The woman on the other side of the cage has just handed me a couple of grand in large bills and, free Jack Daniels on the rocks in hand, I decide it’s high time to check out the sports book at the Luxor Casino in Las Vegas, where I’ve been holed up for a couple of days.
I don’t frequent the Luxor, normally opting for the Hard Rock because I’m a fan of the ‘60s and ‘70s when all good music was created, and I love to hang out with the Van Halen brothers, Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill. But, in this case, the Luxor was free, courtesy of a couple of hot rolls at the craps table earlier in the week inside the huge pyramid on The Strip.
Wandering the street-level expanse of the casino leads me past a couple more blackjack tables, where I pick up another couple thousand, hitting a couple of double-downs and winning one hand where I split aces and hit two blackjacks.
Bored of that, I spot a Pai Gow table, where I nail a royal flush on the second hand with a $25 bonus on the table: another $3,750 in bonus money into the pocket, the rest going to the dealer as a tip.
I finally arrive at the sports book, a busy spot indeed as the Super Bowl nears.
Walking in, I spot a Peyton Manning orange Denver Bronco jersey behind the merchandise counter. Clearance sale, it says. I have always resisted paying a hundred bucks for one of these things, but I pick this one up quite readily at $25 and, still feeling lucky but still feeling the pain of Joe Flacco putting a dagger in my heart, pull the jersey on over my faded, outdated gray Colorado State T-shirt.
I enter the casino book joint, find a comfortable chair near a huge numbers-filled screen that engulfs one side of the room and order another Jack on the rocks (still free) from the gorgeous cocktail gal. Lucky her – and, no, I’m not that lucky.
First things first.
I make my prerequisite bet on which team will win the game, taking the underdog Baltimore Ravens, assuming they will still be the luckiest team on the face of the earth come Gatorade time Sunday night. This is a sucker bet because it doesn’t even double your money if you win, but it’s almost required by law to make it.
Ditto with the over-under, which I also dutifully bet, this time counting on the score going over 47 points because, as I said, the Ravens are lucky (do you feel a theme here?).
Then I get to the fun stuff – the proposition bets, bets on specific, often goofy stuff that happens within or around the game.
The first prop bet, of course, is how many times will the name Harbaugh be mentioned during the game. The over/under in this case is 21 ½. Give me a break; that will happen by the end of the first half.
I decide I will also bet on how many times the Harbaugh parents will appear on the tube during the telecast (over/under 13 ½), how long the Harbaugh brothers will hug at midfield after the game, and which Harbaugh brother will get dunked with Gatorade.
Other prop bets to consider that are non-Harbaughish:
You can bet on the number of interceptions in the game (over/under 4 ½), number of fumbles (over/under 2 ½), number of fumbles lost (over/under 1 ½), number of punts (over/under 7 ½), and on and on.
As to the telecast, this is where it can get goofy.
The over/under on Alicia Keys National Anthem time is 2 minutes, 15 seconds. There is also a great money-line bet on Keys being booed: If you say yes and bet $100, you can win $500. And another money-line bet on whether or not she will screw up the lyrics. Say yes for $100 and you win $170.
There are “wardrobe malfunction bets” surrounding the halftime show and plenty of bets on the stars of that show. Last Super Bowl it was all about Madonna and her hair and her nylons. This time around, it’s Beyonce.
Will Beyonce’s hair be straight, not curly? Will Beyonce show more cleavage than Janet Jackson (just kidding)?
Yes, there are a plethora of ways to spend your money.
Still feeling lucky (it’s probably more because of my fifth Jack on the rocks and the great-looking waitress), I make my final decision: Several grand goes down on the time on the game ending after 9:52 EST.
It’s a lock: Here’s to lots of long Budweiser commercials, Alicia Keys going far over on the anthem and several wardrobe malfunctions.