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Red Gatorade shower and other Super Bowl LVII prop bets

Image courtesy NFL

The 57th Super Bowl is Sunday. Millions will watch the National Football League championship game to root for their Kansas City Chiefs or Philadelphia Eagles.

For most, the attention will be because of pure fandom. But millions also will pay attention to the events at State Farm Field in Glendale, Arizona, because they've got money riding on the game.

Growth of sports betting: Gambling on sporting events is no longer taboo. After the U.S. Supreme Court's 2018 ruling allowed states to decide whether to legalize sports betting within their borders, most states and Washington, D.C., have done just that.

The major U.S. professional sports leagues acted more quickly. They saw the financial gains and partnered with legal sports books.

The NFL currently has deals with DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars Entertainment that reportedly could be worth about $1 billion for the league over five years. And don't forget about the advertising dollars the official betting partners and other gambling operations are spending to promote their offerings during games.

They are welcoming the record 50.4 million American adults who are expected to bet on Super Bowl LVII, a 61 percent increase from the record set in 2022, according to a new American Gaming Association (AGA) survey. Bettors plan to wager an estimated $16 billion on this year’s championship game, more than double last year's estimates.

Thanks to the expansion of legal sports betting, the AGA says traditional Super Bowl wagers are expected to pass casual wagers for the first time ever. Thirty million American adults plan to place a traditional sports wager online, at a retail sportsbook or with a bookie, up 66 percent from 2022.

Propensity for prop betting: There also are the casual bettors, many of whom have or will place a prop bet, short for propositions, or two. These often goofy wagers have become so popular that folks who don't care at all about the game tune in to watch at least part of it to see whether their props pay off.

Here are some standards:

How long will it take country star Chris Stapleton to sing the National Anthem? The over/under is hovering at just over two minutes. The last four anthem times were 1:51, 1:49, 2:01, and 2:00 on the dot.

How many times during the anthem will the TV cameras show actor Troy Kotsur, who won an Oscar for his role in Apple TV+'s "CODA," as he performs the Star-Spangled Banner in American Sign Language (ASL)?

Other Super Bowl musical events that can be timed and bet on are R&B singer Babyface's performance of "America the Beautiful," and "Abbott Elementary" actress Sheryl Lee Ralph's rendition of "Lift Every Voice and Sing."

For the main musical event, which song with halftime headliner Rihanna sing first? Right now, "Don't Stop the Music" is the favorite.

Will she use an umbrella on stage as a prop?

How many total songs during the show, which usually runs around 15 minutes, will she perform? The over/under is at 9.5.

There also are bets on the color of first costume Rihanna will wear (her Savage X Fenty brand has an entire line dedicated to the Super Bowl) and how many times she'll change during the show.

Sort of sports-related: While the non-football bets get lots of attention (guilty!), there are plenty of props that are game, or sort of game, related. Here are a few.

Will the coin toss turn out to be heads or tails and which team will win it?

What time will kick-off actually happen?

How many times will television announcers mention the Texas high school football careers of the opposing quarterbacks, Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes and Philly's Jalen Hurts?


What will be the primary color of Mahomes' headband? Red, both the Chief's usual base color and also from his days as a Texas Tech Red Raider, is the favorite choice. He could go for black, though, and still be true to his school.

How many times will the Fox cameras cut to the QBs' families?

What color Gatorade will be dumped on the winning coach? The sports drink color for each Super Bowl shower is chosen by Gatorade every year, and the company lines up three different coolers on the sideline after the game with different flavors in each.

Will the first touchdown be a run or a pass reception?

Who will throw the first touchdown? How long will it be? Who will catch it?

Will there be a safety in the game?

Who will the winning coach thank first?

If you want to simply play at prop bets, FanDuel has a downloadable checklist, as well as a prop bet bingo card.

The Refrigerator prop bet boost: The betting, both big bucks on the game itself and the wild prop bets, are just part of the pageantry of the United States' largest single sporting (and gambling) event.

Prop bets, however, didn't really take off until Super Bowl XX in 1986. The Bears defeated the Patriots by the score of 46–10, to win the 1985 season championship, capturing their first NFL title since 1963.

But the most memorable play of the game was William "The Refrigerator" Perry's third quarter touchdown, which upped the score to 44–3. The touchdown by the defensive-tackle-turned-running-back cost Las Vegas sports books hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Perry had scored a couple of touchdowns in the regular season, but trick plays aren't that common in the biggest game of the year. So, Caesars Sportsbook set the odds at 20/1 that the big man would score a TD in the Super Bowl.

But as the newly invented wager spread across media outlets nationwide, money followed, betting on Perry to find the end zone. By the time the Bears and Patriots were set to kick off on Jan. 26, 1986, those odds had shifted all the way to 2/1. Even at that low of a price, bets were still coming in on Perry.

"When The Fridge came lumbering off the sidelines after [Bears head coach Mike] Ditka sent him into the game, I immediately left the public area, went back into the office and closed the door," said Art Manteris, sportsbook manager at Caesars back then. "By the time I closed the door, all I could hear was the walls shaking."

He knew the worst-case scenario had unfolded. While the handle on the Perry prop bet was still ways away from the spread, it still created a giant dent.

Now sportsbooks are ready. Are you?

Get ready for taxes: One thing you do need to be ready for if any of your Super Bowl bets pay off on Sunday is taxes.

Gambling winnings of all types are taxable income. Any you collect on the biggest NFL game or other bets this year must be reported as taxable income when you file your 2022 taxes next year.

You can read about how to let the Internal Revenue Service know of your lucrative luck in my post reporting all your income, including gambling winnings, on Form 1040 Schedule 1.

Rooting, not betting, reasons: I'm not betting, but I will be watching and rooting for the Kansas City Chiefs for three reasons.

First, I'm a lifelong Dallas Cowboys fan, old enough to have seen Don Meredith, the birth of the original Doomsday Defense, Roger Staubach's heyday, and all them 'Boys' Super Bowl wins (from decades ago; oh, Jerry…). That means I cannot support the Eagles, even though their quarterback is, like me, a Texas native.

Second, the Chiefs started out in 1959 as the Dallas Texans, a charter member of the American Football League, before relocating to KC in 1963 and being redubbed the Chiefs.

Third, the circle comes around fully with another native Texan, Patrick Mahomes, leading the Chiefs' offense. Plus, Mahomes and I share the same alma mater, Texas Tech University.

If you're looking for some similar hook on which to base your Super Bowl support, check out U.S. Census data on the Kansas City and Philadelphia players. The excerpted map below gives you an overview of where they are from, but you also can use the Census Bureau's interactive tool to find out the NFL players' birth places as well as colleges.

Super Bowl LVII KC Philly players hometowns map only US Census screenshot

I see that there actually are more Texas-born plays on the Eagles, but I'm sticking with KC. See reason #1 above.

Here's hoping my support won't jinx the Chiefs — I get a little paranoid and very superstitious when it comes to teams I like — and they'll be able to collect their third Vince Lombardi Trophy as NFL champions.

Sorry, not sorry, Iggles fans.

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