2.04.2010

137,000,000 to 1

I was scanning through some US Census data at work this morning. After crunching some numbers, I discovered that these would be the odds that somebody named Pierre would be looking at when dreaming about becoming an NFL Player. For those of you who don't know, the New Orleans Saints have a running back named Pierre Thomas. Couple that with the fact that Pierre Garcon (sorry I dont know how to do that squiggly thing) catches balls from Peyton Manning and we have quite a Superbowl subplot. Both of these guys have to be considered fortunate to even be in the NFL, correct? I tried to not only calculate the odds of multiple Pierres being in the NFL, and then playing each other in the championship game. Too bad my calculator has a character limit. I guess it doesn't matter what that number is, we know it's huge. A billion? A trillion?

As the clock winds down on Sunday night, and a champion is crowned, we will know once and for all who is the Luckiest Pierre.

Mr. F said...

We know once and for all that you listen to the Bill Simmons podcast. that's for sure.

Pervitron 3000 said...

Unfortunately, the odds are not that great and here is why. We know (are we sure?) that there are only 2 NFL players named Pierre. The total NFL roster is equal to 32 teams of 53 players or 1,696 players total. Of that, 0.117% are players named Pierre. This works out to a chance of 53 x 0.117 or 6.25% that your team has a Pierre on it. Then for a rough estimate, multiply 6.25% x 6.25% and you have 0.3% chance that each super bowl has a Pierre in it. We've had 44 total chances or a 17.2% chance of a Super Bowl to this point with a Pierre in it. Not so far of a stretch. Math!

Pervitron 3000 said...

Sorry, I meant to say a 17.2% chance of at least one in the past 44 super bowls with 2 Pierres in it.

Pervitron 3000 said...

To take this to an absurd level, let's use the U.S. census data pointed to in the original post correctly. According to that record, 1 in 6,250 males are named Pierre in the US. (I was actually just talking to a Pierre yesterday myself but then again I work for a French company).

With a frequency of 1 in 6,250, and a U.S. male population of approximately 160 million, there must be 25,600 males named Pierre in the US. This works out to 0.016% of U.S. males. The error in the initial post is to assume that there are only 2 U.S. males named Pierre when in fact there are over 25 thousand.

What immediately jumps out at anyone reading this post is that the frequency of NFL football players named Pierre previously computed is 7.31 times higher than the national average. Statistcially speaking, this can be chalked up to random sampling error as there are undoubtedly other names that are under-represented in the NFL compared to national averages. The take home point then is that your true odds of having a Super Bowl with 2 men named Pierre is more likely than having one guy named Melvin Bullitt.

Mr. F said...

but that doesn't take into account that the name Pierre is uncommon in the world. How many people are name Pierre accross the nation even, would have to be figured in.

You're stats and number crunching abilities are certainly impressive Pervitron 3000, but your equations dont address that.

Mr. F said...

Ok nevermind. But there's no way that original 17.2% is right. Math shmath.

Two Pierrez in one Superbowl. The odds of that happening are way less than 17.2%.

Maybe you already said that but it's early and I'm confused.

Plus I'm lightheaded from all the weight I've lost during the challenge.

Pervitron 3000 said...

Yeah the odds of having 2 Pierres in THIS super bowl was only 0.3% based on the current NFL roster. Obviously in the past, there were plenty of years when the odds were 0% because there weren't two Pierres in the entire league. If we had 44 seasons with 2 guys named Pierre in the league, it is 1 in 5 chance (17.2%) that they'd face each other in the last game of the season. Who knows, in the future there might be 3 Pierres in the NFL...

Mr. F said...

Right, but even still, don't you have to factor in the number of NFL players compared to the number of people on earth. You're all ready at a staggeringly low % chance of making the NFL no matter what your name is. and THEN factor in the percentage of people named Pierre that exist?

Fortune said...

Wow you guys have done some amazing work!! Mr. F, you are correct in the assumption I was not perusing the US Census website yesterday morning. What do I look like, some sort of tool. How could I pass up the opportunity to insert a Lucky Pierre reference? Apparently I disguised my true intentions pretty well. Good day

Pervitron 3000 said...

Mr. F, the odds of becoming an NFL player and what name you have are independant variables. If anything, I think I showed that having the name Pierre increases your chances of being in the NFL by 7.31 times (this was random chance). Basically, you have to think separately about the names and the odds of being an NFL player.

All NFL players have names. Of those NFL players, there is some chance of being a Pierre. That's all you have to consider. Not the odds that a specific U.S. person named Pierre will make it in the NFL. The odds that these two specific humans would become NFL players in the Super Bowl with the name Pierre is hyper small (the 1 in a Trillion type odds Fortune was getting at earlier).

Here is another way of thinking about it. What are the odds of Sean Fortune, at birth, becoming an NFL player? Assuming 160 million U.S. males and 1,629 NFL players it is 1 in 98,200. What are the odds that someone named Sean is in the NFL? Well 1 in 507 people in the US are named Sean. there are 1,629/507 Seans in the NFL or about 3.

Mr. F said...

Don't tell me what conisder or not you arrogant prick.

jimi said...

Pervitron, what are the odds of Bauer hooking up with a Pierre in the season finale of 24? I'm thinking 3:1.

Pervitron 3000 said...

The odds of Jack Bauer hooking up with a dude are 0.0%. The chances that he kills the man who suggests that must be around 80 to 90%. He may just torture you instead.

Mr. F said...

Yep. There it is. Right there.

jimi said...

I will be sure to watch my back when it comes to Jack Bauer. you never know when he might try to stick it to those who talk shit about him

Julian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julian said...

I'll be watching the game on tv wishing I was a lucky Pierre.

Mr. F said...

Julian... sittin' on the pine for awhile... only comes to play when he's got the A material.

Fortune said...

that is all I needed right there, thanks julian.

wanamaker said...

We know once and for all that you listen to the Bill Simmons podcast. that's for sure.