Friday, January 27, 2012

2012 Super Bowl XLVI (46) Prop Bet: The Kelly Clarkson National Anthem

Leading up to the 2012 Super Bowl XLVI (46) between the New York Giants and New England Patriots, we'll be taking a look at Super Bowl proposition betting, or more specifically, the fun or crazy Super Bowl 46 (XLVI) prop bets that you hear so much about. That includes props on the Super Bowl coin toss, Super Bowl halftime show (Madonna), the Super Bowl National Anthem (Kelly Clarkson), the Super Bowl Gatorade Shower dump and much more. Follow along on the Super Bowl sidebar to the right and follow us on twitter @stocklemonblog!

Before we get to our annual analysis of the duration of the Super Bowl National Anthem, we have good news for those of you who enjoy betting on the Star Spangled Banner--Christina Aguilera so badly screwed it up last year, that she's inspired an entirely new Anthem prop bet! The bad news, however, is that like many others, it is strictly a sucker bet.

The new prop reads:

Will Kelly Clarkson forget or omit at least 1 word of the official US National Anthem?

Yes +250

As we've mentioned before, it's generally a good idea to stray from these types of props that offer only one option, as they are usually trying to capitalize upon a hot topic and coerce people into getting their gambling advice at the water cooler. So no, please don't bet on the above prop bet. Kelly Clarkson will nail this thing.

The question still remains, though. Just how long will it take her to nail it?

How long will it take Kelly Clarkson to sing the National Anthem?
Over 1 minute, 34 seconds (-120)
Under 1 minute, 34 seconds (-120)

This marks our fifth-straight female anthem, following Billy Joel's short but sweet performance in 2007. This year's Anthem length could rival that of Joel's, though, as Clarkson has been quick and to the point in past Anthems on big stages (she's performed in both the World Series and NBA Finals, so she will be completing the major championship trifecta in the Super Bowl). Take a look at the results of our laborious research, which consisted of 15 minutes on Youtube.

Let's start with a National Anthem she sung on the gridiron, since she'll be in a similar surrounding Sunday. This from a Cowboys/Buccaneers Thanksgiving Day Game back on November 23, 2006:

Firstly, did it just make too much sense to have her sing the anthem last year, in her native Texas? Was that it? Anyway, we clocked her here at 1 minute, 28 seconds, six seconds under the over/under set for the Super Bowl (anthem runs from :02-1:30 in the video). As her appearance shows, this was a long time ago, just as she had climbed to the top of the American Idol mountain. Has time impacted her timing on the Star Spangled stopwatch?

Fast forward to Opening Day for the New York Yankees, hosting the Cleveland Indians on April 16, 2009 in another big-time performance:

Here, Clarkson goes just 1 minute, 27 seconds (:25-1:52), even with a little ad-libbing at the end. Could it be that she's actually taken time off of her Star Spangled Banner? Or was she just too comfortable whipping through that at such a dinky event as the opening game for the most storied franchise in all of sports?

Let's find out in the World Series, where the Fort Worth native actually was able to sing in front of the home crowd on the biggest stage in the MLB, the World Series (arguably less of a stage than the Thanksgiving Day Game, mind you). This from Game 3 of the Texas Rangers/San Francisco Giants series on October 30, 2010:

In four years, she added five seconds, finishing this one just a hair under the Super Bowl over/under at 1 minute, 33 seconds (from :17-1:50). This is subject to some debate, as it's not quite clear when she ends it, but it is certainly no later than 1:50 and possibly as early as 1:48 1/2. Either way, it's still at least one second under the Super Bowl mark of 1 minute, 34 seconds, and on a championship stage.

The success of her local Texas clubs means that we haven't seen the last of Clarkson on said stage, as she was also asked to sing at the NBA Finals this past season when the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat faced off. This from Game 4 of the Finals on June 7, 2011:

Once again, and on a similar Championship-level performance, Clarkson hit 1 minute, 33 seconds on the button (:16-1:49). It's clear that the oddsmakers are betting on this kind of consistency from Clarkson in her last two performances, both beautiful renditions of America's song, rather than the even shorter first version.

The results:
2006 NFL Thanksgiving Day Game, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys (November 23, 2006): 1 minute, 28 seconds
2009 Yankes Home Opener, Cleveland Indians at New York Yankees (April 16, 2009): 1 minute, 27 seconds
2010 MLB World Series Game 3, San Francisco Giants at Texas Rangers (October 30, 2010): 1 minute, 33 seconds
2011 NBA Finals Game 4, Miami Heat at Dallas Mavericks (June 7, 2011): 1 minute, 33 seconds

So with the over/under set at 1 minute, 34 seconds, and all four of her past performances provided by Youtube set at 1 minute, 33 seconds or less, we'll definitely bet the under on the length of the Super Bowl National Anthem, right?

Not so fast, friends. While we do lend the appropriate amount of weight to this type of time-consuming research, sometimes, you just have to go with your gut. And there is something to be said about the grandest stage of them all, the Super Bowl, leading to additional seconds in the performance of the National Anthem.

We saw the nerves get to Christina Aguilera last year, who we correctly predicted to go over 1 minute, 50 seconds--even with the omission of an entire verse! We think Clarkson will go slightly over the 1 minute, 34 second mark, possibly in the 1:36-1:38 range, but it will be the closest call in recent memory. All we can do is provide the evidence, even if it does not support us in this case. Take these videos for what they are worth, but likewise go with your own gut.

Speaking of guts, we have one more Kelly Clarkson/National Anthem-related prop bet to warn you about:

Will Kelly Clarkson's bare belly be showing when she sings the National Anthem?
Yes +300

Not only is this another sucker bet, it's actually kind of mean considering the fluctuating weight of Kelly Clarkson in recent years. Sure, in her younger days as a hot new diva, she was privy to showing some skin via the bare midriff, but it would take the most disastrous of wardrobe malfunctions yet to get Kelly Clarkson to show her stomach to the entire world on Super Sunday.

What will she wear instead, you ask? Let's take a look at our options:

What will Kelly Clarkson wear to sing the National Anthem?
Super Bowl XLVI or official NFL shirt +200
Colts Jersey or shirt +1200
Patriots Jersey or shirt +1200
Giants Jersey or shirt +1500
Anything else -300

Our original lean was the anything else option at -300, playing it safe and guessing that Clarkson dresses conservatively but within her own style. Looking at the videos above, though, the other options available are more her style than anything. She dresses the part, to be sure, wearing Cowboys, Yankees, Rangers, and Mavericks apparel in each of the above videos.

Taking into account that she is actually a fan of most of those teams, we don't foresee her picking favorites with Patriots or Giants gear (though she may be actively rooting against New York), and any Colts apparel would be out of place in a game in which they aren't playing, despite the location of the game. Which leads us to believe that she'll go with some other form of NFL apparel, likely a simple t-shirt with the Super Bowl XLVI logo on it. We're going to finally step outside the box and go with Kelly Clarkson to wear anything in the Super Bowl/NFL apparel option at +200. One that covers the stomach region, mind you.

And if coverage is what you're looking for, you're in the right place, as we'll dish out plenty more 2012 Super Bowl XLVI (46) prop bet goodness throughout the hype and hoopla that is Super Bowl Week. We'll keep those fun and crazy Super Bowl prop bets coming as long as we're promised Kelly Clarkson keeps her clothes on.