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Super Spectacle -- the strange side of the big game

Wait ... there's a game?

BY LUKE BROADWATER, B

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It's known for its over-the-top commercials, raucous parties and mountains of (mmm…) buffalo chicken dip. But the hoopla surrounding this year's Super Bowl hasn't just been the standard fare; it's been downright weird. As good as the game is predicted to be, the spectacle around the game -- from clubs scrambling to find strippers to art geeks gambling away masterpieces -- has been grabbing as much attention. Here's our roundup of the 10 oddest storylines accompanying the big game.

•••• Seeing your team lose can cause a heart attack

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You know that super nervous feeling you get during the fourth-quarter of a big Ravens game? Well, that emotional stress can be bad for you. Deadly bad. Scientists are now warning that we could see a spike in heart attacks among fans of the losing Super Bowl team. So, uh, watch out Pittsburgh hospitals.

•••• Strip clubs scramble to find "entertainers"

Anticipating a huge influx of raunchy men for the big game, Dallas-area strip clubs are scrambling to find enough strippers to meet demand -- or so says TMZ.com. The Dallas Morning News adds this valuable nugget of information: Upon arriving in Dallas, the Steelers' Hines Ward and Ike Taylor were among the first out-of-town patrons huddled around the stripper pole, though the duo (very vaguely) denied the accusation.

•••• Eminem in Claymation in a Lipton Brisk ad.

We can't decide what's weirder: Watching Em in Claymation or seeing the hard-core rapper hawk Lipton iced tea?

•••• TV reporter Ines Sainz steals the spotlight

The New York Jets got investigated for allegedly sexually harassing her earlier this season. But sports reporter Ines Sainz didn't turn demure over the controversy. When she showed up at Super Bowl media day wearing a tight, flashy dress and dominatrix-style boots, Sainz garnered more media questions than many of the players. And we can't say we blame our friends in the press.

(Reuters photo)

•••• Homeless Couple Wins Trip To Dallas

The Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau recently awarded a homeless couple a trip to the Super Bowl. We can't help thinking the money could have been better used for something else –- like, say, helping them get an apartment.

•••• "Angry Birds" secret level hidden in "Rio" ad

If you love the video game "Angry Birds" -– and we know you do -– you'll want to pay special attention to the "Rio" ad this Super Bowl. Hidden in a frame of this commercial is a code that will take you to a secret level of the game, where untold adventure surely resides! If this level doesn't include radioactive, mutant demon pigs from hell (or something equally awesome) we're going to be disappointed.

•••• Art geeks wager masterpiece

Speaking of nerds, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh and the Milwaukee Art Museum have a drama of their own: Wagering priceless masterpieces on a bunch of grown men playing with a ball. The Milwaukee museum's "Boating on the Yerres" by Gustave Caillebotte is on the betting block against the Pittsburgh museum's "Bathers with Crab" by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Pour the tea. The erudite trash talk has begun: "I'm confident that we will be enjoying the Renoir ... very soon," Daniel Keegan of the Milwaukee Art Museum said in a news release.

•••• Troy Polamalu vs. Clay Matthews hair showdown

They're arguably the two best defensive players in football. What's not arguable is this: They're the two players with the best hair. The Packers' Clay Matthews has signed a deal to promote Suave shampoo, while Pittsburgh's Troy Polamalu has a sponsorship contract with Head & Shoulders. Pundits will debate the pros and cons of each of their locks, but the players at Super Bowl media day left no doubt whose hair they find more irresistible: They took turns wearing an exaggerated Polamalu-style wig.

(Getty photo)

•••• Jillian Michaels racy ads

There's a new, unlikely GoDaddy.com girl appearing in the company's racy Super Bowl ads this year. Jillian Michaels, the tough fitness trainer on "The Biggest Loser," is already lashing back at critics who say she's helping the company objectify women. "For people who have a problem with it, honestly, get a life," Michaels told The Hollywood Reporter.

(Getty photo)

•••• 100,000 prostitutes and pimps descend on Dallas

As if having the Steelers in town during a stripper shortage wasn't enough of a problem, Dallas police are warning about an inrush of sex traffickers. "The Super Bowl is one of the biggest human trafficking events in the United States," the Texas Attorney General said at a news conference. This would be terrible, if true, but we simply don't believe the hype (much as we highly doubt the much-publicized stripper shortage). A survey of prostitution arrests in other Super Bowl-host cities showed no uptick in crimes during the build-up or aftermath of the big game, according to the Dallas Observer. Hysteria, 1; News media, 0.

Luke Broadwater is managing editor at b. Contact him at luke@bthesite.com or follow him on Twitter, @lukebroadwater.

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