
Teammates:  2/1
Family:  4/1
Coach:  7/1
Doesn’t thank anyone:  3/1

Thanks to my inside sources with the Steelers, I’ve been able to acquire a copy of Ben Roethlisberger’s potential “Thank You” list.

Bet accordingly.

Which NBC Show will get the most Promos during the game?
The Office:  5/4
Heroes:  7/4
30 Rock:  5/2
Chuck:  11/2
Friday Night Lights:  8/1
Jay Leno:  15/1
Conan O’Brien:  15/1

If this were a fair world, Friday Night Lights would be promoted every other commercial break.  It’s one of my three favorite shows on television and should be way more popular than it is.  It’s not quite a football show and not quite a teen drama but a hybrid with great stories and tremendous acting, not to mention one of the coolest coaches ever committed to film and Minka Kelly.

Since NBC is a garbage network run by monkeys in suits, they probably won’t promote their best scripted drama in years.  They’ll throw a ton of support behind Conan since he’s taking over the Tonight Show and they’re desperate to make sure he doesn’t fail.  Because everybody knows making sure you maintain that .2 rating every midnight is far more important than making sure one of the best shows on television stays on the air.

What will the TV Rating be, O/U (Nielsen)?

Over/Under:   42.5

This one’s tricky.  Steeler Nation extends far and wide.  I’m sure a ton of people will tune in to see their favorite team march forward to greatness.  On the other hand, nobody cares about Arizona.  They have no nationwide following, barely appeared on national TV this year, and have no recognizable players.  I’d take the under.

What Song will Bruce Springsteen sing to begin his Halftime Show at the Super Bowl?
Born in the USA:  2/1
Glory Days:  2/1
The Rising:  4/1
Born to Run:  5/1
The Wrestler:  5/1
Radio Nowhere:  8/1
I’m on Fire:  12/1

Springsteen is a diehard Democrat so now that we have a real President in office, his patriotic fervor will lead to “Born in the USA” being played at some point.  I have to believe he’ll save that for the big finish, though.  If I had to pick one of those songs, I’d go with “Glory Days.”  Even though that’s a song about a baseball player, it probably fits the sports theme better than the others.

Although if The Boss were to ask my opinion, I’d tell him to start with a song not on that list.  Imagine if you will, the lights go out in the stadium.  Candles and lighters flick on.  Out comes Bruce singing “Dancin’ in the Dark.”   Cue lights.   Cue Courtney Cox.  Actually, forget her, she hasn’t done anything since Friends went off the air.

I wonder if Bruce is going to invite his good friend/Pittsburgh music legend Joe Grushecky to sit in with the band.   That would be really cool.  The only thing better would be if Donnie Iris got to perform at halftime.  Ah Leah…here we go again…

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