May at my work has for the past several years involved printing things for the upcoming football season and it becomes interesting looking at how the same basic image of fans in the piece changes depending on the team and the association via photoshop or replacing certain people in the picture to accomidate specific fan bases.
I then wondered about printing schedules since the NFL is in its third month of their lockout and the season is currently not guaranteed to play at this time since adding 2 games is one of the issues between the owners and players. I then remembered the Dolphins are scheduled to visit Dallas on Thanksgiving so I know my wife will be miserable on that day like she was in 2004 when the Dolphins beat Dallas as the networks usually choose since the famous Thanksgiving game played in snow in 1993.
With the current schedule and the yearly switch of the Detroit and Dallas Thanksgiving games between networks, I know the Dolphins (and the other 3 AFC east teams) have a 50/50 chance to play on Thanksgiving in years they play in Detroit or Dallas which currently happens once every 8 years. (I could post another paragraph or two explaining why but you have to trust me on this)
So I wondered about the odds of the Dolphins playing on that day. The chances are 1/8 * 1/2 for Detroit or Dallas and 1/4 * 1/8 to play the night game in Denver or 1/16 +1/16 + 1/32 or 5 times out of 32.
Well what about the Bears? They play in Detroit every year but only half the time could that game appear on Thanksgiving so that chance is 1/2 * 1/6 or 1 in 12 (in those years, any one of 6 NFC teams play in Detroit). They play in Dallas once every 6 years due to rotation and have a 1 in 8 chance of playing in Dallas due to their standings on 2 of 3 years. Those odds are (1/6 + 1/8 * 2/3) * 1/6 or 1 time out of 24. They play in Denver one year out of 8 and have a 1 in 8 chance of being the opponent selected so that is 1 out of 64. So the chance is 1/12 + 1/24 + 1/64 or 9 times out of 64.