The Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots will square off in Sunday’s Super Bowl in Houston to decide who reigns supreme in the world of the National Football League for the 2016-17 season.
There will be a classic battle between Atlanta’s explosive, diverse offense against New England’s complicated, disciplined defense, as well as an interesting matchup between Atlanta’s fast, young defense taking on the experienced and methodical Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady.
But, really, it’s not about the game, is it?
I say that to everybody who is not a fan of either the Patriots or Falcons. To those folks, the game is the only thing that matters, and all this other stuff is just noise. They don’t care about celebrities sitting field-level, who a trained duck is predicting to win or how many kinds of guacamole will be served at a party in Wisconsin.
Yeah, I’m not in those fanbases. Bring on the guac!
And bring on the extracurriculars. I went through that emotional roller coaster of having my team, the Baltimore Ravens, in the Super Bowl a few years ago. It was two weeks of staring at the calendar hanging on my wall, reading every article and opinion piece I could find on the game and imagining ways in which the Ravens’ offense could attack the remarkable linebackers on the San Francisco defense. Because, you know, coach John Harbaugh is pretty interested in what I have to say about football strategy.
But this is a Super Bowl without stress for me, so I get to enjoy the company of friends, eat ridiculous amounts of artery-clogging deliciousness and follow the statuses of the crazy prop bets available in Las Vegas.
Per CBS Sports, online wagering sites and Bleacher Report, I have put together a few of my favorite proposition bets that are available for gamblers. As a personal note, once I found out the Vegas casinos were not accepting bets of one shiny quarter, I recused myself from partaking.
• Luke Bryan will be performing the national anthem at the Super Bowl. There is a wager based on what Bryan will be wearing when he performs, with blue jeans being the odds-on favorite at 1/2. The other option would be “any other pants or shorts 3/2.”
So, it’s jeans or the field? Give me the blue jeans on this one, as I really don’t see a country singer showing up in a sequined jumpsuit. But Bryan could make himself a pretty penny by losing a little of that pesky self-respect.
• Catering to the lack of creativity amongst sportscasters, there is a bet focused on an announcer saying, “Houston, we have a problem,” during the live telecast.
This one’s kind of a no-brainer, right? They can’t air a game in Baltimore without showing at least a small video of crabcakes being prepared, and likewise for Philadelphia with footage of cheesesteaks being grilled. Take the action on this one, as I would guess this will be uttered by a breathless color commentator with the first touchdown of the game.
• Heads or tails for the opening kickoff. It will cost you $102 to make $100 on either side you pick.
It’s kind of hard to give advice on this one (pick tails), as it’s really a 50/50 proposition (go with tails). I’m guessing there would be a Congressional investigation into the gaming casinos if the coin lands directly on its side (tails).
• Combined total yardage of all touchdowns scored. The number here is 100.5 yards, and I would guess a lot of research and study went into determining that figure. Research, by the way, that was not conducted by yours truly because... well, life.
I’d love to see a return of the opening kickoff go for a 102-yard touchdown, causing people around the nation to go crazy one way or another. And then I’d like to see the announcers notice a yellow flag on the turf, mutter, “Houston, we have a problem,” and see the touchdown overturned.
Mostly I want that because I’m kind of a jerk.
• Odds a kicker misses an extra point. This could happen, as the longer extra points are not the automatic venture into the mundane they used to be a few years ago. Also take into consideration the massive pressure the kickers, snappers and holders will be under during the biggest game of the year...
Oh, stop. It’s an extra point and you make a lot of money. These should all be made during the Super Bowl.
• What color will the liquid be that is poured on the winning coach? Yes, you can even bet on the flavor of sports drink that is dumped on the coach of the winning team as the clock winds down to 0:00.
There are 3/1 odds for clear, lime/green, orange and yellow, while red comes in at 6/1, blue 15/2 and purple 12/1.
Bet your heart, people. Bet your heart.
• What song will Lady Gaga perform first during her halftime show?
What’s a “Lady Gaga?”
• You can also wager across sports. For instance, you can bet on which will be the higher number — Patriots rushing yards or the fourth-round score of golfer Phil Mickelson.
I’d go with the runners, because I believe the Patriots will run for more than 100 yards and Mickelson will not be using me as his champion on Sunday.
Oh, and pick tails. Did I mention that?