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Super Bowl side bets give an outlet for competition

By Geoff Hamill


“I’d be willing to bet you, if I was a betting man, that I’ve never bet on baseball.”

Pete Rose

He was one of my heroes when I was growing up, but we all now know that Pete Rose was indeed a betting man, and he did bet on baseball. So if you had taken that bet with him, you’d be a winner. If you placed a bet with me over the weekend on Super Bowl XLV, you would probably have won that one, too.
I’m not a betting man, for the most part, but I do like a competition as much as anybody, and probably more than is healthy. If there’s a chance to compete, I’m ready.

Over this past weekend, as the Super Bowl was about to be played, I found myself competing, not betting, with others around the nation in what I have discovered is a very entertaining method known as “prop bets.” The bets, officially known as proposition bets, are side bets beyond the game itself. They don’t hinge on who wins or loses the game, but instead, how long the singing of the national anthem will take, what color of Gatorade will be dumped on the winning coach, or which quarterback’s girlfriend will be shown on TV first during the game.
Sound silly? Sure it does, and it is, but it’s also fun. It’s just another way for competitive people to find a way to let it all out and try to win at just one more thing.
When I first heard of prop bets, I never considered making picks of my own. I only took notice because Michael Jordan was the subject, and one of the favorites among gamblers back in the 1990s was to bet on who would score more points - Jordan in his NBA game on Super Bowl day, or the two teams actually playing in the Super Bowl. Jordan, who averaged more than 30 points per game in his career, was usually a good bet, uh, I mean pick.
This year, I decided to make my own prop-bet picks and see just how I would do. My first few stops along the path to my picks were at some online betting websites. I looked up many of the popular prop bets being offered, then chose several and made my selections, and here are a few of my choices, the results, and the “scientific information” I used to come to my conclusions.

1. How long will pop singer Christina Aguilera   take to sing the national anthem? Over or under 1:54? I said over.
Incorrect - My pick was over 1:54. Aguilera is known for extending songs and holding long notes with her famously dramatic voice, so I said she would take over 1:54 to sing the anthem. She officially took just a fraction under. In my opinion, since she actually messed up the words, I should get credit for this one anyway!

How long will Aguilera hold the note on the word “brave” at the end of the anthem? Over or under six seconds? Again, I said over.
Correct - She held the note for more than eight seconds. I made my choice for this one for the same reason as the first.

3. Who will be the first person thanked by the the winner of the Super Bowl MVP award? My choice was that the winner, regardless of who it was, would thank God first.
Incorrect - Aaron Rodgers, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, actually thanked his teammates, more specifically the Packers’ defense, as he received the award after the game. I thought whoever won would thank God, just because that’s usually what atheltes do, and they should.

4. What color of Gatorade will be dumped on the coach of the winning team? I chose lime green. I don’t know why, but that was my choice.
Incorrect - Orange Gatorade was dumped on Packers’ coach Mike McCarthy after the game.

5. During the halftime show, what will Fergie, singer with The Black-Eyed Peas, be wearing when she first appears on stage? I said she would be wearing a skirt.
Correct - She was wearing a skirt, and I picked this option because any time I’ve seen her, she seems to be wearing a skirt.

Well, there you have just a few of my prop bet picks, and to be honest, these were some of my better choices. I was incorrect on far more than not. There was no money on the line, but I did have fun, if nothing else, just competing.
Luckily for me, like Pete Rose, I’m not a betting man.