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Whom Do Statistics Say Will Win? (and Why it doesn’t even matter)

Peyton Manning and Cam Newton both have the stats in their favor.
Peyton Manning and Cam Newton both have the stats in their favor.
Peyton Manning and Cam Newton both have the stats in their favor.

Super Bowl 50 is now set! The Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos are the two teams vying for NFL immortal glory. Odds are that right up until the Super Bowl kickoff, gamblers and curious observers alike will analyze the two teams and come up with all sorts of reasons why one team is better than the other. Of the more famous methods, simulating the Super Bowl through the Madden NFL video game. Other methods range from the gut-feeling aspect such as using animals to pick the winner, to more scientific methods like using stats and percentages.

Using statistics to determine a winner should be the most accurate way because stats are the average of past work. For instance, if the coin toss winner’s record for winning the Super Bowl is 23-24, it’s safe to say that winning the coin toss isn’t a deciding factor for winning the game. Digging deeper, analysts tend to look at the quarterback to get a better idea of how the teams will perform.

Since Super Bowl XXXIV (2000), all QBs from the winning team have been over 6’4” and 215 lbs except two: Russell Wilson and Drew Brees. All winning QBs were either born in California, Louisiana, Georgia, or Ohio except two; Joe Flacco, and Drew Brees. There are always outliers to any test, but the trend line is fairly consistent. Winning QB’s have to be over 6’4” and 215, and usually come from one of the four aforementioned states. Both QBs for this year’s Super Bowl meet the criteria.

…The game still has to be played.

So how can the two be further separated? One possible solution is called the Golden Mask. This mathematical breakdown looks at an athlete’s face in proportions relative to Phi (1.618…). Based on this geometric formula, also known as the golden ratio, math has a chance weigh in on who the winner will be. Experts theorize that the more alpha male features you exhibit, such as confidence, mental toughness, and even posture, can be solely based on an aesthetic level. The proportions of the position of your eyes, length of your chin, and other facial features all contribute to some aspect of the Golden Ratio. The closer these ratios are to the Golden Ratio, the further one will be exalted above others. Therefore, the more alpha male traits you display, the more people will follow you from an earlier age. This means you’ll get more opportunities, which will undoubtedly give you a leg up in life. This is what owners look for in QB. They want the ones that display the most alpha male traits and are the most beautiful; mathematically speaking, of course. All that being said, the game still has to be played.

As a society, we love to compare. As kids, we compared nonsensical things like who had the best pencil (the arguments were legendary) and now as adults, we compare living quarters, paychecks, and our bodies to name a few.

Why?

It’s just the way we’re wired. The problem with statistics and things of that nature are that they are merely a possibility of what could happen. The game still has to be played. Without it, the numbers are just numbers. So how do your statistics stack up? The pattern of how you’ve done things in the past can be an indicator of your future, but it is in no way the final solution. Life still has to be lived. Though both QBs may be over a certain height and weight and have the right pedigree, this doesn’t automatically qualify or quantify your success. Math can’t always choose a winner. Life must still be lived and the game must always be played.

Written by David Robinson

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