I: Dennis G. makes the first statement

Dennis G. held off a late crossovers charge by Kris K. to win our first contest by a single point.

Chicago
broken clouds
73.6 ° F
74 °
73 °
49 %
3.2mph
75 %
Mon
70 °
Tue
63 °
Wed
67 °
Thu
63 °
Fri
55 °
Dennis G. takes a moment from moving large boxes of wine to celebrate his POPS PROPS I title.

In a stunning display of savvy, Dennis G. outwitted 53 competitors to conquer POPS PROPS I with 40 overall points. Kris K., youngest son of POPS FRESHENMEYER, finished second with 39 points. Meanwhile, Read D., Andrew K. and Tom L. tied for third with 38 points.

Shockingly, sixth-place finisher Aaron S. (37 points) could have tied for the championship had he successfully picked Aaron R. as the game’s Most Valuable Player. Instead, Aaron S. picked Packers defensive back Charles Woodson, who left the game late in the second quarter with a broken collarbone. Aaron S. was the only one of our top 11 finishers who did not pick Rodgers and garner a 3-point bonus for question #59.

CATEGORY LEADERBOARD

FIRST FOUR (3 questions)5 pt. max
Jesse G., Kris K.5
19 tied with4
EARLY GAME (8 questions)8 pt. max
Brittany R., Gerald L.6
5 tied with5
ENTERTAINMENT (2 questions)2 pt. max
29 tied with2
THE TWO HALVES (15 questions)15 pt. max
Aaron S., Dennis G., Eric. G13
Andrew K., Bryan S., Eric M., John K.12
5 tied with11
TEAM TOTALS (10 questions)10 pt. max
Kevin K., Peter M.9
Andrew F., Tom L., Read D., Scott A.8
8 tied with7
INDIVIDUAL TOTALS (15 questions)15 pt. max
Kevin K., Spank, Tony S.11
Anita M., Brittany R., Spank10
6 tied with9
CROSSOVERS (7 questions)7 pt. max
Cousin Kay, Pagan H.6
9 tied with5

A FEW OBSERVATIONS

* What a grudge match it was! Our 54-person field was split evenly (27-27) between choosing the Packers and Steelers to win the game (question #1)! Curiously, there were 3 other questions where our contestants were split evenly: Will the opening coin-flip land on heads or tails (question #4); What will be the total number of points scored in the second quarter (question #14); and will the shortest field goal be over or under 23 ½ yards? (question #35).

* For (question #2), I unofficially timed Christina Aguilera’s anthem at 1:53.2 during the Super Bowl. But I admit to getting an itchy trigger-finger at the end of the song, as she was holding on to BRAAAAVE. Thus, I made six re-timings (two each on three different stopwatches). All six were well over our O/U mark of 1:54.

* For (question #5), only one competitor was bold enough to predict that the opening kickoff return would be 30 or more yards. Congratulations, Cousin Kay, for anticipating that Antonio Brown would run the kick back 38 yards.

* For (question #13), the first commercial after the conclusion of the first quarter was for…Bridgestone Tires. After some debate, the POPS PROPS COMMITTEE FOR FAIRNESS AND INTEGRITY decided that this commercial was advertising TIRES and NOT CARS. Thus, the correct answer was: None of the above.

* How fitting that in a contest where we were evenly split 27-27 over who would win, we were just about evenly split over who would lead at halftime (question #16)! The Pack did, 21-10, much to the delight of 26 voters. Twenty-five others voted for the Steelers, while 3 insisted the game would be tied at the break.

* Though 39 entrants successfully predicted that the Black Eyes Peas, Usher and Slash would NOT cover a Michael Jackson song (question #17), who would have thought that they would cover Guns ‘N’ Roses? What was that about?

* What a great 2-point conversion by the Steelers in the fourth quarter. All the better, considering that 11 people called it in question #43!

* A whopping 31 of 54 entrants predicted that Aaron Rodgers would gain the most all-purpose yards of all players. They were right. He got 302—304 by air, -2 by rush. He was helped by the fact that neither team rushed or returned for much.

* Really, Packers? You win the Super Bowl with 52 yards rushing from James Starks (question #43). If you had shown me that stat before the game, I would have guessed the Packers had lost the game.

* Blake Griffin only scored 21 against the Heat on Sunday (question #51). I was sure he was going to be motivated enough to go off for 30, which would have made this question a little more interesting. Meanwhile, LeBron only scored 12 points to go with D-Wade’s 29 (question #52), so the Pack/Steelers total-pointers easily won that cross-prop.

* (Question #53) turned out to be one of the most entertaining question, despite Emmanuel Sanders’ limited playtime. Ohio State and Minnesota actually scored points (151), rather than playing traditional Big 10 grab-ass-and-dribble hoops. And Jordy Nelson gobbled up 140 yards on his own, giving he and Sanders the big cross-prop win here (157).

*Today’s prop-results had to wait for Phil Mickelson to conclude fourth-round play in the weather-delayed Waste Management Phoenix Open. He had 2 birdies on Sunday and a third on Monday morning, giving him the edge on Roethlisberger’s TDs (2).

*I honestly thought the Pens would show up for (question #55), but they haven’t been the same since the Winter Classic. Therefore, easy win for Pack+Steelers TDs (7).

*Not surprisingly, both English Premier League games (questions #56, #57) ended 1-0.

* Another thrilling question was the O/U for total points at 55 ½ (question #58). Obviously, the two teams combined for 56. But what was interesting was that 42 entrants picked the under, only 12 with the over! Overall, most competitors anticipated a defensive struggle. I thought everyone would lean toward a high-scoring barnburner.

QUESTION SUMMARY

1. Who will win Super Bowl XLV?
Green Bay Packers (27 votes) – 31-25
Pittsburgh Steelers (27 votes)

2. Total duration of Christina Aguilera’s “Star Spangled Banner” (Timer starts when she begins to sing.)
Over 1 minute, 54 seconds (38 votes)
Under 1 minute, 54 seconds (16 votes)
Exactly 1 minute, 54 seconds (0 votes)

3. Which team will win the coin toss?
Pack (38 votes)
Steelers (16 votes)

4. Will it be?
Heads (27 votes)
Tails (27 votes)

5. Will the opening kickoff return be?
0-20 yards (35 votes)
21-30 yards (18 votes)
30+ yards (1 vote) – 37 yards

6. Which team will get the 1st penalty (not declined)?
Pack (29 votes)
Steelers (25 votes) – false start

7. Which team will score first?
Pack (31 votes) – Nelson 29 yd. pass from Rodgers
Steelers (23 votes)

8. Will the first score be a…?
Field goal (22 votes)
Pass TD (19 votes) – Nelson 29 yd. pass from Rodgers
Rush TD (12 votes)
Defensive or Special Teams TD (1 vote)
Safety (0 votes)

9. Will the first score be in the first 5 ½ minutes?
Yes (30 votes)
No (24 votes) – 3:44 in 1Q

10. Will the team that scores first win the game?
Yes (35 votes)
No (19 votes)

11. Total pointers in the 1st Quarter?
Over 10 ½ (20 votes) — 14
Under 10 ½ (34 votes)

12. Which team will lead at the end of the 1st Quarter?
Pack (24 votes) – Pack 14-0
Steelers (22 votes)
The score will be tied. (8 votes)

13. Will the first Super Bowl commercial after the conclusion of the first quarter advertise?
Potato or corn chips (4 votes)
Candy (0 votes)
Alcohol (20 votes)
Cars (15 votes)
None of the above (15 votes)­—Bridgestone Tires!

14. Total pointers in the 2nd Quarter
Over 14 ½ (27 votes) — 17
Under 14 ½ (27 votes)

15. Which team will score last in the 2nd Quarter?
1. Pack (25 votes)
2. Steelers (29 votes) – Ward 8-yd pass from Roethlisberger

16. Which team will lead at halftime?
Pack (26 votes) – Pack 21-10
Steelers (25 votes)
The score will be tied (3 votes)

17. Will the halftime show (featuring The Black Eyed Peas, Usher and Slash) include a Michael Jackson cover song?
Yes (15 votes)
No (39 votes)

18. Total pointers 3rd quarter?
Over 14 ½ (25 votes)
Under 14 ½ (29 votes) — 7

19. Which team will lead at the end of the 3rd Quarter?
Pack (23 votes) – Pack 21-17
Steelers (29 votes)
The score will be tied. (2 votes)

20. Total pointers in the 4th Quarter?
Over 14 ½ (24 votes) — 18
Under 14 ½ (30 votes)

21. Which team will score last in the game?
Pack (28 votes) – Crosby 23-yd FG
Steelers (26 votes)

22. Will the team that scores last win the game?
Yes (33 votes)
No (21 votes)

23. Will there be overtime?
Yes (4 votes)
No (50 votes)

24. Which team will call the first timeout?
Pack (33 votes)
Steelers (21 votes)

25. Which team will cross the 50-yd. line first in the game?
Pack (32 votes)
Steelers (22 votes)

26. Which team will have the most penalty yards against?
Pack (28 votes) – 67-55
Steelers (26 votes) – 55

27. Total QB sacks in game?
Over 3 ½ (35 votes) — 4
Under 3 ½ (19 votes)

28. Will there be a safety?
Yes (6 votes)
No (48 votes)

29. Will there be a fake punt or a blocked punt?
Yes (14 votes)
No (40 votes)

30. Total interceptions?
Over 2 ½ (30 votes)
Under 2 ½ (24 votes) — 2

31. Total fumbles lost?
Over 1 ½ (36 votes)
Under 1 ½ (18 votes) — 1

32. Which team will make the longest field goal?
Pack (36 votes)
Steelers (18 votes) – Suisham from 33

33. Which team will make the shortest field goal?
Pack (20 votes) – Crosby from 23
Steelers (34 votes)

34. Will the longest field goal be?
Over 44 ½ yds (24 votes)
Under 44 ½ yds (30 votes) – Suisham from 33

35. Will the shortest field goal be?
Over 23 ½ yds. (27 votes)
Under 23 ½ yds. (27 votes) –Crosby from 23

36. Total field goals in the game?
Over 3 ½ (30 votes)
Under 3 ½ (24 votes) — 2

37. Will the longest touchdown be?
Over 46 ½ yds. (20 votes)
Under 46 ½ yds. (34 votes) – Nick Collins (GB) 37-yd. interception return

38. Will the shortest touchdown be?
Over 1 ½ yds. (28 votes) — 8
Under 1 ½ yds. (26 votes)

39. Will there be a special team or defensive touchdown?
Yes (31 votes) – Nick Collins (GB) 37-yd. interception return
No (23 votes)

40. Will there be a 2-pointer conversion?
Yes (11 votes) – by Pitt in the 4Q
No (43 votes)

41. Which player will gain the most all-purpose (passing + rushing + receiving + returning) yards?
Aaron Rodgers (GB) (31 votes) – Rodgers, 302
Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) (10 votes)
James Starks (GB) (1 vote)
Greg Jennings (GB) (4 votes)
Rashard Mendenhall (PIT) (0 votes)
Antonio Brown (PIT) (1 vote)
Someone else! (7 votes)

42. Total passing yards by Aaron Rodgers?
Over 300 ½ (29 votes) – Rodgers 304
Under 300 ½ (25 votes)

43. Total rushing yards by James Starks (GB)
Over 60 ½ (28 votes)
Under 60 ½ (26 votes) — 52

44. Total receiving yards by Greg Jennings (GB)
Over 75 ½ (32 votes)
Under 75 ½ (22 votes) — 64

45. Total passing yards by Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)
Over 300 ½ (20 votes)
Under 300 ½ (34 votes) — 263

46. Total rushing yards by Rashard Mendenhall (PIT)?
Over 65 ½ (39 votes)
Under 65 ½ (15 votes)– 63

47. Total receiving yards by Heath Miller (PIT)?
Over 75 ½ (18 votes)
Under 75 ½ (36 votes) — 12

48. Who will have more pointers?
Mason Crosby (GB) (24 votes) — 7
Sean Suisham (PIT) (17 votes) — 5
The two players will tie. (13 votes)

49. Will Donald Driver (GB) score a TD?
Yes (31 votes)
No (23 votes)

50. Will Hines Ward (PIT) score a TD?
Yes (34 votes) – at :39 of the 2Q
No (20 votes)

51. Which will be greater on Sunday?
Steelers pointers (20 votes) — 25
Blake Griffin (LAC) pointer vs. Miami Heat (NBA) (30 votes) — 21
The two sums will be equal (4 votes)

52. Which will be greater on Sunday?
Pack+Steelers pointers (11 votes) — 56
LeBron James (MIA) + Dwayne Wade (MIA) pointers vs. LA Clippers (NBA) (43 votes) — 41
The two sums will be equal. (0 votes)

53. Which will be greater on Sunday?
Jordy Nelson (GB) + Emmanuel Sanders (PIT) receiving yards (21 votes) — 157
Ohio State + Minnesota pointer’s (men’s basketball) (33 votes) — 151
The two sums will be equal (0 votes)

54. Which will be greater on Sunday?
Ben Roethlisberger TD passes (11 votes) — 2
Phil Mickelson 4th round birdies (Waste Management Phoenix Open) (33 votes) — 3
The two sums will be equal (10 votes)

55. Which will be greater on Sunday?
Pack+Steelers touchdowns (32 votes) — 7
Pittsburgh Penguins+Washington Capitals goals (NHL) (19 votes) — 3
The two sums will be equal (3 votes)

56. Which will be greater on Sunday?
Aaron Rodgers TD passes (34 votes) — 3
West Ham United+Birmingham goals (English Premier League) (14 votes) — 1
The two sums will be equal (6 votes)

57. Which will be greater on Sunday?
Pack-Steelers FG (33 votes) — 2
Chelsea-Liverpool goals (16 votes) — 1
The two sums will be equal (5 votes)

58. Over/Under total pointers in game
Over 55 ½ (12 votes) — 56
Under 55 ½ (42 votes)

59. Who will be the MVP of Super Bowl XLV?
21 out of 54 entrants successfully guessed Aaron Rodgers

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