The Austin Chronicle

Superbowl Halftime Performances

By Abby Johnston, January 30, 2014, 12:45pm, Earache!

I’m not the betting type. As the granddaughter of a Southern Baptist preacher, I’m already a liberal and a drinker, so I shouldn’t push my luck any further. As is my Christian duty, however, I am a football fan, and Sunday’s Super Bowl between the Seahawks and Broncos offers a wealth of betting opportunities, from office pools to online stakes.

I can’t offer any advice on where to put your money for pigskin outcomes, because, personally, the most intriguing thing about the game is that you may now legally smoke weed in both Seattle and Denver. I’m hoping that makes for some really exciting advertising.

What I can do is give some insider tips on some of the most asinine of bets: the Super Bowl halftime performance. That’s right. This year’s Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers pairing arrives with its own chance to put your money where your mouth is, and I’m here to give you expert advice so you can go forth and prosper. Just don’t tell my granddaddy.

Will any member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers be shirtless during their performance?
Odds: yes, -120; no, -120
My prediction: Yes
Analysis: The Wikipedia page for “barechestedness” (“refers to a male wearing no clothes above the waist”) explicitly mentions the Chilis. If that isn’t a crowd-sourced testament to the rockers’ reputation, I don’t know what is. You’ve got four members, and only one has to be bold enough to withstand 36-degree weather slated for halftime in Jersey.

Will the halftime show break the record for most watched ever (record: Madonna 2012, 114 million viewers)?
Odds: yes, +200; no, -300
My prediction: No
Analysis: You’ve heard of Beyoncé, right? Okay, well her show – including a surprise appearance by those other two Children of Destiny – literally SHUT DOWN the Super Bowl last year with a power outage. If the Queen B couldn’t dethrone the Material Girl and last year’s flip-happy M.I.A. with her cult following, then no one can.

Which song will Bruno Mars perform first?
Odds: “Locked Out of Heaven,” 1/2; “Just the Way You Are,” 5/1; “Treasure,” 5/1; “Grenade,” 7/1; “Marry You,” 15/1; “The Lazy Song,” 15/1; “Gorilla,” 15/1
My prediction: “Treasure”

Analysis: Super Bowl sets are strategic, particularly when sharing the bill. That means Bruno Mars doesn’t have much time to impress us. While using up his most recognizable hit, “Locked Out of Heaven,” right out of the gate might send people on a beer run, I’m thinking 2013 single “Treasure” will be brief warm-up to his crescendo.

What will Bruno Mars be wearing on his head during the start of his halftime performance?
Odds: Fedora, -150; fur, +550; tuque, +500 (you’re a Texan if you have to Google “tuque”); none, +250
My prediction: Fedora
Analysis: Bruno Mars showing up without a fedora is akin to Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson taking the field without a helmet. I’ll even bet that somewhere in the second song he takes off said fedora, tosses it into the crowd, and reveals his four-inch pouf underneath. No official odds on that sequence of events.

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