Grab your favorite canned or bottled beverage, mash up a fresh batch of guacamole, don your fanciest team jersey, and get ready for one of the most important sporting events of the year:
Are you ready for some completely unscientific (and possibly fraudulent) probability modeling!?!
The NFL championship is being decided on Sunday in a “throw-ball” contest (as our boss Mr. Juster refers to it as) between the Colts of Indianapolis and the Saints of New Orleans. Like every single other website out there, we put this battle in the hands of Madden NFL 10’s CPU vs. CPU mode to see who will emerge victorious. The final score?
Colts 35, Saints 25
Peyton Manning went 14 for 19 with 270 total yards of passing, while Drew Brees was 15 for 25 with 307 yards in the air. New Orleans had 34 yards of total rushing. Yawn.
However, the game was played with 7-minute quarters, so if we were to use “mathematics” and extrapolate the outcome if real NFL rules were applied, the final score would be more along the lines of:
Colts 74, Saints 53
Considering the explosive offensive capabilities of both teams, this result seems a little more realistic. But like all good scientists, we must be absolutely thorough in our research. Which is why we decided to run the game through a few more simulations. For each simulation, the winner will be granted a point. Whatever team has the most points will assuredly win the game. We here at G4tv.com do not condone gambling in any form, but this article can definitely be used for the purposes of gambling. Let the experiment begin…
Madden NFL 10, with Backup Quarterbacks
The first CPU battle in Madden presumed that the starting quarterbacks would be Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. But what if something unfortunate were to befall them before kickoff? Enter Curtis Painter and Mark Brunell, respective QB backups for the Colts and Saints. Simulation results with those two as starters:
The Colts exploded to a 2-point lead in the first quarter when the 39-year old Brunell fell out of the back of the end zone as his hip gave out. Rookie third-stringer Daniel Chase entered the game and went an amazing 30-for-30…on hand-offs. It was not enough to stop Painter, who wasn’t really paying attention during the season and pretty much forgot the entire Colts playbook except for “QB Sneak Middle.”
Result: Colts 2, Saints 0
NFL Street (GameCube, 2004)
Once again, Peyton Manning’s aerial assualt and flexibility at the line of scrimmage struck deep at the heart of San Diego’s bewildered defense, but Drew Brees and his Chargers – the team he was with in 2004 – saved their Game Breaker until the last play of the game and threw a 100-yard touchdown pass to give the Chargers the victory. The chances of this happening on Sunday are non-existent, as the use of Game Breakers was outlawed along with the “force out” rule at the beginning of this season. Also, San Diego’s not playing.
Result: Chargers (Saints) 35, Colts 31
Street Fighter IV (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
When it comes to gridiron action, there's nothing more representative than a Japanese game in which several costumed martial artists shoot pyrotechnics from their hands. After Sterling and I deliberated over which Street Fighter IV characters represented the teams ("Balrog's a respectable brawler who finally got his due, like Peyton post-Super Bowl XLI"), Brian Leahy walked over and made the following hypotheses:
"The Colts are all about projectiles and devastating aerial combat, but their style isn't very flashy. It's classic and dependable. Therefore, the Colts are Ryu."
"The Saints' offense is crushing, but their defense leaves a lot to be desired. They fight harder to do more damage. That means the Saints are Akuma."
We liked it. After two battles in which Akuma resoundly thrashed Ryu, with Ryu only taking one round of the five played, we present the final battle to you. It speaks for itself, we think:
Result: Akuma (Saints) 3 – Ryu (Colts) 0
Family Feud 4 (PC)
Result: Saints Family 34, Colts Family 0
I was just recently introduced to the acronym WAG, which comes from the “other” football that everybody else in the world plays. It stands for “wives and girlfriends,” and it’s the fascination with the sordid affairs of soccer players’ significant others. If we were to apply it to American throw-ball, the results would be as follows:
New Orleans: Reggie Bush & Kim Kardashian
Indianapolis: Peyton Manning & Ashley Manning
Assuming she’s still with Reggie, Ms. Kardashian has appeared in movies (well, one movie…). But Peyton’s done well for himself, too…man, I can see why Sterling likes WAG talk so much.
Result: Everybody wins. (Draw)
Civilzation IV (PC)
Football is a game of strategy. You know what else is a game of strategy? A turn-based strategy game. And there’s no better (or more accessible on my home computer) TBS than Civilization IV.
The Setup: 2-player Duel
The Map: Small map, pangaea continent
The Leaders: Peyton, Drew
Turn 1: The capital of New Orleans is founded. Eager to end the game early with deep bombs, Drew immediately begins building an Artillery unit. In order to establish some sort of home field advantage, Peyton sacrifices a crucial turn of development in order to get his settlers closer to an oil field.
Turn 2: Drew begins researching Rocketry, which will be complete in 138 turns (he’s playing for overtime). The city of Indianapolis is founded just as Drew’s explorers enter Peyton’s territory and trigger a declaration of war.
Turn 3: Peyton orders the construction of walls around Indianapolis (you need a good offensive line), and harnessing the inherent Quarterbacking power of the Manning family, he converts to Hereditary Rule. Indianapolis Military units get a +1 stat boost, which is good because his Marine units are starting their up-the-middle blitz on New Orleans.
Turn 4: Drew sends his three Marine units in a trips formation coming from the south. The plan is to run a post route towards Indianapolis, take advantage of the defensively inexperienced Explorer units, and set up for the long bomb. Peyton converts to Christianity, because you just can’t win a sports championship without the Lord on your side.
Turn 5: Drew’s workers finish building a plantation, as he really likes bananas.
Turn 6: Peyton’s Marines, in a zone defense, move to cover Drew’s streaking trip set and manage to take out one of the units. But the other two get past and are wide open on the way to Indy, before…
Turn 7: Corner blitz! Peyton’s other unnoticed Marine unit bolts toward New Orleans from the North, and Drew gets blindsided as they sack the undefended capital and end the game. Peyton elects to install a new governor instead of burning the city to the ground, because those good people have already been through enough.
Result: Indianapolis: 33 gold, New Orleans: 0 population.
7 Coin Tosses
Nobody in my immediate vicinity had a quarter, so in the spirit of how unscientific this entire experiment is, I decided to flip a dollar bill. And in doing so, I became the first person in history to make the concept of probability “rain.”
Indianapolis: George Washington
New Orleans: Creepy Free Mason Pyramid Eye
I was surprised to find that flipping a dollar bill generates a surprising amount of revolutions, and the best-of-seven series went all the way to the deciding flip.
Result: New Orleans 4, Indianapolis 3
Boss Juster, who stopped by to watch, declared that because it was being used for business purposes, my dollar bill was now property of Comcast Entertainment.
Final TheFeed Super Bowl Prediction!
Winner: New Orleans, 4 challenges to 3
Final Score: New Orleans 42, Indianapolis 23
Drew Brees: 15 for 16 passing, 316 yards
Reggie Bush: 108 rushing yards
New Orleans: 4-for-8 on 3rd down conversions
Congratulations to Blair Herter and his New Orleans Saints!