News From Terre Haute, Indiana

February 4, 2011

Hughes, News and Views: Columnist brings back unique Super Bowl odds

David Hughes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — As I write my first “Unique Super Bowl Odds” column in a while, I want to take this opportunity to make a major NFL-related announcement.

I have forgiven Michael Vick.

From this day forward, I will no longer bash Vick on my Facebook page or in this column. There will be no more references to “scum” or “a piece of trash who shouldn’t be given the privilege of playing quarterback in the NFL.”

Seriously, I am trying to learn the true meaning of the word “forgiveness” and sometimes that means letting things go.

This does not mean I condone his felonious acts of animal cruelty from the past and it does not mean I will root for him to reach the Super Bowl in the future. But it does mean I will tolerate his presence in the NFL without feeling so bitter.

After all, Vick apologized for his evil actions a long time ago and I need to accept that.

Whew, I feel the weight of 337-pound B.J. Raji being lifted off my shoulders as I type. It feels good too.

With that out of the way, allow me to re-introduce the premise of this column. With Super Bowl XLV two days away, you are likely to see Las Vegas odds that go far beyond which team is favored to win and by how many points (currently it’s the Green Bay Packers by 2.5).

The Tribune-Star sports section doesn’t have enough space to run the entire Super Bowl edition of “America’s Line” on the Scoreboard Page, but let me assure you it contains plenty of odds that would never appear under 99.9 percent of other sporting events.

For example, the over/under on total punts is 9.5, the over/under on total passing yards for Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers is 272.5 and the over/under on the longest field goal is 44.5 yards.

Also, you can get 25-1 odds on Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Heath Miller being named Most Valuable Player or 12-1 odds on Green Bay wide receiver James Jones scoring the first touchdown.

Want more?

The over/under for how long it will take Christina Aguilera to sing the National Anthem is 54.5 seconds. Not 54.6 seconds or 54.2, but 54.5.

You get the point. Some of these “real” odds are kinda strange.

Sooooooo, years ago, I accepted the challenge of creating Super Bowl odds that even Las Vegas probably wouldn’t touch. Some are serious and some might be slightly crazy. You be the judge.

Enjoy my 2011 odds, but remember that the Tribune-Star does not endorse gambling.

• 2-1 that the long frizzy hair of Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu and the long stringy hair of Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews will make exactly the same number of tackles.

• 10,000-1 that Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler will receive the “NFL Ironman Award” at halftime. (Actually, I feel bad for Cutler after all the flack he took for having the gall to get injured in the NFC championship game.)

• 100-1 that image-conscious Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will try so hard to avoid contact with a cheerleader out of bounds that he runs head-on into a Fox Sports camera, resulting in a concussion and the cancellation of his appearance at a Dallas strip club after the game.

• 2-1 that the most popular drinking game in America on Sunday will be toasting every time Joe Buck or Troy Aikman says “Brett Favre” during the Fox television broadcast.

• 5-1 that the most entertaining commercial will feature a talking baby or a talking animal.

• 3-1 that if Raji — the big-bellied Green Bay defensive lineman — dances again (if you want to call it that) after scoring a touchdown, I will turn my head immediately.

• 1,000,000-1 that while using an experimental marketing strategy, Fox will not mention the new episode of “Glee” that follows the Super Bowl on Sunday night.

• 10-1 that a longtime Steelers fan/friend of mine named Chad Berry will buy me one glass of the beverage of my choice if Pittsburgh wins.

• 25-1 that if Pittsburgh receiver Mike Wallace catches a touchdown pass, my wife Lisa will think it was that old “60 Minutes” guy.

• 20-1 that O.J. Simpson that will be Fox’s halftime guest. (Some odds never change.)

• 500-1 that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will become confused during the postgame celebration and declare his overrated team the Super Bowl champion.

• 15-1 that greedy NFL owners will allow the ongoing contract dispute to linger so long that the 2012 Super Bowl in Indianapolis will be canceled. (Boooooo!)

• 1-1 that trying to force NFL athletes into playing an 18-game regular season is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.

Happy viewing.

When not chipping ice off his car, David Hughes can be reached after 4 p.m. by phone at 1-800-783-8742, Option 4, or at (812) 231-4224; by e-mail at; or by fax at (812) 231-4321.