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Kevin Schnepf, Published February 04 2012

Schnepf: Setting odds on the things that matter

Fargo - When it comes to today’s Super Bowl, the odds are high that odds will be posted on about every subject imaginable.

If you are a betting man, you can choose from the following odds: Who will win the MVP, how many times will Peyton Manning be shown on TV, what color Gatorade will be dumped on the winning coach, what player will score the first touchdown.

On a day when more than $8 billion will be wagered on the game, I offer my own list of odds-related questions that can’t be found in Vegas:

E Nearly 115 million people are expected to watch today’s game on TV. What are the odds that half of them don’t even know who is playing?

E Today’s game is officially known as Super Bowl XLVI. What are the odds that half of those 115 million viewers don’t know what XLVI means? (Here’s a hint: it’s the same number that Earsell Mackbee wore for the Minnesota Vikings from 1965-69).

E What are the odds most of those 115 million viewers will get sick of NBC’s repeated promos of “The Voice” and “Smash” long before they get sick of eating one too many hot-and-spicy chicken wings?

E Five million people are expected to purchase new TVs just to watch the Super Bowl. What are the odds they throw a bottle of Bud at their new screens earlier in the week while watching Kathie Lee and Hoda act like they know something about football?

E In order to prepare their 40 cameramen, NBC had the football team from Fisher (Ind.) High School run plays during a Friday dress rehearsal in Lucas Oil Stadium. What are the odds they were chosen over the Indianapolis Colts?

E Former Vikings receiver Randy Moss is scheduled to provide updates for NBC from the Patriots’ team hotel. What are the odds he either A) Moons Patriots coach Bill Belichick or B) Walks off in a huff for not getting enough air time?

E It cost advertisers $3.5 million for a 30-second commercial. What are the odds a big chunk of that money went to Jerry Seinfeld for turning into a car salesman? What are the odds an even bigger chunk went to David Beckham for modeling his bodywear?

E At 53, Madonna promises to provide a 10-minute halftime show for the ages. What are the odds she can hide her age better than previous halftime entertainers like the Rolling Stones and The Who?

E The odds that today’s game will not live up to expectations are quite high. Then what are the odds that half of those 115 million viewers will click over to the Travel Channel to watch “Hamburger Paradise,” “Hot Dog Paradise,” and “Steak Paradise?” If they don’t have the appetite for that medley, what are the odds they will click over to TLC and watch the “600-pound Mom?” And if they’ve had their fill of watching overgrown people for the day, what are the odds they will simply turn off the TV and read a book?

Now those are odds you won’t find in Vegas. Oh, and by the way, the New York Giants are playing the New England Patriots today.


Readers can reach Forum Sports Editor

Kevin Schnepf at (701) 241-5549

or at kschnepf@forumcomm.com