One of our favorite aspects of the ridiculousness that is the Super Bowl is the ridiculousness of the prop bets surrounding the game. For example, this year you can place actual cash money wagers on:
• The total number of Scrabble points in the last name of the player scoring the first touchdown. The over/under is 91/2, and we're guessing that (Colin) Kaepernick is worth more points than (Ray) Rice.
• Whether LeBron James will score more points on Super Bowl Sunday against the Toronto Raptors than the 49ers will against the Ravens.
• Whether Alicia Keys will take longer or shorter than 2 minutes, 15 seconds to sing the National Anthem.
• Whether Beyonce's hair will be curly/crimped or straight at the beginning of the halftime show.
• And whether any player for either team will be arrested prior to the game.
Americans apparently can't get enough gambling or enough football. They might well be the nation's two favorite pastimes, and nothing combines them quite like the Super Bowl.
Speaking of Americans' insatiable appetite for football, before we get to next week's Super Bowl we must suffer through this Sunday's Pro Bowl. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said this week that the effort put forth by the players on Sunday could determine whether the Pro Bowl survives or gets axed after this year.
Talking Points would be in favor of the death penalty; we find the game to be unwatchable. But plenty of people out there disagree. Last year's Pro Bowl -- a 59-41 affair in which tackling was merely a rumor -- drew better TV ratings than the average World Series game.