The Color Purple: Will A Kobe Bryant Tribute Cash For Super Bowl Gatorade Bettors?

Written By Chris Sheridan on February 1, 2020 - Last Updated on February 20, 2020
super bowl gatorade color

UPDATE: The Kansas City Chiefs dumped ORANGE Gatorade on Andy Reid after they beat San Francisco in Super Bowl 54. Orange closed at +400 odds at DraftKings Sportsbook before kickoff.

Purple is the overwhelming favorite to be the color of the Gatorade dumped on the winning coach at the Super Bowl, and this is easily explained.

Most bettors are huge fans of anthocyanins, natural pigments found in grapes, eggplants, pansies, violets and other fruits and vegetables.

OK, that is not true.

Purple is one of the two colors worn by the Los Angeles Lakers, who continue to mourn the loss of Kobe Bryant nearly one full week ago in a helicopter crash in the hills north of Los Angeles. And with all manner of Bryant tributes taking place in society and in sports, it is only natural to think that the NFL will have something in store on Sunday when most of America watches football in the nation’s unofficial national holiday.

It is pure speculation that the Gatorade shower will be the color of Welch’s grape juice. Purple has turned up only twice since  Bill Parcells’ inaugural Gatorade shower in 1987 – in 2003 when Buccaneers coach John Gruden was doused following a victory over the Raiders, and in 2012 when Tom Coughlin of the Giants finished upsetting the New England Patriots. Catch up on the full history of the Gatorade shower here.

Purple has been bet down at DraftKings Sportsbook from +1200 to +110, and at FanDuel Sportsbook the opening line was +400 on Wednesday, which quickly dropped to +140 within hours. It sits at -125 at FanDuel as of Saturday morning.

“We think there’s a strong reason for it,” said John Sheeran, director of risk and trading at FanDuel Sportsbook. “I think people are maybe mentioning Kobe and it could be a testament to him. And I think there’s two sides to that. One, it may not be true, but when the PR people from the two teams hear about it I think there’s a chance that they could influence it to happen.

“I think it’s a smart move, actually,” Sheehan added. “I saw some narrative on Twitter and  I know some of the offshores have seen some movement on it given their price movement.”

Nearly 65 percent of the Gatorade bets at FanDuel, where the maximum Gatorade wager is limited.

“This is a fun prop, and I want to be clear that we have a lot of experience of trading these markets,” Sheehan said. “Right now you can bet to win between $500 and $1,000 maximum. “This is designed to be a lot of fun.”

Kind of like drinking a bunch of beer at the game out of a can, right?

Uh-oh. No cans at the SuperBowl this year.  In 2020, aluminum is the new paper.

Yes, this is progress.

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Anyway, for those who have more money than they know what to do with – and yes, there are a lot of those folks – the coin flip is an easy one. As Sheehan noted in an earlier column for TheLines, bettors like to get ahead in their wallets prior to the opening kickoff.

“I can’t believe the amount of interest in the coin toss,” Sheehan said. “I won’t lie to you. I did some projections on it earlier in the week. It wouldn’t surprise me if we hold $1 million on the coin toss prop. There’s that much demand for it.”

Keep the quote in mind in case anyone tells you that the American economy is in the dumpster. Yes, the Dow Jones Industrial  Average took a hit Friday along with the rest of the market. But bounce backs are part of the U.S. and the global economy – and the legalized wagering economy, too.

Right now, with so much action coming in on the over for the Super Bowl total, the sportsbooks are just about the only folks out there looking for a low scoring game. (Okay, people with two zeroes in their Super Bowl  boxes want a dual shutout, too.)

But that is all part of Big Game madness.

The difference this year is the purple factor, and Barney, Prince (if he were alive), Oprah Winfrey and Hugh Jackman may just be among those looking for the purple product to come out of the Gatorade bucket.

OK, and millions and millions of Kobe admirers on Twitter.

Let’s face it, the death of Bryant has dominated the news cycle for an entire week, and with good reason. But that story will eventually become old news, and on Monday morning many of us will wake up and say “How did I miss that bet?”

Will it be the purple Gatorade bet? We’ll have to wait and see while simultaneously keeping a close eye on this Twitter account.

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