## Archive for February, 2012

### Super Bowl Math (and Results of the Super Bowl Squares Online Contest)

There were a lot of interesting mathematical things that happened tonight.

First things first: Big props to Valerie Strauss of The Answer Sheet, who asked, “Tom Brady vs. Eli Manning: Who’s Smarter?” and then was smart enough to link to one of my previous posts when trying to answer the question.

Math Incident #1

Within the first five minutes of coverage, it was announced that the NFC had won 14 consecutive coin tosses. Posted on the screen:

Odds: 1 in 16,384

I was a little bummed that it didn’t say, “Odds: 1 in 2^{14}.” But I can’t complain. It’s not every day that probability gets international publicity.

Math Incident #2

With just under 4:00 left in the game, Wes Welker dropped a pass from Tom Brady. During the replay, Cris Collinsworth said that it was a pass that Welker makes “100 times out of 100.” Um, Cris, in case you missed it… I don’t know how many passes just like this that Wes Welker has caught, but he missed this one, so we have at least one data point showing that, in fact, he doesn’t always catch this pass. If you want to revise your statement to “99 out of 100,” I could live with that.

Super Bowl Squares Online Contest

The results of the Super Bowl Squares Online Contest have been posted at http://mathjokes4mathyfolks.com/super-bowl-squares-results.html. But allow me to spoil some of your fun before you click that link:

- There were no winners for the first quarter score (Patriots 0, Giants 9; winning square, 9‑0).
- There were no winners for the second quarter score (Patriots 10, Giants 9; winning square, 9‑0).
- There were no winners for the third quarter score (Patriots 17, Giants 15; winning square, 7‑5).
- There were
**two**winners in the fourth quarter (Patriots 17, Giants 21; winning square, 7‑1).

That means that Ben Morris and Tom Coffin were the only winners of the 31 participants, so they split the $155 pool of Monopoly money, each receiving $77.50.

### Football Math for Super Bowl Week

Super Bowl week seems an appropriate time to share some jokes that involve football and math.

**[Super Bowl Squares Online Contest]**

What is this?

B

BA

BACK

Here’s another one involving fractions. (And that lead-in should be a hint if you had trouble with the question above.)

What do you call a Patriots fan with half a brain?

Gifted!

And just to be an equal opportunity offender…

What did the average Giants player get on his Wonderlic test?

Drool.

There are several one-liners involving football and math (sort of).

Pro football players are so huge, it takes only four of them to make a dozen.

Their nickel defense is only worth 3¢.

His uniform number was 29, which was also his house number. He wore it to make sure he remembered where to go after the game.

That last one reminded me of a mathy football joke involving dumb people…

By the time Bubba arrived to the football game, the first quarter was almost over. “Why are you so late?” his friend asked.

“I tossed a coin to decide between going to church or coming to the game.”

“I don’t understand. How long could that have taken?”

“Well,” Bubba said, “I had to toss it 14 times.”

For a similar, non-football coin-tossing joke, read the one about the student at the final exam.

### Jokes for Groundhog Day

Asking forgiveness in advance…

On Groundhog day, what do you call an apartheid opponent’s ballet skirt?

Tutu’s 2/2 tutu.

No, it’s not funny. And it’s barely mathematical. But my kids have been cracking up that there’s a holiday called Groundhog Day, and they think it’s equally funny that it occurs on 2/2.

As a dubious attempt at redemption, here’s another joke involving two 2’s:

Several professionals are asked, “What is 2 + 2?”

The mathematician says, “An expression equivalent to 2

^{2}.”The engineer says, “It is approximately 3.9999998.”

The physicist says, “It is 3.99, plus or minus 3%.”

The statistician says, “That depends. What would you like it to be?”