Anthem’s rendition at Super Bowl will have bettors holding their breath

Be honest. You watch the Super Bowl for the commercials, right?

I watch it to follow the craziest proposition bets, and Sunday’s Super Bowl XLIII offers a doozy courtesy of the offshore sports book BoDoglife.com. The wager: the time it will take Jennifer Hudson to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Handicapper Chris Jordan of WhoWillCover.com tells me the Hudson wager is among the more active on the board. It’s moved seven seconds thanks to increasing action, and his general manager Al DeMarco says there are good reasons.

The original line, 1 minute, 54 seconds, was shorter than the 1:59 Hudson had in a studio recording. At Dodger Stadium, she was clocked at 2 minutes. At the Democratic National Convention, it was 2:03.

This crazy prop bet raises a couple questions:

If Hudson coughs, will someone claim a fix?

If she forgets a word, will someone seek a refund?

I’m not sure what this tells you about Jennifer Hudson, but it tells me plenty about sports handicappers.

They’ll hang a number on anything.

LEM’S LINE: I don’t want to say sports bettor Lem Banker has been around a long time, but strong rumor has it he had season tickets to the Lions vs. the Christians. (It might be the last time the Lions won anything.)

Banker, 81, likes the Arizona Cardinals to cover the spread against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl.

In an interview this week, he listed a dozen reasons his choice was the right one.

Banker’s problem is simple. He’s almost never wrong on the Super Bowl, but I like the Cardinals, too.

And I’m almost never right.

How terrible am I?

I once missed a proposition bet on the number of quarters in the game.

I bet “no” on the possibility of seeing a beer commercial during the telecast.

And in simplest terms, that’s my problem with Lem’s opinion.

If I share it, I think he’s in trouble.

OAKS ‘RETURNS’: Former Metropolitan Police Department Capt. Randy Oaks, who has run spirited races for sheriff, quietly purchased a condominium this month in North Las Vegas. Does this mean Oaks, currently the Prescott, Ariz., chief of police, might be considering returning to Southern Nevada to challenge incumbent Sheriff Doug Gillespie?

It’s a rumor that’s already circulating with the ink still drying on the condo purchase agreement.

“At this time I’m just a happy police chief in Prescott, Arizona,” Oaks said Thursday. Oaks sought the position three years ago and is the top law enforcement executive in the town of approximately 43,000. He also has jurisdiction in three adjacent communities.

Asked about making the adjustment from Las Vegas, he said the transition to a community set on the edge of the Prescott National Forest was pretty easy.

“When I came here, I just fell in love with the place,” Oaks says. “It’s very different from Las Vegas.”

As if to nearly silence the political rumor, Oaks said, “I have always said, ‘Never say never’ about those political opportunities. I do want to reiterate that I’m very happy as police chief here. Whoever your source is, is interesting to me. We just made an offer on the condo last week.”

QUIET GIVING: As understated and reliable as ever, the Engelstad Family Foundation cast aside the difficult economy and this week made good on its promise to donate $8.2 million to develop the cardio-respiratory sciences program at the College of Southern Nevada, the largest donation in school history.

TARA’S EVENING: Friends of Tara Morgan, the lovely 24-year-old Tap House cocktail waitress facing the amputation of an arm because of the spread of synovial cell sarcoma cancer, continue to raise funds in her name.

They are still selling tickets and taking donations for tonight’s “Evening For Tara” at the bar, 5589 W. Charleston Blvd.

ON THE BOULEVARD: Ward 2 incumbent Steve Wolfson’s re-election bid started this week with key endorsements from the Police Protective Association and Las Vegas Firefighters Association. Wolfson’s council seat is a lock. … My inside accountant tells me businessman Bobby Ellis has donated more than $100,000 to Whitney Elementary School in downtrodden east Las Vegas. … Don’t forget Kendall Tenney’s Run For A Wish fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Nevada at 9 a.m. Saturday at Town Center Las Vegas.

Have an item for the Bard of the Boulevard? E-mail comments and contributions to Smith@reviewjournal.com or call (702) 383-0295. He also blogs at lvrj.com/blogs/smith/.

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