Jason Zweig Dismantles the Super Bowl Indicator

Of all the silliness that goes on in the stock market forecasting business, and there is plenty, nothing even comes close to the notion that when a team from original National Football League wins the Super Bowl, stocks finish positively for the year.

Financial journalism legend Jason Zweig does the digging on how this particularly absurd fantasy came to exist.  Turns out, it all started off as a joke!

From the Wall Street Journal:

It’s often said the Super Bowl Indicator was first proposed in the Sports section of the New York Times in 1978 by Leonard Koppett, a sportswriter for the Gray Lady. But I’ve never been able to locate that original article, and so far as I know neither has anyone else, even though there’s a $100 reward available online if anybody turns it up.

Koppett died in 2003, but I did get to interview him about the Super Bowl Indicator back in December, 2001. He couldn’t cite an original New York Times article, either.

More importantly, a quarter-century after he invented the SBI, Koppett remained flabbergasted that anybody had ever taken him seriously.

His original articles were Swiftian satires on the dangers of confusing correlation with causation.

Be sure to head over for the whole story and the stats themselves.  You will love.


Super Bowl Indicator: The Secret History (WSJ)

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