Pundits have been calling the Bassmaster Classic the "Super Bowl of Fishing" for decades. You can't argue their point.
There's nothing bigger in the outdoor world. Take a minute, though, to compare this Super Bowl of anglers with the Super Bowl of less than two weeks ago, and some things are glaringly missing. For instance, the gambling aspect of the Super Bowl produces more than $87.5 million in bets.
Most of those revolve around things known as "prop" bets. You can bet on things like the color of the Gatorade that washes over the winning coach's head; whether the first missed field goal will be short, wide right or wide left; how many points will be scored, yards gained and even how long Christina Aguilera will sing the National Anthem and hold a specific note.
The sports betting world can't get any crazier than the longest note. Bet that! In honor of such an intriguing part of the American sports world and with a little help from some Elite anglers (and anyone else we could grab), we've created our own little list of potential bass fishing odds for this week's Classic, Christina Aguilera-style.
Even money: The winning weight will eclipse the record set by Davy Hite on the Delta in 1999.
Even money: Gerald Swindle will use a phrase the crowd will chuckle at, but not understand.
2 to 1: A contender will carefully play a fish to the boat, thinking it is the Classic winner, until he notices the red tint and black dot on its tail.
2 to 1: Sherry VanDam's legendary, luck-inducing cookies will make an appearance.
3 to1: Michael Iaconelli will overestimate his weight on BASSTrakk.
3 to 1: Skeet Reese will underestimate his weight on BASSTrakk.
3 to 1: Tommy Biffle finishes second in the Classic, again.
5 to 1: Aaron Martens finishes second in the Classic, again.
5 to 1: Skeet Reese will say his practice was bad, that he's confused, and then finish in the top five.
10 to 1: Kevin Wirth will catch an 8-pound-or-larger bass during practice.
12 to 1: Mike Iaconelli's BASSTrakk unit will mysteriously go out and we won't have information from him on the water on the final day.
20 to 1: A Federation Nation angler will make the Super Six.
50 to 1: A Classic competitor will get shot at somewhere in the vastness of the Louisiana Marsh.
100 to 1: Gary Klein is that angler.
200 to 1: A contender will hit an alligator while on plane, spin out of control and beach his boat (all caught on tape from an overhead helicopter cam) as Rodney Wagley did in 1999. Over-under
6: The number of "giants" Mike Iaconelli will hook up during the Classic.
5: The number of 2-pound-or-smaller fish that will be described as "giants."
7: The number of anglers who won't make it back to check in on time during the three days of competition.
25: Average gallons of gas burned a day by each angler.
5: Number of French Quarter denizens who will helpfully offer Classic attendees their own "prop bet," to wit: "I'll bet you $5 I can tell you where you got them shoes."
250: Crowd that will gather at the Expo's Yamaha booth at 2 p.m. Friday to see the unveiling of Manabu Kurita's world record-tying 22-pound, 4.97-ounce largemouth.
500: Number of local anglers who will tell us they know "right where you could go and catch a 20-pound bag every day to win the Classic."