II: Matt F. strikes back

Our champion jumped out to a share of the lead, then pulled away from the field with 11 correct individual totals questions.

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POPS PROPS II
Matt F. proudly shows off his POPS PROPS II Championship Coasters.

Matt F. defeated 51 competitors to claim POPS PROPS II. He trounced the competition, winning by a commanding three-point margin with 45 points out of a possible 68. Sara S., a suburban schoolteacher who made all 64 of her picks with the help of her trusty rabbit, Nibbler, tied real-estate mogul Rebecca L. for second place at 42. It was a stunning 365-day turnaround for Rebecca, who finished last in POPS PROPS I.

Defending champion Dennis G. finished in a three-way tie for 23rd with Steven R. and Cousin Sara at 32 points. Meanwhile, four-time Olympic medalist Summer S., who we invited to play through Twitter and who graciously took us up on the offer, finished tied for 26th place with Tim C. and John D. at 31 points.

CATEGORY LEADERBOARD

FIRST FOUR (4 questions)8 pts. max
Sara S.8
11 tied with7
EARLY GAME (7 questions)7 pts. max
Brittany R., Tony S.6
Anita M., Rachel B.5
8 tied with4
ENTERTAINMENT (2 questions)2 pts. max
18 tied with2
THE TWO HALVES (16 questions)16 pts. max
Karen G., Jill W.12
JJ G., Jason S., Matt F., Tony S.10
17 tied with9
TEAM TOTALS (10 questions)10 pts. max
Anita M., Eric Sch., Matt F., Sara S.8
8 tied with7
INDIVIDUAL TOTALS (18 questions)18 pts. max
Tom L.12
6 tied with11
CROSSSOVERS (7 questions)7 pts. max
Gary T.6
6 tied with5

A FEW OBSERVATIONS

* The Patriots were favored among PROPS-takers, but just barely. 28 (54 percent) entrants said the Pats would win Super Bowl XLVI, while 24 entrants believed the Giants would triumph.

* Question #2, regarding the total duration of Kelly Clarkson’s National Anthem, split the field in half. I timed her version at 1:34. 26 people (50 percent) correctly predicted that it would last less than 1:38 seconds, while 25 said it would drag on for longer than 1:38. Only one person (Becky L.) predicted it would last EXACTLY 1 minute, 38 seconds. A gutsy call, for sure, but a correct choice would have propelled her into second place all by herself!

* The vast majority of us believed that the Patriots would drive across the 50-yard-line first (73 pct, question #8) and score first (73 pct, question #9) while the Giants would be undisciplined and receive the first penalty (67 pct, question #6). In reality, the exact opposite happened in the first quarter!

* Absolutely NO ONE (0 pct) predicted that the first score of the game would be a safety (question #10)! 44 percent thought it would be a field goal, while 40 pct predicted a passing touchdown.

* 85 pct of us (44 entrants) correctly predicted there would be less than 14 ½ points scored in the first quarter (question #13), but only 23 pct of us (12 entrants) correctly guessed that the Giants would lead at the end of the period!

* The “Under 14 1/2” pick was correct for all four of the “How many total points will be scored in the XX quarter?” picks!

* An overwhelming 79 percent (41) of entrants correctly predicted that Madonna would wear some sort of hat during the halftime show.

* Absolutely NO ONE (0 pct) predicted that there would be an equal number of points scored in the first and second halves (question #23). In fact, 81 pct of entrants said more points would be scored in the second half!

* 62 pct of our field (32 entrants) thought Tom Brady would rack up the most all-purpose yards (question #42). Only 29 pct (15 entrants) correctly backed Eli Manning. Most also thought that Tom Brady would out-pass Eli (questions #43 and #44). Overall, PROPS entrants believed that there would be more passing yards than there were. A majority of us (56 pct) picked “over 621 ½” for the total number of passing yards (question #46), when the correct answer was actually under (or 548).

* Victor Cruz’s 25 receiving yards were a PROPS disappointment. 60 pct of us believed he would be “over 75” (question #50)

* Likewise, the majority of us believed Cruz (33 pct) or Rob Grankowski (25 pct) would finish with the most receiving yards (question #52). Only five of us (Spank, Kev, Jill, John D. and my mother) correctly predicted that Hakeem Nicks would have the most receiving yards, and only 3 of us (Brian B., John D. and Becky L.) predicted that Nicks would have the most receptions (question #53)!

* For question #55, Rudy Gay scored 21 points against the Celtics, but the majority of us (58 pct) were correct in guessing that Eli Manning would complete more passes (30).

* For question #56, LeBron James and Dwayne Wade combined for 55 points against the Raptors, and the majority of us (63 pct.) correctly guessed that sum would be higher than the total points scored in the Super Bowl (38).

* Question #57 split the field right down the middle. 48 pct of us correctly guessed that Michigan and Michigan State would combine for more points (118) than the rushing sum (116) of Ahmad Bradshaw and BenJarvus Green-Ellis! 48 pct of us went with Bradshaw and Green-Ellis, while 2 of us (Marika and Jesse G.) went out on a limb and guessed that the 2 sums would be equal!

* For question #58, the overwhelming majority of us (81 pct) correctly guessed that the total number of touchdowns in the game (4) would be greater than the total number of goals (3) in the Winnipeg Jets/Montreal Canadiens contest. For the record, Montreal scored 3 of them, while Winnipeg was shut out.

* For the first time that I can remember, all the soccer games won in the crossover questions (question #59, question #60). A big part of that was because Chelsea and Manchester United tied 3-3. Question #61, however, was DECLARED INVALID by the Committee for Fairness and Integrity, as the Derby County/Nottingham Forest game was POSTPONED DUE TO SNOW! No points were awarded for that question, though 36 of us predicted that there would be more goals in the soccer game than total fumbles lost (0) in the Super Bowl!

* A whopping 60 pct of us correctly took the “under 55 ½” for the total points scored (38) in the Super Bowl (question #62), but only 35 pct of us correctly guessed that the total point sum would be an even number (question #63).

* Nineteen of us successfully guessed that Eli Manning would be the MVP (question #64). 21 people picked Tom Brady. Curiously, one of us (Brittany R.) picked my dog, Tehanu. To the best of my knowledge, Tehanu was not participating in the game.

QUESTION SUMMARY

1. Who will win Super Bowl XLVI?…Giants!
New York Giants 24 46%
New England Patriots 28 54%

2. What will be the total duration of Kelly Clarkson’s “Star Spangled Banner?” (The timer starts when she begins to sing, not when the music begins.)….1:34
Over 1 minute, 38 seconds 25 48%
Under 1 minute, 38 seconds 26 50%
Exactly 1 minute, 38 seconds 1 2%

3. Which team will win the pre-game coin toss?…New England
New York Giants 30 58%
New England Patriots 22 42%

4. Will the coin come up…?….heads
Heads 30 58%
Tails 22 42%

5. Will the opening kickoff return be…?…22
0 to 20 yards 38 73%
21 to 30 yards 13 25%
30 or more yards 1 2%

6. Which team will be assessed the first penalty (not declined)?…Patriots
New York Giants 35 67%
New England Patriots 17 33%

7. Which team will call the first timeout?…Patriots!
New York Giants 29 56%
New England Patriots 23 44%

8. Which team will cross the 50-yard-line first?…Giants
New York Giants 14 27%
New England Patriots 38 73%

9. Which team will score first?…Giants!
New York Giants 14 27%
New England Patriots 38 73%

10. Will the first score be a…?…Safety
Field goal 23 44%
Passing touchdown 21 40%
Rushing touchdown 6 12%
Defensive or special teams touchdown 2 4%
Safety 0 0%

11. Will the first score be in the first 5 minutes?…No!
Yes 17 33%
No. 35 67%

12. Will the team that scores first win the game?…Yes!
Yes 25 48%
No 27 52%

13. What will be the total number of points scored in the first quarter?…9!
Over 14 1/2 8 15%
Under 14 1/2 44 85%

14. Which team will lead at the end of the first quarter?…Giants!
New York Giants 12 23%
New England Patriots 29 56%
The score will be tied 11 21%

15. Will the first Super Bowl commercial after the conclusion of the first quarter advertise…?…Cars (Bridgestone tires)
Alcohol 12 23%
Cars 19 37%
Chips/snacks 6 12%
Computers/technology 3 6%
Soft drinks 6 12%
None of the above 6 12%

16. What will be the total number of points scored in the second quarter?…10!
Over 14 1/2 28 54%
Under 14 1/2 24 46%

17. Which team will score last in the second quarter?…Patriots!
New York Giants 31 60%
New England Patriots 21 40%

18. Which team will lead at halftime?…Patriots!
New York Giants 20 38%
New England Patriots 32 62%

19. Will that oh-so-crazy Madonna wear some sort of hat at some point during the halftime show?…Yes
Yes 41 79%
No 11 21%

20. What will be the total number of points scored in the third quarter?…13!
Over 14 1/2 18 35%
Under 14 1/2 34 65%

21. Which team will lead at the end of the third quarter?…Patriots!
New York Giants 17 33%
New England Patriots 25 48%
The score will be tied 10 19%

22. What will be the total number of points scored in the fourth quarter?…6!
Over 14 1/2 23 44%
Under 14 1/2 29 56%

23. In which half will there be a greater number of points scored?…Tie!
The first half 10 19%
The second half 42 81%
The two sums will be equal. 0 0%

24. Which team will score last in the game?…Giants!
New York Giants 27 52%
New England Patriots 25 48%

25. Will the team that scores last win the game?…Yes!
Yes 42 81%
No 10 19%

26. Will there be overtime?…No!
Yes 2 4%
No 50 96%

27. Which team will have the most penalty yards against?…NE (28-24)!
New York Giants 35 67%
New England Patriots 17 33%

28. Will the total number of sacks be…?…5 (Over)!
Over 4 1/2 27 52%
Under 4 1/2 25 48%

29. Will the total number of punts be…?…7 (under)!
Over 8 1/2 22 42%
Under 8 1/2 30 58%

30. Will the total number of interceptions be…?…1 (under)!
Over 2 1/2 29 56%
Under 2 1/2 23 44%

31. Will the total number of fumbles lost be…?…0 (under)!
Over 1 1/2 28 54%
Under 1 1/2 24 46%

32. Will the total number of successful third-down conversions be…?…11 (under)!
Over 15 1/2 17 33%
Under 15 1/2 35 67%

33. Will the total number of successful fourth-down conversions be…?…1 (under)!
Over 1 1/2 29 56%
Under 1 1/2 23 44%

34. Which team will make the shortest field goal?…NE (29)!
New York Giants 33 63%
New England Patriots 19 37%

35. Will the longest field goal be…?…NY (38)!
Over 44 1/2 yards 32 62%
Under 44 1/2 yards 20 38%

36. Will the shortest field goal be…?…NE (29)!
Over 23 1/2 yards 30 58%
Under 23 1/2 yards 22 42%

37. Will the total number of field goals be…?…3 (under)!
Over 3 1/2 42 81%
Under 3 1/2 10 19%

38. Will the total number of touchdowns be…?…4 (under)!
Over 6 1/2 24 46%
Under 6 1/2 28 54%

39. Will the longest touchdown be…?…12 (under)!
Over 46 1/2 yards 29 56%
Under 46 1/2 yards 23 44%

40. Will the shortest touchdown be…?…2 (over)!
Over 1 1/2 yards 22 42%
Under 1 1/2 yards 30 58%

41. Will there be a special-teams or defensive touchdown?…No!
Yes 21 40%
No 31 60%

42. Which player will gain the most all-purpose (passing + receiving + rushing) yards?…Eli Manning (295)
Eli Manning (NYG) 15 29%
Tom Brady (NE) 32 62%
Someone else! 5 10%
There will be some sort of tie! 0 0%

43. The total number of passing yards by Eli Manning (NYG) will be…?…296 (under)!
Over 310 1/2 14 27%
Under 310 1/2 38 73%

44. The total number of passing yards by Tom Brady (NE) will be…?…276 (under)!
Over 310 1/2 33 63%
Under 310 1/2 19 37%

45. The total number of passing attempts in the game will be…?…81 (over)!
Over 78 1/2 31 60%
Under 78 1/2 21 40%

46. The total number of passing yards in the game will be…?…548 (under)!
Over 621 1/2 29 56%
Under 621 1/2 23 44%

47. The total number of rushing yards by Ahmad Bradshaw (NYG) will be…?…72 (over)!
Over 60 1/2 32 62%
Under 60 1/2 20 38%

48. The total number of rushing yards by BenJarvus Green-Ellis (NE) will be…?…44 (under)!
Over 60 1/2 22 42%
Under 60 1/2 30 58%

49. Who will have the most rushing yards?…Bradshaw (72)!
Ahmad Bradshaw (NYG) 20 38%
BenJarvus Green-Ellis (NE) 13 25%
Brandon Jacobs (NYG) 6 12%
Danny Woodhead (NE) 3 6%
Someone else! 9 17%
There will be some sort of tie! 1 2%

50. The total number of receiving yards by Victor Cruz (NYG) will be…?…25 (under)!
Over 75 1/2 31 60%
Under 75 1/2 21 40%

51. The total number of receiving yards by Wes Welker (NE) will be…?…60 (under)!
Over 75 1/2 24 46%
Under 75 1/2 28 54%

52. Which receiver will have the most yards receiving?…Nicks (109)!
Victor Cruz (NYG) 17 33%
Rob Grankowski (NE) 13 25%
Aaron Hernandez (NE) 6 12%
Mario Manningham (NYG) 4 8%
Hakeem Nicks (NYG) 5 10%
Wes Welker (NE) 7 13%
Someone else! 0 0%
There will be some sort of tie! 0 0%

53. Which receiver will have the most receptions?…Nicks (10)!
Victor Cruz (NYG) 13 25%
Rob Grankowski (NE) 12 23%
Aaron Hernandez (NE) 4 8%
Mario Manningham (NYG) 1 2%
Hakeem Nicks (NYG) 3 6%
Wes Welker (NE) 16 31%
Someone else! 2 4%
There will be some sort of tie! 1 2%

54. Which kicker will have more total points?…Tynes (7)!
Stephen Gostkowski (NE) 26 50%
Lawrence Tynes (NYG) 22 42%
Someone else! 2 4%
There will be some sort of tie! 2 4%

55. Which will be greater on Sunday, Feb. 5?…Rudy Gay (21 pts)…Eli Manning (30)!
Eli Manning (NYG) pass completions 30 58%
Rudy Gay points (Memphis Grizzlies) vs. Boston Celtics (NBA) 21 40%
The two sums will be equal! 1 2%

56. Which will be greater on Sunday, Feb. 5?…James+Wade (30+25=55)…NYG+NE=38
Giants points + Patriots points 18 35%
LeBron James points + Dwayne Wade points (Miami Heat) vs. Toronto Raptors (NBA) 33 63%
The two sums will be equal! 1 2%

57. Which will be greater on Sunday, Feb. 5?…(Michigan State 64, Michigan 54=118)…bradshaw+Ellis=116
Ahmad Bradshaw rushing yards (NYG) + BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushing yards (NE) 25 48%
Michigan points + Michigan State points (men’s college basketball) 25 48%
The two sums will be equal! 2 4%

58. Which will be greater on Sunday, Feb. 5?…(MTL 3, WIN 0=3)…TDs=4
Giants touchdowns + Patriots touchdowns 42 81%
Winnipeg Jets goals + Montreal Canadiens goals (NHL) 7 13%
The two sums will be equal! 3 6%

59. Which will be greater on Sunday, Feb. 5?…(Newcastle 2, Ashton Villa 1=3)…Manning (1)
Eli Manning (NYG) touchdown passes 22 42%
Newcastle United goals + Ashton Villa goals (Barclays Premier League) 24 46%
The two sums will be equal! 6 12%

60. Which will be greater on Sunday, Feb. 5?…(Chelsea 3, Manchester United 3=6)…FG=3
Giants field goals made + Patriots field goals made 34 65%
Chelsea goals + Manchester United goals (Barclays Premier Legue) 12 23%
The two sums will be equal! 6 12%

61. Which will be greater on Sunday, Feb. 5?…(Postponed due to snow!)…
Giants fumbles lost + Patriots fumbles lost 11 21%
Derby County goals + Notingham Forest goals (English League Championship) 36 69%
The two sums will be equal! 5 10%

62. How many points will be scored in Super Bowl XLVI?…38 (under)
Over 55 1/2 21 40%
Under 55 1/2 31 60%

63. Will the total number of points scored be odd or even?…38 (even)
Odd 34 65%
Even 18 35%

64. Who will be the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XLVI…Eli Manning

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