02/02/2011 06:20:57 PM PST
BITES & BETS: The Super Bowl, which we understand falls on Sunday at about 3:30 p.m. our time, is chiefly about two things, both of them high on the list of targets by the Women's Suffrage Movement in our neighborhood: gambling and eating, especially if you throw drinking in the "eating" category.
We combined the two vices (We include eating as a vice because we're not talking regular eating here; nothing that resembles a nutritional pyramid so much as a rhomboid of excess.) rather elegantly in advance of Sunday by making a side bet with Dave Ursini, Naples Rib Company owner and co-panelist with us in the Pro Football Forecast feature in the P-T.
If he'd compiled a better record in forecasting NFL games, we'd have taken a shift as bartender in his restaurant, which, we're pretty sure, would've ended in a sort of Hindenburgish manner, except with gin instead of hydrogen. If we won, Ursini would, and will, cater a party for us, so on Sunday we and a few friends will be up to our withers in the dining elegance of a "Hog Pack," a mess of ribs, chicken, brisket and Looosiana sausages that feeds a dozen or so, while the regular bartender at Naples Rib Co. will be tending bar without incident.
It's a big day for Dave and his rib company, of course. Right up there with the Fourth of July in a tie for busiest day. "We'll sell about 80 Hog Packs," he says. Those are popular for their variety, says Ursini, but if you just want one thing out of Naples Rib Co., it's going to be baby back ribs, which, he says, he'll sell Sunday to the tune of about 60 cases, or 1,800 ribs.
Beer, obviously, is a huge seller at Super Bowl time, too, though, oddly, not as huge as we would've wagered. Certainly, we'd figure Super Bowl to be one of the top three beer "holidays." Five, for sure.
Nope, the Beer Institute and A.C. Nielsen have the big game in the No. 8 spot, behind the leader, the Fourth of July, then Labor Day, Memorial Day, Fathers Day, Christmas/New Year's, Thanksgiving and Easter. Behind Easter! Who drinks beer at Easter? What, is beer pong replacing egg hunts?
Someone say eggs? Locally, a Super Bowl staple is a jar of Joe Jost's pickled eggs. The Long Beach landmark will sell about 4,000 pickled eggs for the Super Bowl, mostly in jars of 18 ($21) or nine ($10.55).
LAW-BUSTIN': As for the gambling part, we just saw a headline on the Web: "Police expect some illegal Super Bowl gambling." You coulda knocked us over with a speeding Buick. Studies have shown that you, yourself, engage in illegal gambling on Super Bowl Sunday. It's practically the original sin.
Besides the sinister office pools, there's the gray-area online gambling sites, and, most amusingly, the proposition, or prop, bets that have swamped sports books in popularity, and are also good for illegal play-at-home fun.
Although you can bet on pretty much every aspect of the game, the novelty prop bets are the party-makers. Sportsbook.com has hundreds of big-game wagers online, or you can print out your own.
Here are a few on Sportsbook we'd be willing to take your money on:
How long will Christina Aguilera hold the note "brave" at the end of the Star Spangles Banner: over or under 6seconds?
The coin flip itself is fraught with gambling possibilities: Will it be heads or tails? Which team will win the toss? Will the coin-toss winner elect to kick or receive?
Who will the winning coach thank first: God, family, team, coaching staff, or no one?
How many times will FOX mention Brett Favre on TV during the game: More or fewer than 3.5 times?
Will a punt hit the low-hanging scoreboard?
Will the Nielsen ratings for the game be over or under a 46 rating?
Will a Steelers player do the Aaron Rodgers championship belt celebration during the game?
Will a Packers player do a Lambeau Leap after a touchdown?
How much time will be left on the game clock when the winning team attempts to dump Gatorade on the head coach: More or fewer than 45 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter?
Further, what color will the Gatorade be? Will it be dumped by players on the defense or one the offense?
You can also bet, we suppose, on which team will win the game. We'll give you that one: The Packers.