Wednesday, January 20, 2016

More Math: 62.5% + 90% = No Parade for You

I've had an epiphany this football season - which is appropriate since football had
been a religion with me for about 40 years. That sudden realization was this: my favorite team is never going to win a Super Bowl. Not, 'probably never'; not 'may never'; not 'unlikely to' - never. That's not just pessimism or dark thoughts - that's a mathematical fact. They've played a bunch of these Super Bowls - I hear there have been 49 championship trophies awarded - and never once was that award given to the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles - the aforementioned favorite team. Never.

Now, if you had a friend who kept trying to run up the same mountain 49 years in a row, and yet never reached the top, you'd tell him, "Asshole: quit running up that mountain!"  That's what I feel like doing with football -  I want to stop running. Why do I watch all those games [there are 256 games each season and I watch about 40% of them either in full or in condensed versions on NFL Game Pass or whatever the hell they call it]? Why do I watch four hours of pre-game every week? For who? For what? [See Waters, Ricky - 1995]

In the 1966 season, after which Super Bowl I was held, the NFL was made up of the following 15 teams:

Cleveland Browns
Dallas Cowboys (5)
Philadelphia Eagles
St. Louis Cardinals
Green Bay Packers (4)
Chicago Bears (1)
Detroit Lions
New York Giants (4)
Washington Redskins (3)
Pittsburgh Steelers (6)
Atlanta Falcons
Baltimore Colts (2)
Los Angeles Rams (1)
San Francisco 49ers (5)
Minnesota Vikings

While the AFL was made up of the following nine teams:

Buffalo Bills
Boston Patriots (4)
New York Jets (1)
Houston Oilers
Miami Dolphins (2)
Kansas City Chiefs (1)
Oakland Raiders (3)
San Diego Chargers
Denver Broncos (2)

So, the Eagles were one of 24 teams "present at the creation" so to speak. Look at that list again. One more time. Nine of those original 24 never won a Super Bowl. They are: the Eagles, Cleveland, St. Louis/Phoenix/Arizona [pending two more wins, of course]; Detroit, Atlanta, Minnesota, Buffalo, Houston/Tennessee, and San Diego. So, 62.5% of those original 1966 eligible teams have gone on to win at least one Super Bowl.

Now, there have been 49 Super Bowl championship trophies. Of the 15 original teams who went on to win a Super Bowl, those teams have won a total of 44 of the 49 trophies. That's right: the Super Bowl has been won by one of those 15 teams 90% of the time. Ninety percent. The five Super Bowls won by teams other than those original 15 from 1966 were the Baltimore Ravens [2], Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and New Orleans Saints.

With these odds [again, 15 teams have won 90% of all Super Bowls], I can no longer in good conscience continue to be addicted to football in general and the Eagles in particular. They simply - for reasons that clearly have to do with more than just X's and O's - cannot and will not ever win a Super Bowl. If you are suffering like me - i.e. your team has never/will never win a Super Bowl - you should take another look at those 15 teams and choose one of them to become your new team so that you at least have a fighting chance of finishing a season happy.

As you can see, then, it doesn't matter if the Eagles hired Doug Pederson or Norm Pederson [ok, Norm spelled it 'Peterson'; sue me] as their new coach.  They are never, ever winning the Super Bowl.

That's just the: "Norm!"

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