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Prop Bet Analysis: Demi Lovato Is Singing The National Anthem At Super Bowl LIV

Oh say can you see, what the prop bet will be...

When I saw that Lovato was announced as this year's Super Bowl Anthem singer, I mentioned it to Fran thinking I'd get more of a pop culture input. Instead, she didn't waste a second...

"That's a huge prop bet. She's a belter. Whatever it's set at, take the over. She sang the National Anthem at the Mayweather/McGregor fight and she went way over."

I watched that video on YouTube & from my calculations she sang for 2:15. Looks like the bet for that was over/under 01:54

So what are we thinking this time around? 

Well... according to Quora the average length of time for the National Anthem is 01:40.. 

And I don't always trust the answers on there, but this commenter Bill Spencer (supervisor at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, post-grad degree from Cal Tech, loves digging into 'the numbers', has done his own Star Spangled banner arrangement) seems pretty damn legit. Here's Bill's breakdown:

1:40 is the average recording length of a performance of the US National Anthem (The Star-Spangled Banner, SSB) . However, the length varies greatly between bands and performances (1:05–2:17), and the speed varies greatly within a performance.

The length of the Anthem, EXCLUDING fermate, drum roll and other introductions, and extend codas, is about 0:57 to 1:26 depending on chosen speed.

It is performed slower when asking the public to sing, and MUCH slower when a showy vocalist wants to make an impression at a televised event.

Oh you thought we were done? Bill has only just begun…

I’ve got a collection of 66 Star-Spangled Banner recordings, mostly marching bands, but also a few Superbowls, instrumentals, etc.

The song is four 8-bar stanzas with a pickup, 32–1/3 measures in 3/4 time, or 97 beats. However, individual notes are usually lengthened with fermate and a lengthy drum roll often precedes the music. Sometimes, introductions or and/or an extended coda are added. Sometimes the third stanza (rockets red glare) is played slower than the 1st, 2nd, & final stanzas.

The shortest overall that I have is 1:05, a gross average of 90 bpm.

The longest I have (for one verse) is 2:17, gross average 43 bpm.

The original work (Smithsonian recreation from 1854 music) is about 1:14, of which only 0:55 is the main verse, averaging 106 bpm.

But wait, there's more!

Here is a selection of performances from my [Bill's] collection. These are length overall - including fermate, drum rolls, introductions, and codas, but excluding accompanying speech: 


1:14 The Ohio State University Buckeye Marching Band

1:15 Purdue University All-American Marching Band
1:15 Michigan State University Spartan Marching Band

1:17 U of Pittsburgh Marching Band


1:23 Sergei Rachmaninoff, piano

2:35 Violin & Violin/vocal duet (2 verses)

13:43 Jimi Hendrix Star-Spangled Banner / Purple Haze


1:31 Phish, a capella, Atlanta concert 1996

1:33 Kelly Clarkson, Superbowl 2012

2:00 Cher, Superbowl 1999

2:05 Whitney Houston, Superbowl 1991 (considered by many to be a definitive performance)

5:57 Big Cat, Rough n' Rowdy (Maybe I just made this up but I feel like his take a while since he puts so much soul in it)

I did not include all of his list but it was extensive. So going off his research, Lovato's performance before, and knowing that she's been working on a comeback & this is the SUPER BOWL, I want to put my money on 02:18… but looking at the numbers from legends like Cher, Kelly & Whitney there's a chance she might taper it. Overall, I'm going to say 02:12. However long it takes, Lovato can fuckin' crooooon, and the odds are in favor of me getting a case of the freedom goosebumps like I normally do. 

Stay tuned for more hard-hitting football news from me, Katie Sports, as the Super Bowl nears.