There are three major things that are related to the annual Super Bowl: commercials (another talking animal? lame), food consumption (burp) and gambling.
There are the usual Super Bowl pools that are mundane in most offices, but lately, there’s another class of gambling related to the big game that’s been growing in popularity in recent years: exotic bets, otherwise known as proposition bets (or “prop bets” for short).
The popular prop bets involve the singer who is scheduled to perform the National Anthem. For example, not only can you bet on whether or not Kelly Clarkson will forget a word or two when she belts out the Star-Spangled Banner at Lucas Oil Field before kickoff of Super Bowl XLVI, but you can also take wagers as to whether or not her belly button will be in view during the performance. (If Ed Sullivan were alive, he’d probably bet all of his life savings on “no”.) There is also the usual bet on what color the Gatorade will be when it is splashed on the head coach of the prevailing team.
Then, you have over-the-top prop bets. For example, two years ago, when the New Orleans Saints squared off against the Indianapolis Colts for Super Bowl XLIV in Miami, there were bets related to how many times CBS cameras would pan on Archie Manning, father of Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, or Kim Kardashian, the girlfriend of Saints running back Reggie Bush at the time.
And last year, for Super Bowl XLV, which took place at the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, one exotic bet was if whether or not a punt from either the Green Bay Packers or Pittsburgh Steelers would hit one of its two high-definition scoreboards, which hang unusually low over the field (it took only the first exhibition game played at the stadium for that to happen).
This year, as you can imagine, there is a host of Super Bowl XLVI prop bets waiting for your hard-earned cash. You can bet on whether or not Tom Brady’s wife or son will be shown during the game. You can also bet on whether or not the number of rushing yards the Patriots’ BenJarvus Green-Ellis gets will be higher than Mitt Romney’s vote share in the Nevada Republican primaries, which are being held today.
You can even bet on whether or not Madonna will sport a hat when she performs at the halftime show.
But there’s one exotic bet missing that I believe should be getting action in Vegas. And with NBC carrying this year’s Super Bowl – and the New York Giants’ involvement in it – this prop bet should be a given.
Let’s go back to New Year’s Day, when NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” aired the “win and you’re in” contest between the Giants and the Dallas Cowboys, which would not only decide which team wins the NFC East, but advances to the playoffs. With five minutes left in the first quarter, Eli Manning connected with Victor Cruz for the first score of the game. Then, as Cruz proceeded to delight Giants fans with a six-second salsa dance, viewers could hear corresponding salsa music. Even Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth were likely caught off-guard with the impromptu musical selection.
Later, Deadspin confirmed that the salsa snippet was indeed piped in by the NBC broadcast truck, but had Cruz hit paydirt on a crucial play, or had either team – specifically, the Giants – been down a large number of points at the time, NBC would not have went the rumba route.
Five weeks later, and the Giants are once again playing a primetime game on NBC, on football’s biggest stage. Why wouldn’t the NBC broadcast truck mix in a little merengue music a second time? Especially since NBC wasn’t even fined by the NFL over the bachata brouhaha back on January 1?
Go ahead and put your money on whether or not Victor Cruz has more receiving yards than Wes Welker.
I’m betting on Al and Cris receiving another salsa serenade when Cruz takes it to the house.
With no introduction whatsoever from Ed Sullivan.