Not even the bet I was most confident in came through. I wagered $27 to win $10 that there would be a score in the final two minutes of the first half, and I was looking good when, in the final seconds, Mr. Automatic, Super Bowl legend Adam Vinatieri, came on to try a 36-yard field goal for the Colts.
But then ...
"Wide right! Wide right!" bellowed the inebriated Bears fan next to me.
He was half right. Vinatieri's kick missed -- wide left.
As the game wore on, Bears fans and I shared a sinking feeling. Or, as one of my cohorts put it, "I'm thoroughly distressed right now."
Experts told me that about $100 million would be wagered on the Super Bowl in Las Vegas alone. My final tally: six wins, 17 losses, and a debt of $123.
I guess it was Manning's turn. No longer can he be considered one of the best quarterbacks to have never won a Super Bowl. He not only won, he was chosen the game's most valuable player.
As I slumped in my seat, he punctuated his day by thrusting his right fist to the sky, having finally won a championship.
That does it. Next year, I'll be the first to embrace the worn-out story line.
In fact, for my family's sake, let me help write it:
"It's just so sad that Chargers Coach Marty Schottenheimer can't get over the hump of his 5-13 playoff record. He deserves to win the big one...."
(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)
Place your bets
Times staff writer Lance Pugmire's adventures with exotic Super Bowl bets:
*--* Proposition Bet Outcome Distance of game's first punt less than 43.5 yards lost $10 Game's shortest touchdown longer than 1.5 yards lost $10 Sacks by Bears more than 1.5 lost $10 Which half will have more points second lost $5 Type of last score in the game field goal or safety lost $10 Bears to win the game $10 to win $28.50 lost $10 Parlay bet Bears plus 1.5 points and lost $10 total points under 54.5 Winner of the second half Bears plus 3 points lost $10 Winner of the fourth quarter Bears plus .5 points lost $20 More yards receiving Reggie Wayne minus 7.5 lost $10 yards vs. Bernard Berrian Carries by Dominic Rhodes fewer than 12.5 lost $10 Throwing first touchdown pass Rex Grossman lost $10 Score in the final two minutes yes lost $27 of the first half First player to score a Bears tight end Desmond lost $10 touchdown Clark at 16-1 odds First score of the game field goal or safety lost $10 No field goals longer than 44 yes lost $10 yards Coin flip side bet tails lost $1 Total penalties fewer than 11.5 won $10 Yards rushing by Bears' Thomas more than 76.5 won $10 Jones Rex Grossman will throw for a yes won $10 TD before an interception Rex Grossman's first pass will yes won $10 be complete Yards receiving by Colts tight fewer than 46.5 won $10 end Dallas Clark Total punts more than 8.5 won $10 Totals: 6-17 in 23 bets for a loss of $123.