We'll get the easy stuff out of the way first -- the Packers are favored by 2.5 in their Super Bowl matchup in Dallas on Sunday, and I like them to cover. But during the Super Bowl, there are soooooo many more interesting things to bet. Who cares about the game when we can bet on what Fregie will be wearing? Or how long Christina Aguilera will hold the last note of the National Anthem? This is what people really care about. And by "people," I obviously mean "people who have a serious gambling problem." Say what you want about my writing, but daddy knows his target audience. I'm also making a resolution to never refer to myself as "daddy" in another column. Ever.
In this final edition of Opening Lines for the year (which is more like Closing Lines since I waited so long to write it), I'm going to take some of the imaginary $350 I won by betting an imaginary $50 a game on each of my game picks throughout the season (it's all imaginary money since my wife may divorce me if I actually start skipping work to drive to Delaware every Tuesday and put our very real rent money at risk on football games ... and those of you who know us personally are nodding and laughing, because they know that's the truth) and allocate it on all of the exotic wagers during Super Bowl week. Enjoy!
- One of the reasons why the Steelers and Packers are playing the in the season's penultimate game is the play of their QBs and their defenses. They had the two top defenses in terms of points per game, so there is little edge there. The Steelers have the edge on the ground with Mendenhall. But when weather conditions are optimal, there are not many quarterbacks I like better than Aaron Rodgers, and there are not many top-to-bottom WR corps I like better than the guys in Green Bay. Green Bay's defense matches up pretty well with Pittsburgh's defense. I can't say the same for the Steelers' secondary and Green Bay's WRs. I'm taking the Packers -2.5 for 80 imaginary clams.
- There is about 6 inches of snow in Dallas right now, so even if they crank the heat in the stadium, I'm not sure I like the 10-1 odds of Fergie wearing a bikini, g-string or a thong. Plus I'm not sure if wardrobe malfunctions count toward that wager. I'll keep the powder dry on that prop and just treat it as a personal bonus if it actually happens. If you can get 10-1 odds on a parka and/or snowsuit, I'd like that wager a little bit better.
- How long will Christina Aguilera hold the last note of the National Anthem? And how long will it take her to sing the whole thing? The oddsmakers are saying somewhere around 6 seconds and a minute 54 seconds, respectively. To me, this one just screams trap bet. Everybody who has ever seen this woman sing know that she is fully capable of turning Happy Birthday into November Rain. If she was signed to do five songs during the halftime show, they'd have to play the second half of the Super Bowl the following Thursday. With that said, she pounded out the Anthem in a cool 1:45 and held the last note for less than three during a Pens-Bruins game in 2005. I only found one youtube video of her pushing two minutes (due to a flubbed during her "X-Tina" days when singing was a secondary consideration to wearing as little clothing as possible in music videos, aka "The Golden Years"), and even that version didn't have a six-second note at the end. After my exhaustive research on the subject, I felt very deep sense of remorse that I actually wasted 15 minutes of precious life that I'm never going to get back looking for Christina Aguilera National Anthem videos on youtube. Give me the under on both for 40 greenbacks apiece.
- The over/under on the number of times Brett Favre will be mentioned during the game is 2.5. Really? Only 2.5? 4.5 would have made it interesting, but at 2.5, I almost feel like I'm stealing imaginary money from my imaginary bookie. Troy Aikman and Joe Buck will be in the booth. I don't have any hard statistics to back this up, but I'm pretty sure they bring up Brett Favre an average of 2.5 times per game when the Packers aren't even playing. On every laser throw and every stupid turnover, they are going to have to fight the urge to mention Brett Favre. Add in the fact that Aaron Rodgers replaced Brett Favre (and the fact that every national announce team feels the need to mention this at least twice during every Packers game), and I don't trust these guys to mention Favre less than 3 times in the first quarter. 40 imaginary samolians, please.
- Our good friends at SeatGeek are sponsoring a Super Bowl prediction contest for bloggers; closest to the actual final score of the game wins. Why participate in this contest, you may ask? Not only because SeatGeek rocks for finding Pats tickets, but also because the winner of this contest gets $300 worth of seats to an upcoming event of their choosing (since my event would be a future New England game with my fellow Foxboro Blog contributors, I didn't figure the rest of the crew will mind that I took the lead on this one). I took the Packers 26-17 with Aaron Rodgers winning the MVP. And yes, I really do think the Packers are capable of winning by two scores.