Depending upon who you ask, Southampton or Southold is the first English settlement in New York State. The debate will continue to rage, as these things do, on Sunday. But as an antidote to the small-town idiosyncrasies, February 2 will bring an undisputed first to the suburbs of Manhattan — Super Bowl XLVIII.
The Super Bowl, which will be played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, will be the first Super Bowl played in the New York metro region, the first Super Bowl to be played outdoors in a cold weather climate and the first to tap an opera diva to sing the national anthem. For the first time since 2010 — and just the second in 20 years — the Super Bowl will feature the two No. 1 seeds. The game will also pit the NFL’s stingiest defense of 2013—Seattle—against the year’s top offense—Denver.
The Seahawks are one of 13 NFL teams who have never won a Super Bowl. And if they take home their first championship Lombardi Trophy on Sunday, coach Pete Carroll would be only the second coach in history to win both an NCAA championship and a Super Bowl.
But like all Super Bowls before it, the second-largest U.S. eating holiday will be about much more than the winner. It’s about betting. On everything possible, outside of the score. For both the diehard enthusiast and the person who came to your party just because you make a great guac, prop bets clock in as one of the more highly anticipated parts of the most-watched television event of the year.
Betting website Bovada.com has set a number of prop bets. Here, the top five most ridiculous, broken down:
1. What color will the Gatorade (or liquid) will be dumped on the head coach of the winning Super Bowl team?
Breakdown: Much to prop bet enthusiasts’ disappointment, last year’s winning coach, Baltimore’s John Harbaugh, avoided the Gatorade spill. Here’s hoping we can dodge that outcome this year…and the water, clearly the most boring option. Dan’s Papers editorial director Eric Feil figures that the odds favor water simply because there are likely more jugs filled with water than with Gatorade. But I think the players deserve more credit: They’re going to pick the color of their team to dump on the coach. Hedge your bets on who’s going to win, and pick either orange or blue for this one.
2. How many times will Peyton Manning say “Omaha” during the game?
The over/under is set at 27.5.
Breakdown: When calling plays before the snap, the Broncos quarterback has shouted “Omaha” amid the signals. His crazy, complicated sequence of calls—as complicated as trying to explain to someone that there are really only two roads out here, but their names vary among County Road 39, Sunrise Highway, Montauk Highway, Old Montauk Highway 27, 27A, the Napeague Stretch and Main Street—often forces the opposing team to move before the ball is snapped, putting them in an offsides penalty situation. Manning will need to keep Seattle’s D off-balance, so go with the over.
3. What will Bruno Mars be wearing on his head at the start of his halftime performance?
Fur Hat: +500
No hat: +200
Breakdown: There was some outcry when Super Bowl officials chose the Hawaiian-born Mars to perform at halftime, a perceived snub to Jersey boys Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen. Jersey’s strongest must be taking a small bit of pleasure in knowing that warm-blooded Mars will be frigid during the show. Will he shun his signature fedora in favor something warmer? Or will the addition of the Chili Peppers allow him a smaller set, less time outdoors and more comfort in donning the beachiest of hipster head apparel? We say no hat!
4. Will any member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers be shirtless during their performance?
Breakdown: If you’re going to take this wager, it’s easier than you think to get in touch with Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith. He has a place in Montauk, and he was the inaugural guest at Nancy Atlas’s Bay Street Theatre Fireside Sessions. No cheating, but just sayin’…
5. What will be the lowest temperature during the game?
Over 28 degrees Fahrenheit: Even
Under 28 degrees Fahrenheit: -140
Breakdown: At press time, Accuweather.com is predicting a low of 22° for Sunday. The coldest Super Bowl played in an open-air stadium was in 1972 in New Orleans at 39°. We’re pretty sure 2014’s contest will take down that record. You can also bet on whether it will snow during the game, and the odds are favoring a winter wonderland. The record for most snowfall on Super Bowl day was in 2006, as 1.1 inches of snow fell in Detroit. Detroit, however, has a domed stadium, so the snowy weather really only impacted tailgating.