Sunday, September 13, 2009

Non championship sports part 1

Since this is the first Sunday of the 2009 NFL, this is as good as time as any to do some math work about the one franchise which has gone the longest without winning a title or getting to the title game, the Detroit Lions.

Their last championship game was in 1957 which they won. Since then, they have only won one playoff game though they won consolation games played in the 60s. Their record of futility peaked in 2008 by becoming the first team to go through an NFL season with a 0-16 record.

The list is the mathematical of the odds of the Lions of winning a title in each of the seasons since 1957:

From 1958-1965, odds reflect winning NFL title. 1966-2008 Super Bowl. Since the NFC had divisions of unequal number of teams from 1970-94 except for the strike year of 1982, those odds do not reflect the number of teams in the league.

Doing the math, I was surprised to discover the odds of the Lions going 51 seasons without a title is only 8.45-1 and the odds of the team not making it to the title game is 67.5-1. Of course going 0-16 in a season is 2 to the 16th power to one or 65,536-1.

P.S. For those who might sarcastically ask about a certain other football team, I will create a chart about it when the Lions and the other 11 franchises (MIN, PHI, NO, ATL, AZ, NYJ, BUF, CIN, TEN, SD, KC) who have won a title since 1973 do.

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