By John Boyle Herald Columnist
Next to funny commercials, the Puppy Bowl and eating copious amounts of unhealthy food, few things say Super Bowl Sunday like the crazy proposition bets that allow you to place wagers on just about anything involving the biggest sporting event in America.
Unlike most football games, the Super Bowl is a chance to bet on so much more than a point spread or over/under on the point total. In this game, there are so many things you can put money on — if gambling on sports were legal in this state, of course — ranging from the mundane (distance of the game’s first punt: over/under 48.5 yards) to things that have nothing to do with the game itself (will Beyonce be joined by Jay Z on stage during the halftime show? Yes -105, No -135).
You can also make wagers on the brothers Harbaugh. Who will be shown on TV first during the game? Jim +125, John +125, split-screen shot of both +190.
Or you can make bets involving multiple sporting events. What will be higher, LeBron James’ points vs. Toronto or the 49ers point total?
Yet for all of the fun you can have betting on the Super Bowl — again, if it were legal here — and for all of the creative wagering options, there’s a few more bets I’d like to see available for Sunday’s game. So while no sports books are taking my advice, I’ll still offer up these six prop bets that we should be able to wager on today.
Will Jim Harbaugh throw a temper tantrum and slam his headset on the ground?
Yes -130, No +105
We all saw Harbaugh ridiculous overreaction to losing a challenge in the NFC Championship game. Well with the stakes even higher, the coach Seahawks fans love to hate is bound to do something silly when he disagrees with a call in this game, right?
*Temper tantrum is defined as any display that a parent would find embarrassing if done by a 5-year-old in the privacy of a home, let alone a grown man on the biggest stage in American sports.
What will happen when the Harbaugh brothers meet after the game?
Handshake 2/1, Hug 8/5, Losing brother blows off the winner, skips handshake 20/1, Fistfight 80/1
OK, so hoping for a Harbrawl at midfield is probably a long shot, but anybody could get under a loved one’s skin enough to make it happen, it’s Jim Harbaugh.
*If John asks Jim “What’s your deal?” wagers will be graded as No Action.
Will Ray Lewis cry in a postgame interview?
Yes -115, No even
You can already place a bet on how many times Lewis will reference God after the game, but let’s add to that a chance to bet on whether or not the emotional Ravens linebacker will have a good postgame cry. If Baltimore wins, betting on some Lewis tears will almost certainly pay off.
*If Roy Firestone is interviewing Lewis, wagers will be graded as No Action
Number of times the camera cuts to a shot of a dejected-looking Alex Smith?
The 49ers starting-QB-turned-backup has spent the past two weeks hearing about what a bold and smart move his coach made by handing the starting job to Colin Kaepernick. Now Smith will sit on the sideline in his sport’s biggest game, perhaps watching his replacement lead the 49ers to a title.
*Dejected is defined as any look that makes you think, “Man, that guy needs a hug. Or a drink. Or both.”
Number of times Joe Flacco’s contract situation is mentioned during the game?
In case you hadn’t heard, the Ravens quarterback’s contract is up after this year. If Flacco, who has long thought of himself as one of the league’s top quarterbacks, has a big game, it’s a safe bet that there will be plenty of talk about him getting paid this offseason.
*Over bet pays double if Flacco celebrates a touchdown or victory by shouting, “Pay me!” or “Show me the money!” or similar.
Will a 49ers fan be shown on TV wearing deer antlers?
Yes +130, No -120
In what has to be the strangest performance enhancing drug scandal in recent memory, reports surfaced in the last week that Ray Lewis was one of a handful of athletes who used a “deer antler spray” that contains a banned substance. Lewis has maintained his innocence, but it would almost be disappointing if a San Francisco fan doesn’t think to put on some antlers to poke fun at the situation.
*Bet pays double if a 49ers player wears antlers in pregame warm-ups. Triple if Jim Harbaugh wears them during the game.
Herald Writer John Boyle: firstname.lastname@example.org