David Payne Purdum writes for Covers Experts Ben Burns.Like Jordy Nelson and James Jones, Christina Aguilera dropped the ball in the biggest game – and some bettors are left holding the check.
Aguilera botched the Star Spangled Banner something fierce, skipping one lyric and combining two others, in a one-minute and 53-second rendition of the American national anthem that has the betting world buzzing.
The four-time Grammy Award winner made it through the first three lines with no problems. But things fell apart right after “thro’ the perilous fight.”
Instead of following “thro’ the perilous fight,” with “O’er the ramparts we watch’d, were so gallantly streaming,” Aguilera belted out “What so proudly we (something that sounds like) wost, and the twilights last gleaming.”
It was bad, especially since her re-mix may have adjusted the length of the performance. For the record, she appeared to sing one more word in her confusion with the lyrics. But others suggest her flub slowed down the performance.
“It was a controversial performance with bettors,” said SportsInteraction.com
betting analyst Al Dannity. “Aguilera came in narrowly under, but it’s hard to tell what impact her error had. Had she remembered the lyrics, then she would probably have been more composed and finished faster. Those betting the over mightn’t see it that way and I doubt they will be buying any of her records for some time.”
Sports Interaction’s sportsbook had the over/under on Aguilera’s performance at 1:54.5. Judging by YouTube replays, she finished at one minute and 53.5 seconds at the most. An argument could be made for 1:53.
“People expect singers to grandstand and drag the anthem out at big events such as the Super Bowl,” Sports Interaction oddsmaker Greg Sindall said, “so the over is always an overwhelmingly popular selection and that was the case.”
Nevada sportsbooks did not offer a prop bet on the national anthem. It’s against the state’s gaming regulations since there is no official statistic kept on the song’s length.
But offshore was a different story. Reports had some books voiding the bets all together, while some paid the over and others paid the under. 5Dimes.com
timed Aguilera's rendition even shorter than SportsInteraction because of a mystery noise at the end of the performance.
"The digital recording has been replayed countless times. The consensus of all that timing is a length of 112.50 seconds. The timing is for the words for the anthem itself, from the first note to the final note," a representative from 5Dimes told Covers.com on Monday.
As sportsbooks continue to sort out one headache of a prop bet, there
are plenty of other bettors out there shaking their heads about what
could have been. It starts with Nelson, the Packer receiver who cashed
as a +1,000 underdog by scoring the first touchdown in the Super Bowl,
but could’ve done so much more.
Nelson caught nine passes for 140 yards and a touchdown, but had three
drops and failed to make a finger-tip grab for a second touchdown. If he
would have hauled in that touchdown and collected the yards from his
other drops, Nelson could have finished with close to 200 yards and two
touchdowns. He would have at least been in the MVP discussion with Aaron
Rodgers. Nelson was a +2,500 underdog to be named MVP.
Nelson wasn’t the only Packer receiver in need of a hand transplant
Sunday. Jones dropped what looked like a certain touchdown pass in third
quarter. Jones, who had five catches for 50 yards, failed to score a
touchdown, something that would have paid off +195.
In the end, Aguilera’s butchering of the national anthem will be
remembered more in Bad Beats lore. But at least the former teen princess
can take solace in that she wasn’t nearly as bad as Carl Lewis.