TERRE HAUTE —
I’ve explained my post-2011 NFL allegiances before, but allow me to summarize them one more time for any new readers to this column.
I eased into liking the Indianapolis Colts as my favorite team in the late 1980s. Like plenty of other Wabash Valley sports fans, I became Colts-obsessed when Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne and others turned them into an elite franchise in 1999 and the early 2000s.
When the Colts beat Da Bears 29-17 in Super Bowl XLI on Feb. 4, 2007, I yelled as loud as anyone in Terre Haute.
But in 2011, the unthinkable happened.
You know the rest.
Multiple neck surgeries … 2-14 … No. 1 overall draft pick … Jim Irsay releases Manning … Manning signs with Denver … Andrew Luck … Colts fans forced to make tough decisions.
As it turned out, my decision was based on loyalty.
Even though I realized the enormous potential that Luck possessed for decades to come, I still found it shocking that Irsay could release an icon like Manning.
I wouldn’t be a very good business owner, I guess.
While still a fan of Wayne, Luck and the new Indianapolis crew, my loyalty instinct forced me to have two favorite teams — the Colts and Broncos. In fact, before the 2012 season started, I stated that I hoped Manning and Wayne would win at least one more Super Bowl ring before they retire.
Fast forward to the 2013 season: We all know what Manning has accomplished stat-wise, breaking almost every single-season passing record. I won’t lie. I enjoyed every second of it.
At the same time, both teams played well in the regular season and I looked forward to a playoff showdown between the Broncos and Colts, preferably for the AFC championship.
Unfortunately, the New England Patriots ruined that by knocking off the Colts in the divisional round. Fortunately, the Broncos turned the tables on Tom Brady and his pals the next weekend and I’ll get to watch one of “my” teams in the Super Bowl this year.
Am I a bandwagon jumper? I prefer to think not, but feel free to disagree. (I’ll just plug fingers in my ears, hum real loud and refuse to listen to you.)
Now that we’ve got that settled, it’s time for my annual Super Bowl odds column.
If you’re over the age of 6 and lived in the Haute a few years, you should know the premise by now: Bookmakers all over the world set odds on the craziest things for the Super Bowl and I try to top them in this column.
Got it? Good. Let’s roll.
• 3-1 that one of my new favorite players, Denver running back Knowshon Moreno, will cry at some point immediately before, during or immediately after the game. (After I wrote this, I searched online and discovered that real bookmakers are actually taking bets on whether he cries during the national anthem. I must try harder to find my inner insanity!)
• 5-1 that if Fox’s Erin Andrews gets asked to interview emotional Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman again, she’ll remove her headset and hide in the nearest restroom before the camera starts rolling.
• 25-1 that at least one weekend television anchorman in the country — someone who doesn’t follow sports — will declare Omaha the Super Bowl champion if Manning leads his team to victory.
• 200-1 that if Denver stud Demaryius Thomas burns the vocal Sherman for a touchdown, I will jump high enough to dunk a basketball on a 10-foot goal.
• 2-1 that if Thomas burns Sherman for a TD, Michael Crabtree will point at the big-screen TV in his home while yelling “Mediocre!” at Sherman.
• 1-1 that Thomas will burn Sherman for at least one TD. (Yes, I had to get serious for a moment.)
• 1,000,000-1 that if Seattle wins on a game-winning play by Sherman and he appears in a Fox postgame interview, he will not use the word “I” at all.
• 10-1 that if Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch gets named Most Valuable Player, he will take a selfie of himself going “Beast Mode” on a bag of Skittles and a bag of weed with an off-duty Mickey Mouse at Disney World two days later.
• 100,000-1 that Papa John’s, one of Manning’s biggest supporters, will run out of pizza all over the country before 11:59 p.m. Sunday.
• 50-1 that often-injured Seattle wide receiver Percy Harvin will get a hang nail in pregame warm-ups and sit out the game.
• 100-1 that O.J. Simpson will be Fox’s halftime guest (odds even worse than in the 1990s).
• 1-2 that Fox will play Frank Sinatra’s version of “New York, New York” at least once during its 271⁄2-hour pregame show, even though the Super Bowl is being played in East Rutherford, N.J.
• 1,000-1 that scheduled halftime singer Bruno Mars will come down sick and be replaced at the last minute by Justin Bieber, causing the MetLife Stadium crowd to riot and burn down the stage before the second half.
NOW THAT YOU HAVE MY ODDS, HAPPY VIEWING!!!
Sorry, didn’t mean to go all Richard Sherman on you. Enjoy the game.
David Hughes can be reached by phone at 1-800-783-8742, Option 4, or at 812-231-4224; by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; or by fax at 812-231-4321. Also, you can follow him on Twitter @TribStarDavid. But don’t try to reach him this Sunday because he might be busy.