We have a long history with sports-related TV props, having previously analyzed Kelly Clarkson’s national anthem, Madonna’s hair color and wardrobe, the possibility of NBC working “Tim Tebow” into a Super Bowl broadcast, and so on.
The reason why these props are fun is because you can gain an edge simply by doing a bit of legwork and research. The Tebow prop, for instance, was beaten by a simple tweet from SI.com’s Richard Deitsch, who said NBC had no plans to bring up Tebow’s name during the broadcast.
And they didn’t.
Today, Bovada released an interesting prop in advance of the 144th Belmont Stakes, and it asks the following: “How many times will NBC’s announcer say ‘I’ll Have Another?’ during the race?”
I’ll Have Another is trying to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, and the attention the horse will get—in addition to the likelihood that it’s near the front of the pack—has led Bovada to set the over/under at 14.5.
If the number seems high, that’s because it is.
We looked back at videos from each Triple Crown hopeful since 1978 to see how frequently their names were mentioned during the Belmont race calls. Of the 11 horses we analyzed, none of their names were uttered more than 14 times.
Four horses—including Big Brown, the most recent Triple Crown hopeful in 2008—were mentioned less than 10 times.
Average number of times a horse’s name was called: 10.54.
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