Thursday, January 28, 2010

Super Bowl XLIV Prop Bet: The National Anthem


To see the 2011 Super Bowl XLV (45) National Anthem Prop Bet, featuring Christina Aguilera in the game between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers, click here.

Over the next week and a half leading up to the Super Bowl, we'll be taking a look at various proposition bets for the 2010 Super Bowl, Super Bowl 44, Super Bowl XLIV, The Big Game, or whatever it's called these days.

Before the Colts and Saints execute their keys to the game, America (and several other countries outside of the United States) will be paying close attention to some keys prior to kickoff -- the keys sung by Carrie Underwood during the National Anthem, just as we did last year when we were quite possibly single handedly responsible for shifting the opening line. If you recall, the long winded Jennifer Hudson's anthem line was set at 1 minute and 54 seconds before we got some research in (aka watched YouTube videos of previous anthems. We found that all three of her available anthems on YouTube were at least four seconds longer than that mark, and strongly recommended the over. Then, the line moved to 2 minutes and 1 second overnight. The result? It took Hudson 2 minutes and 13 seconds.

This year, with yet another American Idol winner taking the opening tune, the results should be much different. Carrie Underwood could sing the shortest Anthem since Billy Joel did it in 1 minute and 30 seconds back in 2007 (in a Super Bowl broadcast by CBS... in Miami... featuring the Colts).

So, let's get down to business this year. According to Bodog, the 2010 Super Bowl XLIV National Anthem prop bet line, as sung by Carrie Underwood:

Super Bowl XLIV - How long will it take Carrie Underwood to sing the National Anthem?
Clock starts as soon as Underwood sings first Note and Stops when she sings her last note.
Super Bowl XLIV - How long will it takeCarrie Underwood to sing the National Anthem?
Clock starts as soon as Underwood sings first Note and Stops when she sings her last note.
Over 1 Minute and 42 Seconds
Under 1 Minute and 42 Seconds

The 1 minute and 42 second line is way below Jennifer Hudson's, and well above Billy Joel's. So where does Carrie Underwood stand and what can Underwood's National Anthem history tell us about her upcoming performance prior to the Super Bowl? Let's get to the tape.


Underwood's first anthem comes to us from June 6, 2005 before Game 4 of the NBA Finals between the Detroit Pistons and San Antonio Spurs in Detroit. As you can see, she starts at roughly :15 into the video, ending at 1:58 (remember it counts through the completion of the final note). Anyone who has ever failed math before knows that her total time is 1 minute 43 seconds, one second above the Super Bowl anthem prop. But don't be so quick to jump on that over. Let's take a peak at a few more videos first.


This next video comes to us courtesy of the NFC Championship game on January 26, 2006, when Underwood was in Seattle to sing the National Anthem prior to the Seattle Seahawks date with the Carolina Panthers. This one begins at :25 and ends at 2:05, totaling 1 minute 40 seconds. This is, of course, below the current line for the Super Bowl by two seconds, and is doubly significant because it is the only anthem on file of her at a football game. That under is suddenly looking appealing, if only we could see a couple more videos...


Next up is July 11, 2006 at the MLB All-Star Game in Pittsburgh. This video serves both as research and a further reminder of how nice it will be not to listen to Joe Buck on Super Sunday. The singing starts at :32 in and goes until 2:10, giving us a total anthem time of 1 minute 38 seconds, now four (FOUR!) seconds below the line. We're starting to see a pattern here as she continues to progress. How about one more video to cement our bet?


Our last piece of video evidence comes from the 2007 World Series on October 27, 2007. Underwood sang the Star Spangled Banner prior to Game 3 of the series between the Boston Red Sox and Colorado Rockies, with this the first game in Colorado. Take a listen to this one and not only will you be rewarded with more Joe Buck at the end, but you'll hear that she starts at :23 and ends 1:59. She trails off a little and it is difficult to spot the exact end, but we think 1:59 is a fairly safe judgement. This would mean that her most recent anthem went 1 minute and 36 seconds, a full six seconds below her prop bet line of 1 minute 42 seconds. That's about all the information we need.

Let's review:
June 6, 2005: 1 minute, 43 seconds (one second OVER her Super Bowl line)
January 22, 2006: 1 minute, 40 seconds (two seconds UNDER)
July 11, 2006: 1 minute, 38 seconds (four seconds UNDER)
October 27, 2007: 1 minute, 36 seconds (six seconds UNDER)

With each passing anthem, Carrie Underwood has taken less and less time to sing the Star Spangled Banner. We understand that it is the Super Bowl and some singers milk the opportunity for all it's worth (see Hudson, Jennifer from last year), but we don't see Underwood going that route. It isn't like she hasn't sang the National Anthem at a big event before, already hitting both of the other major sports' championships, an all-star game and the NFL's next best thing to the Super Bowl. For us, the above videos provide all the evidence we need to make a sizeable bet on the UNDER 1 minute and 42 seconds, at just -125 juice.