Oh hey, the final professional football Sunday of the year is upon us! Huzzah! After the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers finish off a spirited battle, this will no doubt be the last we hear of the NFL for eight whole months. Every sports league needs quality time to decompress and reassess.
No? Really? You mean there’s an entire separate season dedicated to that? And that? How alarming. Well, at least we can spice up the last meaningful day of football for the 2020-2021 NFL season with everyone’s favorite form of debauchery — prop bets!
It wouldn’t be Super Sunday without prognostication on the most banal, but otherwise intense, pre-game and in-game routines. If you, dear reader, can’t find the fun in predicting things like which announcer has the most verbal flubs, or how short or long the national anthem will be, then we, my comrade, have nothing in common.
By the end of the night one team will be basking in Lombardi Trophy glory around specifically colored confetti. Much of everyone else is on tap to count their betting losses. For the lucky correct few, they ideally guess exactly how many canines will appear in commercials, or how often “unprecedented crisis” is mentioned as a sport utility car drives along a picturesque, ocean-side road.
Super Bowl LV is here. Cut the prop bet yellow tape!
How long will the national anthem be?
- Over/Under — Two minutes
I’m certainly not the target audience of her music, but Demi Lovato does not strike me as the self-indulgent type, at least in a public sense. She might hang too long on a few notes like an artist that adores their own voice (which is every singer) but she’ll otherwise keep the opening hymn swift and tight. Under.
What will the coin toss land on?
While I know the odds are truly 50-50, and it is absolute nonsense to revel in any sort of victory with this estimate, tails never fails. Take note, team captains. The very fate of the opening kickoff depends on it.
How many commercials will have a dog in them?
- Over/Under 4.5
Hammer the over. Are you kidding? The only thing people love more in life than a cute dog, is a cute baby. In a dark and depressing time, with over 100 million people tuning in, I would be shocked if we don’t see several groups of charming, smiling labs and retrievers. This is a layup.
Will Gisele Bundchen and or Brittany Matthews be shown on camera?
Are you asking me if the devoted spouse that once lambasted one of her husband’s teammates for failing to catch a big pass for him will be highlighted? Uh, yes, it’s a mortal lock Gisele will be shown in some form of joy or agony at a Tom Brady touchdown pass (or interception).
The wrinkle I’m interested in this realm is whether the anointed one, Patrick Mahomes, has his soon-to-be wife, Brittany Matthews, shown off in front of a national audience. Matthews and Mahomes have also confirmed that their first child is on the way. If Jim Nantz and Tony Romo are also discussing her in any fashion on Sunday night, then the Mahomes family has truly become the new “Face of the NFL” clan.
Yes, to both.
What is the first song The Weeknd plays during the halftime show?
- “The Hills”
- “I Feel It Coming, ft. Daft Punk”
- “Blinding Lights”
These days I prefer to think of Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, a.k.a. The Weeknd, not as a brilliant artist (which he is), but as the man who helped inspire the latest short-lived viral sensation shepherded by Daniel Craig. Who among us does not want to properly celebrate the end of the traditional American workweek?
Memes and jokes aside, The Weeknd was an excellent choice for anyone still plugged into the good old tunes of 2021. There’s a certain mellow and melancholy balance he strikes with most of his music that matches the last year or so of American life perfectly. The popular answer for which song leads his halftime performance will reasonably be “Blinding Lights,” as it hasn’t left the top-three of the Billboard top 100 since it was released in November 2019. But I have a hunch the Canadian-born singer leans more on what propelled his rise to stardom. “I Feel It Coming” is a classic that includes the electrical guest stylings of long-time favorite Daft Punk. It’s such a seamless opener.
I’ll be moderately upset if this isn’t the choice, to be clear. I’ll get over it.
Will Bill Belichick be mentioned?
Over/Under 3.5 mentions
A Big Game involving Tom Brady would be remiss if it did not include some semblance of The Hoodie. The Hall of Fame quarterback and Hall of Fame head coach had a somewhat testy and public divorce last spring. It certainly has not simmered over now that Belichick’s Brady-less Patriots have been at home watching the postseason since January, while Brady’s new squad tries to defeat the NFL’s new Megatron.
I do think that, in the event Belichick even tunes in, he should be prepared to have salt poured in his wound. Nantz and Romo will not shy away from glowing about Brady “making it to the summit” without his legendary mentor. I don’t think the conversation will be egregious to the point that it becomes a separate major side story in its own right. Belichick gets his “comeuppance” (depending on whom you speak to) and everyone summarily moves on.
How many COVID 19-adjacent commercials will there be?
Since last March, at the early onset of the first major international public health crisis in over a century, it’s been difficult to come upon much of any good news. Thankfully, your local uber-rich Volkswagen dealer and Amazon warehouse is here to support us “through an unprecedented crisis testing our wills”!
I’d be an utter fool not to expect the sentimentalities to be cranked up to 1,000,000 on the dial. On the largest individual marketing day of the calendar year, the country will be urged, over and over to make sizable impulse purchases, even despite the pandemic.
It is the law of the land. (No, it really is.) Over.
Who will the MVP mention first in his speech?
- Winning city/fans
Given who I expect to not only win the game, but also be the main determining factor in said victory, I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that the “MVP” thanks his family and soon-to-be wife/mother of his child. He’s previously thanked God for individual accomplishments. But the news on the horizon in his personal life is too much to pass up and thank anyone first aside from his family.
What will the color of the Gatorade be that’s poured on the winning coach?
Everyone’s favorite prop bet closes this bad boy out! The one aspect of football most satirized by other aspects of pop culture, the Gatorade pouring is as synonymous with the Super Bowl as the actual game played on the field.
Last year, The Walrus, a.k.a. Andy Reid, had orange drenched all over his back as Kansas City captured its first championship in five decades. I’m rolling with orange again. It’s the closest thing to the red (and underlying red) of both the Chiefs’ and Buccaneers’ uniform color schemes. There’s no reason to change up what already worked. Bet the farm and hold the line on orange Gatorade.