Super Bowl is numbers game

By David Mullen

Everyone across America awaits with great anticipation the TV extrav

aganza on Sunday, Feb. 4. The hype will be complete. The wait will be over. Yes, ABC is all geared up to show repeat episodes of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and “Shark Tank.”

Hey, who doesn’t love watching cat videos or listening to Robert Herjavec saying, “I’m out!” in a Canadian accent.

Of course, America won’t be watching ABC or any other network. It is Super Bowl Sunday on NBC. Get ready for at least 10 hours of Super Bowl programming.

The NBC pregame shows start at 11 a.m. Super Bowl LII from Minneapolis pitting the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles actually kicks off around 5:20 p.m. This year, a 30-second in-game commercial will cost $5 million in media. Production and celebrity endorsement expenses are extra.

According to a study by wallethub, the city of Minneapolis will spend nearly $5 million in city services preparing for the game. The expected economic impact in the area Super Bowl week will be more than $400 million.

Lucky enough to go to the game? Tickets are priced from $950 to $5,000. And that is the ticket price set by the NFL. Ticket resellers will hope to get more, especially from rabid fans visiting from “The City of Brotherly Love.”

Imagine if the Minnesota Vikings could have won the NFC championship game and became the first team to host a Super Bowl in 52 years? Those reseller prices would have easily doubled or tripled.

At home, 1.35 billion chicken wings and 10 million pounds of ribs will be consumed. At least 14,500 tons of chips will be dipped into eight million pounds of guacamole. More than 325 million gallons of beer will wash it down.

Wanna’ bet? The Patriots opened as a 6-point favorite to win, have dropped to anywhere from 4 to 4-1/2 point favorites, and may go lower by game time. The over/under point total is around 48.

But why put money on conventional wagers when you can, according to Dave Mason of, bet on Patriots coach Bill Belichick (2/7 odds) and Eagles coach Doug Pederson (5/13) being shown during the National Anthem? You can get 7/4 that the first close-up of a player or coach will have his hand over his heart during the anthem, or 5/11 that they won’t have their hand over their heart.

You can bet whether Pink will wear a skirt, or shorts and leggings during her National Anthem performance.

You can even bet if Justin Timberlake will wear a headset or use a handheld microphone during the halftime performance. Only in America, or in this case, only offshore in Antigua.

The New England Patriots have had an amazing Super Bowl run with Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.

But this season, instead of mentions of their dominance, people love to say that they’re a team in turmoil. Apparently, Belichick, Brady and owner Robert Kraft are at odds. (No pun intended.)

Hard to believe that the Eagles, a team that has never won a Super Bowl, are a popular choice to derail the Patriots. Maybe fans are tired of New England always winning the big game.

Controversies like “Spygate” and “Deflategate” add to the distain for a franchise that is arguably the greatest in history, but often branded as cheaters.

The Eagles are very good, especially on the defensive front. They could give Brady and his bad hand fits. It is difficult to ever pick against the Pats, but I believe this year the Eagles soar. They overcame the loss of their MVP candidate quarterback Carson Wentz, and journeyman Nick Foles has played well enough to win and help lead the team to Minnesota despite being an underdog in every playoff game.

I will go with Philadelphia to hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy in a hard fought 28-17 win. Don’t think that my prediction has anything to do with having NFC-8 and AFC-7 in the Super Bowl squares pool at a local tavern. And, while I am at it, give me Timberlake and the headset.

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