Given the start of the NFL season and the post-Labor Day last leg of the presidential campaign season, it reminded me of a blog entry that I posted in August 2012, regarding picking a winner for the then presidential race based upon the conference of the team that won the Super Bowl in the year of the election. I have re-published the blog below for your amusement.
I blogged on this topic because it involved 3 things everyone in the securities industry seems to argue about: politics, football, and statistics. In any event, my blog proved to be prophetic. The New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots because of a lucky catch with some assistance from the referees who happened to leave their seeing eye dogs at home during the 4th quarter– yes, I am still slightly bitter at the result. Based upon my statistical analysis, such a result foretold President Obama’s re-election, and he did win pretty handily.
Now, this year’s Super Bowl was won by the Denver Broncos, yet again with the assistance of Roger Goodell’s band of incompetent zebra looking and optically challenged referees, who permitted Aqib Talib to put on Rob Gronkowski’s jersey while he was still wearing it in the end zone during the final drive of the AFC Championship Game thereby depriving the better team from prevailing. Poor “I am not a Lawyer” Roger promised a thorough investigation, but, since it would not benefit any team other than the Patriots, he quickly backtracked and forgot about it.
However, I digress so let’s get back to my model. If the statistics are to be believed, the NFL’s machinations– ensuring Peyton Manning winning his final Super Bowl– dictate that the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, will win the presidential election. Of course, if you do not like this prediction, you should take comfort with another NFL axiom, “anything can happen on any given Sunday,” and get out and vote to prove it wrong (or, if you do like the model, get out and vote to prove it right) since that is the only true measure of any election, not some fancy statistical metric.
Yes, this blog is quite different than what you are used to reading, but it is a Friday in August so please take it in that vein. Here goes.
Undoubtedly, many know the securities industry loves to use statistics. Statistics are used for everything, including, among other things, to make predictions. However, the securities industry is not alone in using statistics to predict the world to come. For example, given this time of year with both NFL training camps and the presidential campaign in full swing, statistics and the resulting predictions are being dispensed like Pez candy. Really, how many more NFL pre-season or swing state predictions can they come out with???!!!
Although statistics may be the norm in the political field, some political wonks are using an odd, novel method, most notably, cockroaches to predict the outcome of the presidential race. Although I have heard a number of politicians in my life called cockroaches, until today, I have not heard of them being used for polling purposes. However, I digress.
In any event, I started to think if there was some statistical correlation between the NFL and presidential politics. Eerily (of course, when you use statistics in this manner, it is always eerie), there is!! Apparently, the connection is with the winner of the Super Bowl in the year of the presidential election.
Now, since 1980, there have been 8 presidential elections. Over that time, the Democrat has won 3 times while the Republican has won 5 times—more on that below when we discuss 2000—yes, you always have to discuss 2000!! Of the 8 Super Bowl winners, 3 were from the AFC (Steelers, Raiders and the Patriots), and 5 were from the NFC (Redskins-2x, Dallas, Rams, and the Giants). You are probably thinking, okay, whenever the AFC wins the Democrat wins, and, when the NFC wins, the Republican is the victor. Not so fast, as your mother probably told you, do not jump to quick conclusions!!
In fact, it is the exact opposite. In 1992, 1996, and 2008, an NFC team won the Super Bowl along with the Democrat candidate, while, in 1980, 1984, and 2004, the AFC team won along with the Republican. Two elections remain: 1988 and 2000.
You are probably thinking, okay, the NFC team won both years along with the Republican so any predictive benefit falls apart. However, the eeriness continues. Let’s go back to 1988, that year the Redskins defeated the Broncos in Super Bowl XXII. Some may recall that the Redskins’ quarterback was Doug Williams. Williams would lead the Redskins over the Broncos, and win the Super Bowl MVP. As many may also recall, Williams was the first African-American quarterback to play in the Super Bowl. Is this an omen for President Obama, who happens to be the nation’s first African-American president? Who knows? One other point on the 1988 Election, George H.W. Bush, the Republican, defeated Democrat Michael Dukakis—a Massachusetts governor!!!! Hmm, should former Massachusetts Governor Romney be worried???
Similarly, in 2000, the spooky coincidences continue. The 2000 Super Bowl was won by the Rams, a NFC team, okay, based upon what we are talking about a Democrat should win. Well, did he? This is not the place to go through the tortured history of that excruciating presidential election, but Democrat Al Gore did win the popular vote while Republican George W. Bush, won the Electoral College and the presidency. Of course, this game was famous for coining the phrase “One Yard Short,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_play_of_Super_Bowl_XXXIV, the final play of the game where the Titans were driving, but Titans receiver Kevin Dyson was tackled one yard short of making a game tying touchdown. Some people are still suggesting George W. Bush really came up one yard short as well, but, unlike him, the Titans could not appeal to the United States Supreme Court.
Okay, what does this all mean for the 2012 election? The New York Giants won the Super Bowl. That means, if re-elected, President Obama will have none other than Tom Brady of the New England Patriots to thank for missing his favorite receiver, Wes Welker, thereby, ensuring the NFC’s victory and the President’s victory in November. However, a word of advice for the President (like he really needs my advice!!), if he wants to send Tom a present, I do not think he likes cockroaches!!!