OK, I give in. After my Colts-Packers dream Super Bowl matchup fell flatter than a New England pigskin, I swore off the big game.
No more hype for me. No gridiron drama. No cute puppy commercials. No Katy Perry halftime spectacle. And especially no watching the game between the sports’ two best teams.
That lasted about 12 days; in other words, until Super Bowl weekend.
In the words of REO Speedwagon (a significantly better halftime choice than Ms. Perry), I can’t fight this feeling anymore.
It’s the Super Bowl. It’s not a game, it’s a happening. You can put two Pop Warner teams out there and I would still watch.
That’s what all of America does on the first Sunday night in February. And that’s what we all will be doing this Sunday night, despite the matchup featuring two teams many of us would like to see both lose.
Forget the game. Enjoy the show.
Hey, it is our way of decompression.
Stay calm and deflate.
In that spirit, I offer my guide to friendly Super Bowl wagers meant to steer your mind to most everything but the X’s and O’s on the field.
Proposition: How many times will the NBC telecast show the ballboy on the Patriots’ sideline during the game?
Best guess: Twice. The issue will be covered ad nauseum in the five-hour pregame show, but when the game starts it will take a backseat. There are two reasons: first, the matter is getting stale and, second, there is no chance of a repeat. More than 100 footballs will be used in the game (used as gifts for sponsors) and the Bears’ staff will handle them.
Proposition: Will “The Star-Spangled Banner” come in more or less than two minutes?
Best guess: Idina Menzel, the Broadway star most famously known as the voice Elsa in “Frozen,” takes on the national anthem. Recent history is little help. Renee Fleming got through in 1:53 last year. But Alicia Keys went for 2:35 in 2013. Soprano Menzel is likely to belt this one out of the park. Take the over. By the way, you can get 4:1 odds that she will forget or omit at least one word of the song.
Proposition: Of course there will be a Gatorade bath for the winning coach, but what color will it be?
Best guess: The field features blue, green, red, blue, yellow, orange and clear. Last year, frontrunner clear was upset when Seattle coach Pete Carroll was doused with orange Gatorade. Stick with the winner here. Carroll likes to do things the same way, so you can be confident that it is orange drink on the Seattle sideline. As for New England, if they win, none of us will be watching at the end, anyway.
Proposition: What’s the best Bill Belichick parlay to take?
Best guess: The evil genius owes us. He will be wearing a blue hoodie (not gray or red) with the sleeves cut (not intact) and he will not smile on camera. That trifecta can get you serious money in Vegas.
Proposition: What color will Katy Perry’s hair be at the start of the halftime show?
Best guess: Let’s narrow the choices. Black, blue, pink, blonde and purple are the leaders. The key to this question is the qualifier “at the start.” Shock value is maximized when set against a more modest backdrop. That is why black is a solid choice to start. But the follicle foibles will not stop there. Pick pink to finish.
Proposition: What will the first score be?
Best guess: You might recall last year that I predicted that the first snap of the game would go over Peyton Manning’s head and be recovered for a safety. Okay, I didn’t really predict that. In this game, who cares? We’re just waiting for the commercials.