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Generic Confusion

When you leave, my blog just fades to grey
Nu ma nu ma iei, nu ma nu ma nu ma iei

News? Check. Politics? Check. Music? Check. Random thoughts about life? Check. Readership? Ummm.... let me get back to you on that. Updated when I feel like I have something to say, and remember to post it.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Another curse to end

The Curse of the Bambino is gone. Now, another curse will go away.

According to the Winston-Salem Journal, no candidate from Winston-Salem or Charlotte has won statewide office in North Carolina since 1920. Senate candidate Erskine Bowles is from Charlotte, and candidate Richard Burr is from Winston-Salem. The article also mentions that there hasn't been a governor elected from Guilford County (home of Greensboro) since 1841.

There's also the pattern (not a curse, really) that the winner of the last Washington Redskins home football game before the election determines whether the incumbent party or challenger party wins the presidency. Today's Packers win would say that the Democrats will win the presidential election.

I know we humans like to search for patterns, and when we find one, like the aforementioned Redskins game result, that has a certain relationship, it sounds very cool. They are fun to discuss, but they mean nothing. Consider that using the NFL alone, there are dozens of teams, dozens of games to check, many different criteria that could be analyzed (home vs. away, conference vs. non-conference, etc.). And with so many options, it's not surprising that there's one that fits the same pattern as the winners of the presidential elections. You will note that the last Redskins home game had to be used, since in 1996, for example, the last Redskins game before the election had the opposite result than this pattern predicts.

If someone had more time than me, they could probably find the same pattern with the Green Bay Packers home opener, or the first game in October for the Chicago Bears, or some other random choice. There are only 17 elections for which the Redskins pattern is applied, and if you think hard enough, there are a lot more than 2^17 combinations of criteria. The Redskins game pattern is just a coincidence, noteworthy only because it's the Washington team and the game before the election. (And OpinionJournal points out that the last game played in Washington, not Maryland, before the election, was in 1996.)

As with all of these patterns, they only hold as long as they hold. Once Boston wins the World Series, there is no more historic losing streak. Once an incumbent party wins following a Redskins home loss, this pattern goes away as well.

So I'll make the bold prediction that, just like Boston's World Series futility, so too will end the Redskins predictive ability. Bush 291, Kerry 247. (This vote tally would come from New Hampshire switching to Kerry and Wisconsin and Iowa switching to Bush. I really think that "Lambert Field" faux pas will cost Kerry in Wisconsin.)


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