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Superbowl Betting Props: Tom Benson’s Premature Celebration – SportsUntapped.com
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Added February 1st, 2010 by David Glisan

Superbowl Betting Props:  Tom Benson’s Premature Celebration
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One of the advantages of Superbowl betting on prop bets related to the broadcast of the game is that you’re not having to take a position relative to the outcome.  Many prop bets based on performance often require you to evaluate them based on who will win the game and by how much.   They’re a good hedge against being flat out wrong about how the game will play out as elements of the broadcast like Carrie Underwood’s national anthem or the halftime performance by The Who obviously won’t be influenced by what happens on the field.

Bodog is offering a prop bet based on something that happened earlier this season involving New Orleans Saints’ owner Tom Benson.  Here’s the short version of what happened–the Saints were playing Tampa Bay at home on December 27 and the game was tied 17-17 late in regulation.  Saints’ kicker Garrett Hartley set up for a potential game winning field goal.  It looked good coming off of Hartley’s foot, but he hooked the ball to the left sending the game to overtime where the Saints would eventually lose.

Saints’ owner Benson was shown on video in his box celebrating as if the field goal was good.  He quickly realizes that it wasn’t and stops the celebration.  The video was posted all over the Internet and even ESPN made it the lead angle in their recap of the game:

NEW ORLEANS — The moment Garrett Hartley’s foot drove through the ball, the Louisiana Superdome crowd erupted and Saints owner Tom Benson raised his arms in triumph.

The presumption was that these Saints, in this magical season, were going to pull out another win in the clutch.

Not so fast.Hartley’s 37-yarder hooked to the left, and those who’d allowed themselves to celebrate prematurely were sent home soon after in stunned silence.

I didn’t really get what was so amusing about the video, maybe because in my line of work there have been plenty of times that I thought I won a bet only to have read the score wrong or whatever.  Basically, it was an 83 year old man who didn’t see the result of the play correctly.  Har har.  Get it?  An old guy didn’t see the football play clearly and thought his team won but then realized they didn’t.  Yuk yuk.  That Benson sure is a fool, what with his net worth of close to a billion dollars, ownership of a NFL team and a MILF wife that looks to be less than half his age.

Nevertheless, sports bloggers posted the video over and over again with titles like ‘Tom Benson celebration fail’.  Obviously, ‘reaction shots’ of team owners on big plays are nothing new–particularly with games involving high profile owners like Jerry Jones.  This one kind of took on a life of its own, again for reasons that aren’t exactly clear. It became such a part of this year’s sports media zeitgeist that Bodog is offering the following prop bet:

Will they show a replay of Tom Benson celebrating the missed field goal against Tampa Bay from the regular season?

YES +350
NO -500

Note that the prop also stipulates that it must be shown during the actual game–pregame or postgame shows don’t count.   That distinction is crucial, since were CBS to air it at all the pregame or post game programming is a more likely venue.  They won’t air it at halftime–hard to think of a good context for it there and keep in mind that the break will have to be tightly scheduled to get in a first half recap, a whole slew of commercials and the halftime performance by The Who.  So realistically, it’ll have to air during the actual gameplay for this bet to cash.

The next question is *why* would they air it?  I could see them pulling it out in the postgame should the Saints win on a last second field goal or whatever to contrast Benson’s premature celebration with his “real” celebration, but even that’s a stretch.  If they did air it they’ve got to be *real* careful about the context or else it’ll come off looking like they’re making fun of an old guy who happens to be a wealthy and powerful owner of a NFL team.  And even if they had no problems whatsoever about looking bad for that reason, its hard to come up with a context for airing it during the game.  Again, keep in mind this stipulation on the prop:

Replay must be shown after the kick off and before final whistle for yes to be graded the winner.

In the right set of circumstances, I can see them airing it in the pregame or postgame but not within the timeframe stipulated by the bet.  Furthermore, keep in mind that the original broadcast of the ‘celebration fail’ took place on Fox.  They may not even have access to the footage to air it in the first place. The long running joke is that CBS is a network for ‘old people’ and as a result they may be even more cautious about appearing insensitive.

In other words, this looks like an easy play on the ‘No’.  You’ll have to lay a price, but given all of the significant reasons why the video *wouldn’t* air it still looks like a good value.


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