Friday, September 10, 2010

Fun with random numbers

OK, another NFL season is upon us, and I have an excuse for writing this blog again.

Let's face it--I just don't care about baseball anymore, for reasons that I've already articulated here and on Fritzburgh An'at several times. That said, I'm rooting for the Reds for old time's sake and all those games I listened to on WLW as a kid.

I have gotten so used to the Steelers being bashed by the pundits this year that I've had my Sports Illustrated NFL Preview lying on my desk for a week before I finally noticed a few choice words under the word "Preview" that brought a smile to my face. Thank you, Peter King. I think.

Last year, I made NFL predictions that couldn't have been farther off base. I picked the Steelers over the Falcons in the Super Bowl. Maybe I just saw this Sunday's game instead.

Since I didn't want to jinx the Steelers again, I decided to have a little fun instead. I decided to leave the season up to the random number generator on my calculator.

Here's how it worked: I found a prediction online (I don't even remember where it was) that included a prediction of the number of wins. Then I assigned a range to each team based on the number of predicted wins. For instance, here was the prediction for the AFC North:

Cincinnati 12-4
Pittsburgh 11-5
Baltimore 9-7
Cleveland 3-13

So 1 through 12 meant the Bungles, 13 to 23 the Steelers, 24 to 32 the Birdies and 33 to 35 the Brownies. The first number I drew finished first, the next number (not counting repeats) second, and so on. Playoff games were picked in similar fashion.

Here's what I came up with--which proves, without a doubt, that there were no re-rolls or personal bias whatsoever:

AFC East: Miami, New England, Buffalo, NY Jets.
AFC North: Cleveland [sic], Pittsburgh (wild card), Cincinnati, Baltimore.
AFC South: Tennessee, Indianapolis (wild card), Jacksonville, Houston.
AFC West: Kansas City, San Diego, Denver, Oakland.

NFC East: Washington, NY Giants (wild card), Philadelphia, Dallas.
NFC Central: Detroit (and with the best overall record!), Minnesota, Chicago, Green Bay.
NFC South: New Orleans, Carolina (wild card), Atlanta, Tampa Bay.
NFC West: San Francisco, Arizona, Seattle, St. Louis.

I came up with an algorithm for the season records, but the results were so ridiculous I'm too embarrassed to publish them.

So here are the playoffs:
AFC Wild Card: Pittsburgh over Kansas City, Indianapolis over Cleveland.
NFC Wild Card: Giants over New Orleans, Carolina over Washington.
AFC Semifinals: Miami over Indianapolis, Pittsburgh over Tennessee.
NFC Semifinals: San Francisco over NY Giants, Carolina over Detroit.
AFC Championship: Miami over Pittsburgh.
NFC Championship: Carolina over San Francisco.
And the randomly-generated winner of Super Bowl XLV is.....The Carolina Panthers.

So if there are any Panthers fans reading this, you can sleep a little better tonight knowing that a few microchips in a 10-year-old calculator owned by a cube farmer in Penn Hills, Pa., think your team will win the Super Bowl.

But I like Peter King's opinion better. HERE WE GO, STEELERS, HERE WE GO!