Editor’s second update 7:27 p.m.: BetOnline.ag has elected to pay out both the over and under on this bet due to the controversy. Payouts will likely vary by sportsbook.
Editor’s update: Sportsbooks paid out the OVER, but now there are questions as to the length. Gladys Knight said “brave” until roughly the 1:49 mark, paused, and then said “the brave” to close it out at 2:01. Sportsbooks have gone with the first brave usually, so this could result in paying out the UNDER.
Legendary singer Gladys Knight performed her rendition of the national anthem to open Super Bowl 53. Sportsbooks offered a chance to bet on the over/under for the performance, with the total time set anywhere from 1:45 to 1:50 depending on your sportsbook of choice.
Knight ended up going over, with a time of 2:01. The over had emerged as a heavy favorite as people correctly anticipated the Atlanta native putting on a show.
You could bet on seven different Anthem-related prop bets. The results were as follows:
- Any Member of the Pips Join Gladys for Anthem: No
- Gladys Knight kneels during National Anthem: No
- Gladys Knight’s attire during Anthem: Dress/Skirt
- Gladys Knight’s microphone: Not on mic stand
- Length of Anthem: OVER 1:50
- Will Gladys Knight forget or omit a word: No
- Will any player take a knee during the Anthem: No
- QB shown first during Anthem: Goff
- Head coach shown first during Anthem: Neither
- Will any scoring drive take less time than it takes Gladys Knight to sing the National Anthem: TBD
A year ago, Pink sang the anthem in 1:52, coming in under the pre-game total of two minutes. She was dealing with the flu, and it seems likely that impacted her performance. We are three years removed from Lady Gaga stirring up a bit of controversy before the game. She repeated the word “brave” a second time as jets flew over Levi’s Stadium for Super Bowl 50. This led to some books paying the over and some paying the under for the prop bet.
The most controversial anthem performance in recent years was when Christina Aguilera skipped a verse of the song eight years ago. She was going to blow through the total of 1:54, but skipping a verse and ended up finishing right on the 1:54 m ark. Many sportsbooks called her performance a push, while others actually elected to refund customers. Since then, bettors have been able to wager on whether a performer would miss a word in future anthem performances. Some have cut back on that as performers have had no similar issues, but you can still find the bet.