Thursday, June 22, 2017

Applying math to football again

Working at a place that prints sports schedules, I look at them from the point of view of the person who will see them displayed as opposed to the printer. Occasionally I will notice something wrong within the presentation of the schedule that someone focused on print quality would miss.

While looking at one schedule a couple days ago, I realized that the Miami Dolphins will play in Carolina on Monday, November 13th. I did not notice that when the schedule was released by the NFL last month.

What makes it weird is this is the third time in four years that the Dolphins will play on my birthday having hosted Buffalo in 2014 on a Thursday and playing in San Diego last year on a Sunday.

I had to figure the odds of that happening. Since there are four things that need to happen, the probability of each is determined then all four are multiplied to get the result.

Thursday night game in 2014: 16-1: Every team plays once on 16 Thursday night games during the season.

Leap year timing: 2-1: Since the NFL does not play November Friday or Saturday games, there has to be a leap year in the second or third year for a team to play on the same date 3 times in 4 years.

Sunday game in 2016: 4-3: 24 of the 32 teams played on Nov 13 last year. 2 played the Thursday before, 2 the Monday after, and 4 had their bye week.

Monday game in 2017: 16-1: Two teams play on that Monday night.

Doing the math: 682.666 - 1

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