Archive for Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Orangutans say Steelers team to beat in Super Bowl

February 1, 2011


— I always looked at the eyes.

I would stare into the eyes of the Super Bowl participants, measure their responses to our weeklong inquiries, and by the weekend of the big game I would be emboldened enough to predict a winner.

Didn’t do badly, either, though I still don’t know how the Giants beat the Patriots three years ago. Something must have gotten in the Patriots’ eyes.

There is no science, however, I must admit, in predicting the winner of a Super Bowl.

Computers have tried it. Astrologers have tried it. Gamblers — especially gamblers — have tried it. All with varying results.

And yet we try.

Like the guy in New Jersey who uses Princess the Prognosticating Camel to predict the results of Jets and NFL postseason games. While I was looking into players’ eyeballs at Super Bowl XLII, Princess was correctly predicting the end of New England’s perfect season.

At the Portland, Ore., zoo, three orangutans — Kutai, Inji and Batik — have correctly selected five of the past six Super Bowl winners.

And in Sherwood, Ore., four cats somehow cooperated to predict the outcome of Super Bowl XLIII.

Of course, if cat food bowls and graham cracker treats aren’t reliable enough prognostication methods for you, you could always seek out more scientific means.

Like the German researchers who have been tracking the relationship all season between Green Bay Packers results and the sale of mozzarella stick cheese. I didn’t make that up.

Or you could get the computers at the website “” to simulate the game 2,501 times, and predict that Pittsburgh will win Sunday’s game 21-20.

Or you could consult the findings of two College of Wooster (Ohio) graduate students, one of whom has never seen an NFL game in person, who have endeavored to predict the outcome based upon each team’s artificial neural networks.

I’m still liking the orangutans myself.

You could ask famous people what they think about the upcoming game, too.

Last year’s poll by the Scripps Howard newspaper chain included the predictions of, among others, Hulk Hogan, poet Maya Angelou, Roseanne Barr, Dick Clark, Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, Yogi Berra, Dawn Wells (Mary Ann on “Gilligan’s Island”) and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

Meanwhile, our newspaper’s always trusty longhorn steer, Rusty, will be in Sundance Square on Friday to predict the outcome. Rusty gained notoriety in the 1990s by “selecting” the stock market. His pen was marked off in squares that corresponded to different stocks.

Wherever he went, they bought, so to speak.

Not sure how he’s going to do this Super Bowl thing, though. If it’s anything like his old stock market gig, watch your step.

Myself, I have always relied upon the eyes. I have looked into the eyes of the Super Bowl teams all week, and then made my prediction accordingly.

Except this time. Our deputy editor wanted our Super Bowl picks handed in a week early.

So put me down for taking Pittsburgh. I trust the orangutans.


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