Oh, sports… Feb 2, 2009

One

Few expected much from this Super Bowl, but it ended up being one of the best ever with a thrilling end to the first half and a spectacular end to the game.In one of the wildest finishes in NFL championship history, the Pittsburgh Steelers came from behind to score with 42 second left Sunday night to beat the Arizona Cardinals 27-23 and win their record sixth Super Bowl.

Timothy A. Clary/Getty Images
Timothy A. Clary/Getty Images

 

No matter which team wins, the “Super Bowl effect” is predicting stocks will rise in 2009, as is a light-hearted analysis by Standard & Poor’s Capital IQ division.
The “Super Bowl effect” holds, in essence, that stocks rise when the winner of the National Football Conference — the Cardinals — wins the title and fall when the AFC winner — the Steelers — takes the trophy.

 

Just having the Steelers in this year’s Super Bowl will boost stocks, according to Standard & Poor’s Capital IQ, whose admittedly unscientific study shows that the average S&P return was 25% in the six prior years that Pittsburgh played for the title. The study also showed:

  • The NFC is better for stocks. The average S&P 500 return was significantly higher when an NFC team won (15% average market return over 22 wins) than when an AFC team won (6.3% average market return over 20 wins).
  • Stocks like sunny Super Bowls. The Super Bowl has been played in a Florida stadium 13 times, and the average S&P 500 return was 14.2%. Tampa Bay, the site of Sunday night’s game, has hosted three games (1984, ’91 and 2001,) and the average S&P 500 return was 8.2%. When the Super Bowl has been played in California, the market has returned an average of 16%.
  • It’s better without a roof. Throughout history, 29 Super Bowl games have been played at a stadium with no dome, and the average S&P 500 return was 14.4%. Eleven Super Bowls were played in a domed stadium and the average market return was 5.9%.
  • Over is better than under when it comes to total points scored. In years where the “over” bet was a winner, the average S&P 500 return was 16.7%. In years where the “under” bet was a winner, the average S&P 500 return was 4.7%.

(By MarketWatch, Feb 1, 2009 – http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story)

Two
Roger Federer broke down in tears after defeat by Rafael Nadal in a thrilling five-set Australian Open.The Swiss, who had been aiming to equal Pete Sampras’s record of 14 grand-slam titles, lost 7-5, 3-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-2 at the Rod Laver Arena in a match that lasted almost four and a half hours. 

 

(Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Roger Federer breaks down in tears after losing the Australian Open final to Rafael Nadal

It was the Federer’s third consecutive loss to the world No 1 at this stage of a grand-slam title. “God, it’s killing me,” Federer said on accepting the runners-up prize from Rod Laver, the brilliant former Australian tennis player and hero of Federer’s. “I love this game, it means the world to me and it hurts when you lose.”

Nadal, who replaced Federer at the top of the world rankings last year, had sympathy for his great rival. “Sorry for today,” he said. “I know how you’re feeling right now. It’s really tough. But remember you are a great champion, you are one of the best in history and you’re going to improve the 14 of Sampras.” The Spaniard added that it had been “an amazing two weeks”. (Times Online, February 1, 2009 – http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/tennis)

Three

 

Michael Phelps has admitted to smoking cannabis and apologised after a picture of the record-breaking Olympian with a bong pipe was published in a British tabloid today.

The swimmer, who won eight gold medals at the Beijing Games, conceded the authenticity of the picture published by the News of the World.

“I engaged in behaviour which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment,” Phelps said. “I am 23 years old and, despite the successes I have had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner that people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again.”

Phelps has never failed a drugs test and even offered to take extra tests before the Olympic Games last August to promote an anti-doping campaign. Phelps has not broken any of his sport’s rules as he has not tested positive for a banned substance, but his high profile may force the US Olympic Committee to make an example of an athlete who, on the face of it, may be regarded as untouchable.

USA Swimming, the sport’s governing body in the US, said that it was disappointed by Phelps’s behaviour. “Our Olympic champions are role models who are looked up to by people of all ages, especially young athletes who have their own aspirations and dreams,” a statement read. “That said, we realise that none among us is perfect. We hope that Michael can learn from this incident and move forward in a positive way.”

 

Phelps's career could lie in ruins after being pictured in the News of the World allegedly taking drugs
Phelps's career could lie in ruins after being pictured in the News of the World allegedly taking drugs

Phelps’s career may now be tarnished beyond repair. Athletes caught using cannabis, a banned substance under rules set out by the World Anti-Doping Agency, face a ban of up to two years. (Kevin Eason, Sports News Correspondent – The Times, February 2, 2009)

 

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One thought on “Oh, sports… Feb 2, 2009

  1. i’ve gotta hand it to Phelps for being man enough to acknowledge his actions and apologize — he’s still a decent role model despite the hypocritical media storm

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