Undefeated boxing champion Floyd (Money) Mayweather Jr. reportedly bet $13 million on a Denver Broncos victory in today’s Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
Thunder, the Broncos’ prize Arabian gelding mascot who will lead the team onto the field, arrived safely in New York on a Fedex cargo plane.
Just two sidebar stories floating around as the world gets ready for the 3:27 p.m. showdown between the Broncos and Seattle Seahawks.
An online newspaper poll asks fans if they will show up for work Monday if the Seahawks win. A total of 359 fans, as of noon Friday, claimed they would be at work, while 232 said no way.
For the record, the winner’s share is $88,000 a player. The losers take home $44,000 apiece. Some 20 years ago, the jackpot was $36G for the winners and $18G for the losers. In Super Bowl I, the champs collected $15,000 and the losers pocketed $7,500.
And while the NFL is a billion-dollar industry, commissioner Roger Goodell has noted ticket sales are down over the last five years due to high def television.
Rick Reilly of ESPN had a blast poking fun at the reasons why NFL games are easier and cheaper to watch at home.
Here are some of his funniest top-20 reasons:
1. At home, you don’t have to stand in line to pee.
2. At home, you don’t have to stand in line to pee while watching a drunk pee in a sink.
3. The average cost of a beer at an NFL game is $713. In your fridge, it’s about a buck. And it’s colder. And you can keep the cap if you want.
4. At home, you will not get one of those precious beers accidentally poured down you neck. At a Monday night game in Phoenix three weeks ago, I was standing on the field when a guy yelled at me, “Hey, Feherty”, as he spilled his Budweiser down the neck of the guy in front of him, “You suck.”
10. At home, nachos aren’t 15 stale round tortilla chips placed in a plastic tray with cold Velveeta cheese sqirted into the corner and topped by half a jalapeno slicked thinner than a Matthew McConaughey plot.
11. At home, chance that a woman might walk out in Page 3 of the Victoria’s Secret catalog is two per cent. At the stadium, zero per cent. Unless Madonna is the halftime act.
20. Home is much, much cheaper. To take four people to a Dallas Cowboys game with hot dogs and Cokes and some souvenirs will run you $634.78. My God, you could get a 50-inch HDTV at Best Buy for $550 and have enough left to buy 84 beers.
Moving on, if the Broncos win, a curator from Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle will hand deliver a case of Washington apples to Denver Zoo’s Przewalski’s horses and spend a day working with the horses and elephants wearing a Bronco jersey.
If the Seahawks win, the Denver Zoo Curator of Birds John Azua will take a case of trout to Woodland Park Zoo for its sea eagles and spend a day working with the zoo’s animals while sporting a Seahawk jersey.
I’m pulling for the Seahawks like most folks in these parts. QB Russell Wilson is a classy guy 24-7 and the Seahawks are an easy team to like, playing in a fabulous city. Denver QB Peyton Manning is also a quality guy, but he’s got a ring.
Denver’s tackle Orlando Franklin, who starred for the Scarborough Thunder before moving to Florida in high school, is one of two Canadians who may figure prominently in today’s huge game.
Franklin is another feel-good story since he was once 15, fresh out of jail for a second time and looking over a contract written by a mother who was determined not to lose her youngest son. He was stealing cars and his life was headed south. Glad to hear he’s turned things around.
Seahawk punter Jon Ryan, an alumnus of the University of Regina and Winnipeg Blue Bombers, is from Saskatchewan. Either way, a Canadian will win a Super Bowl ring today. Go Ryan Go.
Then there’s Derrick Coleman of the Seahawks, a fullback who wears hearing aids. He invited twins Riley and Erin Kovalcik to the Super Bowl on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America.’ Riley, who is also hearing impaired, had written Coleman a letter after the Seahawks defeated the San Francisco 49s in the NFC championship. Those girls have found a friend for life.
And in case you don’t want to watch nine hours of pregame football hype, turn on NBC for some matinee NHL action featuring Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals against the Red Wings.
Enjoy the Super Bowl. Only talk during commercials and don’t forget to tip your server.