Thursday, February 03, 2005

Against all odds

Mama La Monica asked what on the surface appeared to be an easy question the other day.

"Who you betting on for the Super Bowl?" she asked.

I couldn't respond. Should I lie to my mother and say the Patriots? Should I lie to my mother and say the Eagles.

(Note: Mama La Monica is similar to Mama Scorsese in "Goodfellas," only she doesn't paint. But if my friends and I ever came home at 3 or 4 in the morning, odds are she's hear us, wake up and cook something for us.)

Truth is I don't know who to put my hard-earned nickels on. The Eagles are getting 7.5 points, which is a lot of points for a Super Bowl. The Patriots have had two weeks to get ready for Trick Daddy (Andy Reid) and Donovan McNabb, which is a lot of time for Bill Belichick.

So, you can see my dilemma. Take the points and go against Belichick? Lay the touchdown and trust Tom Brady to not make a mistake in another playoff game?

Man, funk dat!

It's on to the prop bets now. I shall open a new browser on my trusty/faulty Mac and on we go. Let's see what's out there. Here's my Dirty Dozen:

1) The coin toss: Any practicing degenerate worth his seediness must bet the coin toss. Take tails. Everyone always chooses heads. Be different. Think outside the box. We're already on to the prop bets, so why stop now? Besides, this bet sets the tone for the next four hours. You're either throwing the remote across the room or you're ordering more pizza.

2) Most first downs in first quarter: Wow. That's crazy. Think of what's involved. Who wins the coin toss? Will bad weather make them want to kick? Will Trick Daddy have a few tricks? Is T.O. really OK to play? This is what we call gambling. It's faaaaan-tastic.

3) Will Eagles score in 1st and 2nd quarters: There are some nice odds (+135) being offered. It's OK to be that guy at the party that stands up and yells "Cheesesteaks for everybody" when Dorsey Levens scampers in from 4 yards with that second-quarter TD to win your bet.

4) Will there be a lead-change in the second half? If you have a farm, bet it on yes!

5) Team to get the first penalty: Take the Eagles, solely because of their fan base.

6) First to use a coach's challenge: Oooh, this is tough. I say Eagles. Belichick has been in the Super Bowl before. Trick Daddy will tweak early.

7) First offense to cross midfield: Wow, this could be the juiciest dilemma since Fezzini had to choose which cup to drink from in "The Princess Bride." It's inconceivable how the coin toss plays such a huge factor on the rest of the game.

8) Over-under on Tom Brady's pass attempts: 31. Take the under. Eagles secondary is good. Run defense not as good. Belichick is smart.

9) Combined yards for Patrick Pass: 18.5. Hellooooooo over! Two catches, 1 rush, 23 yards. Super Bowls were meant for no names to make big plays, i.e. Larry Brown, Dexter Jackson and Timmy Smith.

10) Total tackles, sacks, interceptions by Mike Vrabel: 6. Under. Bruschi will shadow Westbrook. Less plays for Vrabel.

11) David Akers' total yards of successful field goals: 78. Do you hear that? It's me screaming "TAKE THE OVER!"

12) Player to score game's first touchdown: Terrell Owens is listed as 8/1 to do it. If the Eagles win the coin toss and cross midfield, McNabb will definitely try to get T.O. a TD. It makes for a great story. And for a great boon to the wallet.

I'll be at the bar wearing my "Tails" jersey in case anyone needs me.