TAMPA — Okay, so let me get this straight …
A Saturday auction featured dozens of fascinating and memorable pieces of Super Bowl history.
But we came up with five items we were hoping to see make it to the auction block:
• The award Falcons safety Eugene Robinson got from the Athletes in Action religious group before being arrested on the eve of SB XXXIII in Miami for offering $40 to an undercover cop for oral sex.
• The rest of quarterback Donovan McNabb's lunch from SB XXXIX, when the Eagles QB supposedly left the first course on the field during a failed late-game rally.
• Barret Robbins' passport, after the Raiders offensive lineman went AWOL (reportedly to Tijuana) before SB XXXVII against the Bucs in San Diego.
• The key to Stanley Wilson's South Florida hotel room, in which Bengals coaches found him snorting cocaine when he was late for a meeting the night before SB XXIII.
• Thurman Thomas' helmet from SB XXVI, the one he misplaced before kickoff and missed the first two plays of what turned out to be a miserable game.
So who's going to win?
• If you listen to President Obama, it should be the Steelers (over John McCain's home-state Cardinals): "Outside of the Bears, the Steelers are probably the team closest to my heart."
• Based on the EA Sports Madden NFL '09 video game simulation, it will be the Steelers 28-24, with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger throwing three touchdowns and winning game MVP.
• In the SportSims.net computer simulation, it will be the Steelers 20-14. In running a program 100,000 times, the Steelers won 52.5 percent of the time and the Cardinals 47.5.
• According to WhatIfSports' simulation, which ran SimLeague software 10,001 times, it will be the Steelers, by an average score of 20-16, and most common score of 27-13.
• If you go on which teams have more pets named after them based on the 467,000 in the database of the Veterinary Pet Insurance, it would be the Steelers. (Though shouldn't there be some type of natural advantage there for cardinals?)
eBay item of the day: Remember this guy? An autographed 8x10 photo of Jon Gruden holding the Bucs' Super Bowl trophy is "reduced" to $5.50.
It's not just the football players in championship form during Super Bowl week, but also marketing whizzes, who blast out an endless stream of press releases, endorsement offers and new product rollouts.
Many go unheeded, but this caught our eye (full disclosure: it might have had something to do with the headline containing the words "leggy starlet").
With actor/model (and former WWE diva and Ravens cheerleader) Stacy Keibler — who is known for her 42-inch legs — making their pitch, the Captain Morgan rum folks have posed an interesting offer for tonight:
Any player who does the Captain Morgan "iconic pose" in celebration on the field will have $10,000 donated to a charity of his choice, and $50,000 for a player who does so after a safety.
With the proliferation of on-line betting sites such as bodoglife.com and betus.com, there seems to be no limit on things that can be bet on. Ideas like who wins the coin flip, who catches the first pass, and who scores the most points are now passe.
Our intent was to make up some bets that were just so crazy, so ridiculous and so silly that they would border on the ridiculous. And then we saw some of the actual offers out there and realized we couldn't come up with anything better.
Among the opportunities:
Which player was/is most likely to get arrested leading up to or after the game:
JJ Arrington 2/1
Santonio Holmes 2/1
Anquan Boldin 5/2
Larry Fitzgerald 5/1
Matt Leinart 10/1
What song Bruce Springsteen opens the halftime show with:
Born in the USA2/1
Born to Run5/1
I'm on Fire12/1
Who the game MVP thanks first:
Doesn't thank anybody 3/1