It’s going to be a sad day in Philly if Dave Holt’s numbers pan out.
Holt, a computer programmer from Chattanooga, Tenn., has predicted 13 of the last 17 Super Bowl winners.
And this year?
Sorry, Birds fans. The Patriots have the edge – with or without Terrell Owens in the game – and should win, 31-24.
How does this work? Holt and colleagues Alan Stephenson and Steve Olson just finished running a 20,000-game simulation after plugging Eagles and Patriots statistics into their program. When all the games are done, a representative game is spit out. That game had the Birds on the short end.
“The program has no frills. It’s purely a number-crunching application,” Holt said. “It plays every down, every situation, and then spits out a result. It goes through about 500 games a minute, so this computer system is cooking.”
But this year has had a little twist for Holt and company, and leave it to the flashy, outspoken Owens to create it. It takes a week to run the simulations, but no one – apparently outside of God – knew whether Owens was going to play until he announced Tuesday that he was ready.
So the programmers, who had to start running the program before Owens made his decision, ran 10,000 games with a healthy Owens and 10,000 without.
“I hate to admit it, but it was a lot of fun to do it twice,” Olson said. “Since everyone was talking about Terrell this year, it was fun to see if he really would make a difference.”
Did he ever.
Without Owens, the Eagles won only 30 percent of 10,000 simulated games. Olson said once a team like New England got an advantage of 60 percent or more, a blowout could be in order.
But with …