Fun with Stats

Steve Bainbridge is going to be pulling extra hard for his Redskins after reading this odd statistic in the LA Times [otbblog/jamesotb]:

A 72-year streak links the victory or defeat of the Washington Redskins on the eve of election day with the presidential race. If the Redskins go down to defeat or tie, the sitting president’s party loses the White House.

***

The Redskins’ performance has aligned with the presidential outcome in the last 18 elections — a probability of 1 in 263.5 million, according to Dave Dolan, an assistant professor of statistics at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

A rather inprobable coincidence, to be sure.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Wow.

    Errr, go Redskins! Unless they are playing the Steelers. Then . . . well, I’ll just say how this is a stupid statistic.

  2. (Sorry for the double post.)

    Who has the time to come up with these things, anyway?

  3. Tom N says:

    This is going to kill Oliver Willis.

  4. Paul says:

    The Redskins’ performance has aligned with the presidential outcome in the last 18 elections — a probability of 1 in 263.5 million, according to Dave Dolan, an assistant professor of statistics at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

    HUH? I ain’t done the math but my B.S. detector just went off on that number. (although one would assume the guy is right)

  5. Paul says:

    or Maybe not… I thought of it as a coin flip but is is a Pascal’s triangle problem

  6. James Joyner says:

    I’m also not sure if he’s only considering the two major parties, all known candidates, or what.

  7. jen says:

    Hail to the Redskins.

    The good news is that Gibbs is back and by November the team should be in good form under his leadership. That is, if you’re for President Bush to get reelected.

  8. Brian J. says:

    I don’t know what to make of this, because the professor is an academic, so he probably wants the Democrats to win, and he’s from Green Bay, so he probably wants the Green Bay Packers to win when they play the Redskins on October 31 (Schedule).

    Smells like a conspiracy of disinformation to keep the Republicans home when the Packers do, in fact, win.

  9. As a HUGE Packers fan, I confounded. What to do? I am thinking of trading teams with Oliver Willis for one week.