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Search Engine Super Bowl Jinx?

Did Google discover a new sports jinx?

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Has leading the way in search engine query volume replaced the dreaded “Sports Illustrated jinx” as the thing sports fans should fear?  If the trend Google noticed continues, perhaps there’s something new for superstitious sports fans to consider.

Super Bowl XLV is, of course, later this afternoon, just in case you’ve just crawled out of your hibernation cave, and as the world waits for either Ben Roethlisberger or Aaron Rodgers to lead either the Steelers or the Packers to the championship trophy, Google’s recent trend discovery may give you pause if you’re making any last-minute Super Bowl wagers.

According the official Google blog, the team’s quarterback with the highest search volume lost the actual football game.  For instance, during the 2009 Arizona Cardinals/Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl, Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner had a higher volume of searches than Roethlisberger did.

Pittsburgh won that game, 27-23.

During last year’s New Orleans/Indianapolis Super Bowl, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning was the search volume winner.  Needless to say, the Colts did not win the game.  Instead, New Orleans won,  31-17.

As we poked around the search trends, we wondered—could search query volume be the new "Sports Illustrated" jinx? Might Google’s search query volume leader foreshadow the loser of the big game? In examining the data, we’ve found that over the past two seasons, that has indeed been the case. Last year, the losing quarterback, Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts, led the New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees in query volume heading into the game. Brees and the Saints won. Same situation the year before: heading into the big game on February 1, 2009, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner held a significant lead in query volume over Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben and the Pittsburgh Steelers came out on top.

Fast-forward to this year’s game and the fanbase that should be the most worried is the one that roots for the Green Bay Packers, because Aaron Rodgers is the leader in regards to search volume.

Uh-oh.

Those of you who made high-dollar bets on Rodgers and his Packers might want to reconsider, especially considering the search volume winner/Super Bowl loser trend.  Perhaps Rodgers is the man to end such a fledgling streak, but if he does not, it’s almost guaranteed the legend of the Search Volume Winner jinx will get bigger and bigger.

As it stands, I’m standing by my earlier pick:

Green Bay – 31
Pittsburgh – 27

Search Engine Super Bowl Jinx?
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