Tales From the Groom: Bridal Bowl I

Football bets—applied to a wedding? Carl thinks he can make it happen.

In January 1986, Las Vegas casinos lost a fortune on Super Bowl XX. Strangely, it had little to do with the outcome of the game. While the Chicago Bears mauled the New England Patriots, casinos lost their shirts because the Bears scored their final points with their 380-pound defensive tackle known as the Refrigerator. As he was not known for being fast on his feet or for playing a position that hardly ever touched the ball, the odds were at 20 to 1 that this Kool-Aid Man-size player would score at all. When the Fridge walked onto the field as a running back in the game’s final minutes and then belly-flopped into the end zone for a touchdown, the gambling public won big and found a new reason to love the Super Bowl.

Proposition bets—more widely known as prop bets or side bets—are big money during Super Bowl week. What’s fun about these is that even novice football fans can have a good time placing friendly wagers because they really have little to do with the actual game, and they can still win big. People can put money on any of the following:

• How long will the national anthem last (over or under 1 minute and 42 seconds is this year’s bet)?
• Will the coin toss at the beginning of the game land on heads or tails?
• What will the Nielson rating be (over or under 42.9)?
• How many current or former NFL players will be arrested during Super Bowl week?

You can also bet on whether New Orleans running back Reggie Bush will propose to his girlfriend, Kim Kardashian, if his team wins.

I started thinking our wedding guests could have fun with similar bets. I quickly realized I wasn’t the first to think of it: The good people at have been guessing for a few years how long couples will last. I figured we could come up with something a bit more lighthearted.

While some couples provide maps of tourist attractions for out-of-town guests, I thought we could give everyone a handful of wagers they could place on the event. I mean, what else other than gambling could make our big day that much more exciting?

Here are some of the prop bets I thought of:

• How long will the ceremony be, in minutes? (Use The Price Is Right rules for going over or under the actual time.)
• Who’ll be the first person to cry?
• What will be our first-dance song?
• How many passed hors d’oeuvres will be eaten by the end of cocktail hour?
• At what time will a designated guest first show signs of inebriation?
• How many guests will take to the mike and sing?
• Who’ll be the first person to “beat the beat”?
• How many stunt falls will the groomsmen perform?
• How long will the best man’s and maid of honor’s speeches last?
• Who’ll catch the bouquet?

While this idea looks great on paper, it still has yet to be reviewed by the Committee on Oversight and Wedding Reform (Kristin) and the WOPR. I’m expecting that might not go smoothly, so a more appropriate side bet here might be if this little wedding idea ever sees the light of day.

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