- Chad Millman
In case you needed a reminder that Richard Sherman is the story of the Super Bowl -- from the breathless coverage of his Fox postgame interview to the number of cameras that swallowed him whole on Tuesday's media day -- I offer this bit of evidence: I received more than 400 entries in the annual "Get Your Prop Up In Vegas" contest that I do each year with bookmaker Bob Scucci (aka "Scooch") from The Orleans, and more than 10 percent of them involved Sherman.
That is 40-plus bets, from the mundane such as "Will Richard Sherman have an interception?" to "Will Peyton Manning throw at Richard Sherman more or less than six times?" to the inspired, like this one from Tim Coyne Smith: "Will Richard Sherman have as many interceptions as questions that Erin Andrews asked him?" Then there was what Jason Gagnon sent in, which stretched the bounds of imagination. The entire email is worth reproducing right here, both for his recognition of the obvious and his methodology:
"I'm sure you're getting a bunch of Richard Sherman related prop ideas ... so why not one more? I'd call this: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is (or for Scooch's board perhaps Sherman's Rant vs. Demaryius Thomas).
"By my count, Sherman's post-game rant consisted of 51 total words. So how about a prop that puts his words against the Broncos WR he's most likely to cover: Demaryius Thomas. The easiest way to do this is to do a receiving yardage over/under set at 51.5. Obviously this is going to require playing with the odds since Thomas averages well north of 51.5 receiving yards per game."
Scooch didn't choose this one, but we both thought it merited some attention. As did this entry from Troy Daun: "When you add up the digits of the time on the game clock, will the first score of the game happen over/under 11.5? For example, if the first score happens with 11:30 left on the game clock, add the digits 1+1+3+0 = 5. The winner would be under 11.5. If the score happened with 8:43 left on the game clock, add up the digits 8+4+3 = 15, so the over would be the winner."
Daun made the assumption that the first score would happen within the first seven minutes. And, along with his multiple prop suggestions, he included a chart that totaled up the digits for every second, counting down from 15 minutes to eight minutes. I loved this prop and I pushed hard for Scooch to declare it the winner, "But we had done a prop adding up numerals on the jersey of the first player to score, and this one felt redundant," he said.
What was amazing about the more than 400 entries this year was the breadth, depth and variety, as well as their geography.
11hEric D. Williams
18hDan Graziano and Adam Caplan