Last week, Sam made 11 crazy Super Bowl bets. Here’s how they turned out.
Last week, for the fifth year in a row, I wrote about 11 of the craziest actual bets you could make on the Super Bowl. And for the fourth year in a row, I bet $11 on each one. How would my $121 serve me during Ravens-49ers? Could I post my second consecutive winning year after losing money my first two?
Here’s how they shook out…
1 | Will a Ravens or 49ers player be arrested before the game?
I didn’t think this would happen, and it didn’t. But they didn’t offer a “no” option. These offshore sportsbooks are pretty clever. I figured this one was a donation to the fine people of Turks & Caicos or something, and it was.
Sam’s result: Loss. Running tally: 0-0-1 (-$11)
2 | How long will Alicia Keys’s National Anthem last?
This was great. I feel like the National Anthem snuck up on me, so I didn’t start my stopwatch right away. Fortunately, it didn’t matter. Alicia Keys decided to do the ultra-extended candlelight remix version of The Star-Spangled Banner and went at least 40 seconds over the two minute, five second limit. I’ve won this bet four of five years now, always betting the over — but never this handily.
Sam’s result: Win! Running tally: 1-1-0 (-$1.83)
3 | Will Alicia Keys be booed during or after the National Anthem?
If she’d just held that last note for 40 or 50 seconds, instead of 20 or 30, MAYBE the crowd would’ve hit their breaking point and started giving her the business. But while she went long, she didn’t go oppressively long… so no boos. Since the sportsbook didn’t offer a “no boos” option — again, this was a donation to the fine people on the Rock of Gibraltar — I lost this one.
Sam’s result: Loss. Running tally: 1-2-0 (-$12.83)
4 | How many times will “Harbaugh” be said during the game?
I bet under 21.5 mentions at 1-1 odds. In the pregame, I felt great, because Jim Nantz even said he’d use “Coach Jim” and “Coach John” to avoid ambiguity. And in the first half, the word “Harbaugh” was only said once. I was in great position.
Then the lights went out. And when the CBS talking heads started aimlessly yammering, I started panicking that “Harbughs” would start coming out like “ums” and “uhs.” I’m not sure that would’ve counted toward the bet, but I didn’t want to leave the judgment call up to the questionably-ethical overseas sportsbooks. I wanted a clear winner.
Fortunately, everyone on the broadcast was so absurdly flustered that no two-syllable words were uttered during the entire blackout. And once the game was back, the “Harbaugh” mentions didn’t pick up. The final count was seven; WAY under 21.5.
Sam’s result: Win! Running tally: 2-2-0 (-$1.83)
5 | Will Beyonce show cleavage during her first song?
This was my finest hour. Logic said cleavage. Everyone else on the Internet picked cleavage (didn’t bet money on it, except for this guy, but said it). But I had a feeling. And I bet no cleavage at +250. (To win $27.50.)
Beyonce came out. Silhouetted. Couldn’t tell. Finally, the lights went up… and she was cleavage-free. She was singing a song I didn’t recognize (turns out it was Love On Top, not Generic Beyonce Song #3 as I initially wrote down in my notes) — then switched to Crazy In Love and cleavage. But since there was none for that first song, I won my bet.
Or, more likely, the sportsbook made a judgment call and since fewer people bet on “no cleavage,” they declared that the winner. Either way…
Sam’s result: Win! Running tally: 3-2-0 ($25.67)
6 | Will Jay-Z join Beyonce on stage?
I bet the “no” here at -135. My thought process was that Jay-Z would let Beyonce have the spotlight all to herself and not try to steal the show. I was right. (I also jokingly speculated that the other Destiny’s Child members would rush the stage. Why didn’t they let me bet on THAT?)
Sam’s result: Win! Running tally: 4-2-0 ($33.82)
7 | Will Frank Gore’s point total beat his Wonderlic score (of 6)?
I bet that Gore would not beat his score — in other words, not score a touchdown — thinking the rushing touchdowns would all be Colin Kaepernick’s domain. And that comes after having Gore on like five of my past seven fantasy football teams. (He’s just always available mid-second round.) But during the San Francisco comeback, Gore actually DID score, costing me the bet. He ended up just scoring once, so he tied his Wonderlic.
Sam’s result: Loss. Running tally: 4-3-0 ($22.82)
8 | What’s higher: Randy Moss receptions or the Harbaugh parents shown on screen?
In my explanation for why I was going with Moss over the Harbaughs (at -120), I cited my previous four years worth of bets on how many times relevant people in the crowd would be shown. My basic conclusion: Rarely. And I was right. The Harbaughs were shown once early, but not again until after the game was over. Meanwhile, the greatest receiver in the history of football DID manage to make two catches.
Sam’s result: Win! Running tally: 5-3-0 ($31.99)
9 | How many tweets will ESPN’s Darren Rovell make on Super Bowl Sunday?
This was a sportsbook pandering to an ESPN reporter. From what I can tell, he never acknowledged them. I bet he’d go over 104.5 tweets (at -115) and he DID — 115 tweets on February 3rd. What pushed him over? The tweets he made during the blackout.
Sam’s result: Win! Running tally: 6-3-0 ($41.56)
10 | How long will the Harbaugh postgame handshake/hug last?
I bet it would go over six seconds (at -105). I figured these are BROTHERS coaching against each other in the Super Bowl. They had to have a tearful embrace after it was all over, right?
That might’ve happened if the Niners had won. But since they didn’t — meaning the much more EVIL of the two Harbaughs lost — there was no way he was going to be a good sport or fraternally inspired toward affection. The Harbaughs had a tense, awkward, brief exchange after the game that might’ve gone three seconds. And that’s probably generous.
Sam’s result: Lose. Running tally: 6-4-0 ($30.56)
11 | When Ray Lewis is interviewed after the game, how many times will he say God/Lord?
Much to my shock, Ray Lewis wasn’t named Super Bowl MVP. Even though he only had three tackles and was so ineffective it seemed like the Ravens were playing 10-on-11, I figured the media couldn’t resist. Even though he wasn’t MVP, Lewis was interviewed after the game on the podium — a good solution to his potential postgame idle hands — and only gave one shoutout to God. I bet over three.
Sam’s result: Lose. Running tally: 6-5-0 ($19.56)
So… I came out on the positive side for the second year in a row! My history of Super Bowl gambling now reads as follows:
2010: 4-9-0, -$14.41
2011: 4-6-1, -$13.58
2012: 5-4-2, $4.77
2013: 6-5-0, $19.56
Grand total: -$3.66
This is arguably the least thrilling four-year gambling run of all time.