Josh Nagel’s blog

June 20, 2009

Can we get a baby, one more time?

Normally, I don’t waste my time keeping up with the tabloid headlines and celebrity gossip.

Unless, of course, there’s money at stake, or perhaps if I am growing restless with an endless summer lineup of baseball and golf. This is one such time on both counts.

But thanks to a brilliant celebrity prop bet at, I’m breaking away from the doldrums of handicapping another Mariners-Orioles tilt on a sunny Tuesday afternoon.

Who needs such monotony, when you can get down to the business of serious celebrity squatting with the challenge to pick the “Next celebrity to announce a pregnancy.”

Pay special attention to the word “announce” here, because I think it will prove pivotal. This one could be won or lost on a technicality. Evidently, proof in the form of an ultrasound, an aborted fetus, or a live infant is not required in order to cash this wager. A simple “announcement” will do.

With that in mind, I’m here to help you separate the players from the posers when it comes to prominent procreation. So, here is the skinny on the potentially plump. I’ll include all listed candidates in the interest of thorough handicapping:

The Heavy Hitters

Britney Spears (+350): For a while, she gave new meaning to the term “pop diva,” and now I’m counting on her to give literal meaning to the single, “Baby One More Time.” Now that her quest to impersonate Sinead “Skinhead” O’Connor appears to be over, and her personal struggles in check, Spears, 27, has to be considered a frontrunner here.

She had her first child with former back-up dancer Kevin Federline in Sept. 2005 then, oops, she did it again, one year later. Don’t count out K-Fed to finish off the trifecta. Word has it he is accompanying Spears and their two children on her new international tour, and that they are getting along swimmingly. If something else starts swimming, we might have a winner. This bet is a solid value.

Demi Moore (+500): At 46, Moore certainly is no spring chicken when it comes to her child-bearing window, though it’s fair to say she looks no worse for wear. Her boy-toy-suitor-turned-husband, Ashton Kutcher, 31, doesn’t seem at all turned off by his mate’s race against Father Time. God bless them both.

Although she had three daughters with ex-husband Bruce Willis, don’t be surprised if Moore manages to find one last bun in her oven for Kutcher. I’m counting on Kutcher to make it happen. Let’s just hope if Moore goes into labor, we do not hear reports of Kutcher running outside and exclaiming, “Dude, where’s my car?”

The Long Shots

Reese Witherspoon (+250): Although Witherspoon, 33, does seem to be a prime candidate for motherhood, she’s not worth being made the favorite here.

First off, this ain’t her first rodeo; Witherspoon had two children with former husband Ryan Phillippe. Moreover, you have to raise the caution flag when it comes to her chosen mate, 28-year-old Jake Gyllenhaal.

Everything is built on that. You’ve got to pause when considering the fact that when the “Brokeback Mountain” star’s sexuality was questioned, he basically … agreed (that it was worth questioning, at least). Don’t waste your money here.

Kim Kardashian (+300): This “TV personality” recently posed in Playboy, won a $5 million lawsuit over a homemade sex video and started dating New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush. In other words, she’s a mess.

Although rumors of a potential engagement have been circling, you have to wonder whether the USC prodigy has what it takes to break this plane and get into the end zone. It says here that Bush’s courtship of Kardashian will result in another high-profile bust.

Jessica Biel (+700): The star of such film classics as “Summer Catch” and “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” seems hell-bent on gaining respect as an actress. This endeavor is bound to slow the 27-year-old’s desire to reproduce, at least for a while.

However, she did appear in a movie titled “Nailed,” so you never know. But my money says she is staying child-free for the near future, provided love interest Justin Timberlake doesn’t insist “It’s Gonna Be Me.”

Vanessa Hudgens (+700): Despite a nude photo scandal at the tender age of 18, there’s still an after-school-special aura about Hudgens, 20, that makes her feel like a long shot.

I’m also not sold on her beau, fellow “High School Musical” star Zac Efron, who’s decidedly too Nickelodeon-meets-spoiled-suburban-snobitude for fatherhood. What’s more, he’s too young. And, quite possibly, gay (good call, Stacy). The 21-year-old earned a little more of my respect by appearing on “Punk’d” … but not much.

The Wild Cards

Jessica Simpson (+700): This ubiquitous reality TV figure recently was rumored to have become pregnant. Turned out she just gained a whole bunch of weight.

Her awe-shucks, guy-next-door boyfriend, NFL quarterback Tony Romo, did his part to squash the speculation. When asked by a reporter if his girlfriend was preggers, Romo replied, “Not that I know of.” Nice.

Although it’s safe to assume Hallmark won’t come calling for his services when he retires from football, fatherhood might one day be in the cards for the quarterback. Just not now. Not with this woman. This signal-caller knows better. You’ve got to believe that when blitzed with the pressure of procreation, Romo will handle it like any good quarterback would … and call an audible.

However, it remains unclear just how many snaps under center Romo has been taking lately. But Simpson is the proverbial X Factor here. Keep in mind this is a woman who once openly questioned on reality television whether “Chicken of the Sea” was tuna fish, as the large company that cans and sells it claims, or if it was, in fact, chicken. You never know if she might similarly confuse the terms Cowboys and Trojans.

Katie Holmes (+600): Wow, it’s hard to believe the erstwhile “Dawson’s Creek” hottie just turned the big 3-0. My, how scientology ages thee. Her marriage and subsequent “conception” with erstwhile pretty boy-turned-alternative-religion-zealot Tom Cruise, 46, is the prime example of why this bet could be won on the whole “announcement” technicality.

Well, technically, the couple already have a child, daughter Suri, who allegedly was “born” in April 2006. One thing is certain: We know Holmes didn’t get a lot of sympathy from her husband, nor meds from her doctor, for her postpartum depression.

However, exactly zero medical professionals have come forth to claim witness to the birth, and no images of Suri and Holmes in the delivery room have ever surfaced. She just kind appeared a couple of months after the birth was publicized.

Moreover, Cruise’s two children with ex-wife Nicole Kidman were both adopted. And Cruise, quite possibly, is gay (another good call, Stacy). But we’ll give TomKat the benefit of the doubt here. Barely.

What we won’t give them is our hard-earned cash, but don’t be surprised if they are the culprits of a bad beat in this Cash for Kids wager. Is it really too difficult to envision Cruise jumping up and down on Oprah Winfrey’s sofa again, and claiming a “Pregnancy of the soul!” or some similar nonsense at his bride’s (and our wager’s) expense?

Of course not. That’s why we’re staying away. But because the criteria reads simply, the first celebrity who “announces a pregnancy,” don’t overlook these two as the New Age spoilers. I never said gambling wasn’t a risky business.

The pick: Spears. She’s been my favorite from the start and I’m not backing down now. Disagree if you will, but the choice is my prerogative.

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