Do Super Bowls Really Predict Elections, Stocks?

Bizarre Super Bowl myths busted
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2012 4:05 PM CST
Updated Feb 5, 2012 1:10 PM CST
Do Super Bowls Really Predict Elections, Stocks?
Fans climb a series of stairs to ride zip lines while as they attend the Super Bowl XLVI NFL Experience presented by GMC at the Indiana Convention Center on February 3, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Do Super Bowls really predict presidential elections? Or the stock market? Do they make you hit your wife? People have claimed all of these things over the years, so the Guardian decided to take a look at what it calls "Super Bowl-ology," the "science" of making weird claims about the big game. Here's the score:

  • The stock market: This one was invented by sportswriter Leonard Koppet as a joke. He noted that whenever an NFC team won, the Dow rose, and whenever an AFC team won, it tanked. People took it seriously. Upon further review: This actually has worked 80% of the time. Perhaps enough investors are trading on this superstition to make it happen, or maybe it's a coincidence.

story continues below

  • Presidential elections: Supposedly, an AFC win predicts a Republican triumph, an NFC win predicts a Democratic one. Upon further review: Tell that to the Bushes—George HW won in 1988 despite an NFC victory, as did his son in 2000.
  • Domestic violence: In 1993, a number of women's groups alleged that Super Bowl Sunday was "the biggest day of the year for violence against women," sparking a myth that persists to this day. Upon further review: There was absolutely no evidence to back the claim; in fact, the studies they cited actually contradicted it.
  • Impotence: Supposedly, the big game can make it hard for men to score. Upon further review: This was invented by the Weekly World News, citing a study that didn't exist.
(Read more Super Bowl stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.