1. Veteran CBS play-by-play man Jim Nantz and Tony Romo will call their second Super Bowl as a team on Sunday when the Chiefs face the Buccaneers. And there are numerous prop bets offered across a variety of gambling websites directly related to the broadcast team.
I had the opportunity to talk to Nantz about what it’s like to know people are betting on what he says, and doesn’t say, during the Super Bowl.
“The weirdest thing is, as a broadcaster, that there are so many prop bets out there that you almost can’t pay attention to them because you realize everything that leaves your mouth is going to either make or lose money for people,” says Nantz. “It’s to the point now where every word you utter, someone has action on it. So you can’t think about it. You just gotta let it flow. All of this is done extemporaneous. Nothing is scripted. You don’t want to have it in your head, ‘Hey, if I say this, that’s going to deliver somebody the over.’ So I don’t give a thought. I will say this, though: Don’t bet against ‘Hello, friends’ making an appearance.”
Despite Nantz’s desire to ignore the prop bets, I couldn’t help but ask him about a few that involved him and Romo. Nantz could not have been a better sport about it and offered some interesting analysis on some of the wagers.
• Prop bet: Will Tony Romo correctly predict an offensive play?
Nantz’s take: “Boy, that makes me want to run to Vegas right now.”
• Prop bet: What will be mentioned first?
Tom Brady’s 10th Super Bowl: -140
Tom Brady’s age of 43: +100
Nantz’s take: “Those two things usually get dropped in the same sentence, so this one comes down to sentence structure, doesn’t it? Those two could definitely be said back to back.
• Prop bet: How many times will “Queen Latifah” be said by Jim Nantz?
Under 1: -150
Over 1: +100
Nantz’s take: “I wouldn’t be naturally inclined to randomly mention Queen Latifah, but given that her new show debuts after the Super Bowl, there is suggested copy on how they want those shows to be promo’d. You can’t really talk about The Equalizer without talking about Queen Latifah.
• Prop bet: Will the spread or total be referenced by the broadcast team?
Nantz’s take: “You might want to be careful with that one because you never know when I might want to send out a subtle message to my friend, Al Michaels.”
• Prop bet: Tony Romo saying “Let me tell you, Jim”:
Nantz’s take: “I'd set the line higher than that. That’s kind of up to Tony. The better the game, the better the chance."
• Prop bet: Odds on the primary color of Jim Nantz's tie:
1. Blue: +300
2. Black: +350
3. Red: +450
4. Purple: +800
5. FIELD: +350
Nantz’s take: “This one I’ll leave to the sleuths. Because if they really know what I do in a big game situation, they’ll be able to solve that question.”
• Prop bet: Over/under time of first “Gisele” reference:
End of first quarter
Nantz: “That one seems very random to me.”
After analyzing the prop bets, I ask Nantz if, despite calling many Super Bowls and big events, he has any nerves about calling Sunday’s legendary quarterback battle.
“Let’s sub out the word nerves for excitement,” Nantz says. “Nerves sound like you’re uncomfortable. Excitement means all your senses are on overload. That’s what you feel. It’s not anything to do specifically with this matchup. It’s the Super Bowl. But then again, I feel that excitement every time I put the headset on. It’s live television. But it’s there. Unquestionably, it’s there.”
The first Super Bowl Nantz and Romo called together for CBS, Rams-Patriots in 2019, was a complete dud with New England earning a 13–3 win. I tell Nantz that no matter what happens Sunday, they will get a better game than his last Super Bowl.
“It won’t take much,” replies Nantz. “We had one snap in the red zone in the entire game. What would be the odds on that? I’d like to go back and look to see if anyone had the prop bet that you’d have one official snap inside the red zone. It was bizarre. The odds on that were astronomical. We’ll have more snaps in the red zone in the first quarter this Sunday than we did in that entire game.”
2. You will thoroughly enjoy all two minutes and seven seconds of Tom Brady reading mean tweets.
3. "If I'm fat, you're obese." Just another fun night on the set of Inside the NBA Thursday with Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal threatening each other yet again.
4. Always read the fine print. Penn State's social media person is getting crushed this morning for this ridiculous tweet.
If you can see the teeny tiny print under the huge font, it says, "Except for five since 1967." Do yourself a favor and read the mentions under the tweet if you need a laugh.
5. In honor of Super Bowl week, I had Erin Andrews from Fox Sports and Kyle Brandt from NFL Network's Good Morning Football join me for a roundtable conversation on this week's SI Media Podcast.
Andrews explains why this week is like Christmas, while Brandt explains why this week is a drag. The duo also talks about how weird it is to not be in Tampa for the Big Game, and Tom Brady's looking younger than ever. We also discuss the best halftime shows of all time, who we'd want to see perform at halftime of next year's Super Bowl, some of the fun prop bets being offered on the game and whether the Super Bowl should be played on Saturday or the Sunday of Presidents Day weekend. Other topics covered include boy bands, favorite alcoholic beverages, reality shows and much more.
You can also watch the podcast on YouTube.
6. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: In 1999, the then WWF ran a Super Bowl commercial to promote the Attitude Era. Those really were the good old days.
7. SPORTS VIDEO OF THE DAY: This was the Super Bowl halftime show in 1980. Simply amazing.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.