Aguilera anthem controversy highlights Super Bowl bad beats

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.


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Posted by chasman
3 years ago

Yo gold6185, Given the number of prop bets many of us cashed, it pays very nicely to be a moron. Pinhead!
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Posted by Jayminator
3 years ago

She looks like Kelly Bundy!
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Posted by Jayminator
3 years ago

ALL the musical guests sucked. I was depressed so bad when I heard the Black Eyed Peas were doin the Halftime Show. Even Slash himself couldn't help them. Go from geezer rockers like Petty or Springsteen(I still don't know what he played) to dancing lightbulbs.
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Posted by whatsupjay
3 years ago

Seems like too much of that hair dye seeped through her skull and bleached out her brain cells.
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Posted by samjin7
3 years ago

after that screw up i changed the channel don't no how it broke a viewing record.
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Posted by LakeCommish
3 years ago

she rocked it ! nicee !
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Posted by cornchip
3 years ago

To all singers. Just get up there sing the song the way it's suppose to be sung and thats it. Tired of celebrities rock or pop stars trying to grand stand at these events. Your good we get it ,thats why you got the gig. Now you just look like an IDIOT for trying way too hard at being different. Instead of learning the lyrics. Cornchip over and out.
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Posted by Michaelj90620
3 years ago

wWhy do the feel like they need to reinvent the song with all the screaming and quivering and heavy breathing fuck im surprised she did as well as she did.
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Posted by JULIO-DOUCHE
3 years ago

BLONDE HEADED BIMBO!! DONT MEAN TO BE RUDE BUT SHE A PALE, UGLY LIL THING!!!!!! LOLOLOL.
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Posted by burgi
3 years ago

I remember a future bet before the Soccer World Cup, it was like this: Which is going to be happen first: Germany wins another WC or man reaches Mars? I hope the human species will not extinct and reaches the Mars before the germans (oh not again!) win another cup, it is for our survival, they would flood the earth with them bitter beer!! Please, bet on MARS +9999!
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Posted by jerseyjohnny77
3 years ago

to be successful don't worry about the singer. she had the melody right. big ben can't even spell the word melody. told u ben. karma would run u over. had the winner and the over. sounds like a nice tune to me. fergie was great!!
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Posted by 666LES
3 years ago

No need to be a prop hater-you could have wrapped up a 4-team parley on just the coin flip.
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Posted by king3chaz
3 years ago

LOL.. I didnt even notice she messed up (drinking ofcourse) . My line was at 1:59, so I cashed in nicely on the under.
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Posted by gold6185
3 years ago

Bet the game & forget the props. If you're actually gonna bet money on a national anthem-you're a moron.
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Posted by stvnbck6
3 years ago

a hard pill to swallow, offshore books not held to any type of standard, it was obviously under, and all bets should have been voided.
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Posted by Rizzo
3 years ago

I hear ya! A little boob would have made it all better
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Posted by jerseyjohnny77
3 years ago

where did hugh hefner[84] and his bride register for their wedding gifts? Bed Bath and Almost Dead
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Posted by Halsey55
3 years ago

I was just watching for a wardrobe malfunction.
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Posted by jerseyjohnny77
3 years ago

you must be desparate- go to go daddy.com. how come we can say whose your daddy during sex- but you can't say- i love u mommy?? lol
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Posted by Phor20
3 years ago

is that what all chiefs fans watch the superbowl year after year?
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Top Response

Posted by gold6185
3 years ago

"Bet the game & forget the props. If you're actually gonna bet money on a national anthem-you're a moron."

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