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Deep Analytics Super Bowl Prediction: Andy Reid Might Be Big Foot

The week before the week before the Super Bowl is a tricky time for NFL writers. It's a little too early to talk about the game itself so everyone's looking for a soft angle to talk about. There's some good ones to explore this year too with this being the first Super Bowl having two black starting quarterbacks, and a natural bro-off with the Kelce brothers - one who might even have a kid on the big day! But all that's low-hanging fruit. I wanted to find an angle that's a bit more out of left field. Like… WAY out in left field. Actually, more so in the woods behind left field. Here it goes. I think Andy Reid might be Big Foot. 

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Here it goes. I recently became aware of a scientific organization called the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) who has tracked over 5,000 Big Foot sighting claims going back to the 1800s. It's pretty much like a VAERS for Bigfoot sightings and you could file a claim online yourself. The first thing you'll notice when you click the link is the website layout has a pitch black background. That's how you know it's legit. Well, I was able to get my hands on the actual hard data to put my data science skills to absolutely zero good use and try to figure out who Big Foot might really be. To give you a feel for data, here's every single sighting from the continental US cumulatively plotted since the 1970's when reporting started picking up.

If there's one thing to take away from this graph it's this: how the hell has no one gotten so fucked up in Vegas that they thought they saw Big Foot? I guess the furry guy really doesn't like bright lights or anything that can be confused for excitement which explains the dense green hovering over Cleveland. You've also got Washington, Florida, and much of Appalachia as frequent sighting spots and east Texas up through Kansas City. And on second thought it looks like he does have some fun at least as it's pretty clear he's a big water sports Lake Tahoe guy in California. Being Big Foot is a lonely job so it's good to see he's minding his mentals. 

Anyway, like any good scientist, I started with a narrative I wanted to create and responsibly looked for supporting data while ignoring contradictory data. This is a scientific process called Schrodinger's Stat. If you don't look for a reason you might be wrong, then you're never wrong. Anyway, I feel like it makes sense that an NFL football coach might moonlight as Big Foot. Since the NFL merger in 1970, 1,434 Big Foot claims were filed for a summer sighting and 1,170 in the fall. This is when training camp and the majority of the season is played. No other season even has 700 sightings. Coaches say they work insane hours during the season and are in their offices late into the night. But are they really? How many hours does it take Andy Reid to come up with "Improv in the pocket a little bit and find Travis Kelce"? 

But why Andy Reid? I matched the Big Foot sightings with NFL game dates since 2000 and counted the number of sightings that occurred on the same day and in the same state as any NFL game. Then I counted how many times every coach coached a game on a same day/state sighting and tallied which coaches had the most. Out of 69 matching coaches (nice!) the coach with the most games per sighting (GPS) was… Mike Holmgren.

Mike Holmgren?

Yes, Mike Holmgren, with eight total GPS's. But Andy Reid was very close behind with six. This is interesting because if you were to tell me Mike Holmgren just changed his name to Andy Reid after leaving the Packers in 1998 to start coaching the Eagles in 1999 I'd probably believe you by applying Schrodinger's Stat and forgetting that Holmgren went to coach Seattle the same year. The point is they are basically the same person.

I mean come on…

Tell me they didn't walk into LensCrafters together for a two for one deal. You can't. These two don't just look alike either. They worked together all the way back to BYU and Holmgren gave Reid his first job in the NFL in 1992 as a positional assistant coach with the Packers. But that might not have been the only job Holmgren gave Reid. Below are two chronological tables with matching dates and states of sightings for games coached by Holmgren and Reid. Each row of the game info table (first table below) matches the same row in the Big Foot sighting table (second table). The passing of the torch is highlighted in green. 

It appears each coach spent one game day auditioning for Big Foot before it was decided that Holmgren would take the reins. After a six-year stint, Holmgren roamed his final forest on September 14th, 2008 and passed the Big Foot duties on to Reid in Dread Pirate Roberts fashion. Eager to start, Reid wasted literally zero time and embarked on his duties the very next night on September 15th 2008. 

Let's take a deeper dive on Holmgren's last escapade with footnoted commentary:

"Was camped in my car watching a DVD (1) when I heard what may have been a very loud tree knock to the west. It seemed to come from the edge of the partial clearing I was in, perhaps 75 to 100 yards. My first thought was a heavy bough snapped and fell, but the loud noise was not followed by any crashing sound. Perhaps an hour later a brief scream/yell was heard just to my north. It came from a height, and my first thought was an owl in large tree about 25 yards away, but it didn't sound avian at all. It sounded strangely feminine for some reason (2). Reading the BFRO forum I saw owls, cougars, and foxes can emit calls that may be sasquatch-ish, but listening to audio clips of these critters I've found on the internet won't allow me to categorize the sound as any of these known species." 

(1) Camping alone and watching a DVD late at night? You can just say you were watching porn.

(2) Wait, did we just forget to turn off the DVD player?

That was fun, let's try one more. We'll cruise by an awkward first night on the job in San Antonio and highlight Andy Reid's last sighting after the Chiefs took care of business vs the Patriots. This was a Monday Night game so Andy had to get his Big Foot duties in during the day:

"I’m Gladys Andresen from Grovesprings, MO. 65662 About 9:30 to 10:30 am, I left my home on HYW TT heading to the town of Lebanon, MO. Beautiful day, just past junction NN driving about 40 miles an hour. As I looked to my left there stood a huge Bigfoot. Reddish brown long hair (1), about 3’ 1/2 ‘ wide across his chest (2). His arms hanging to his side, his hands were long enough to go past his hips. Stunning creature (3).  As I passed, he had already cleared the tree line, stood as to look back and fourth for traffic. We locked eyes and looked at each other till I was past him. He wasn’t startled, he just stood there as if he knew me (4). I smelled a musty odor in the air (5). He definitely was an Alpha Male. No fear. About 9’ tall. Huge. If I would of stopped, I feel like I could have shook hands with him. No photo. But I keep my phone on camera from now on. It’s day time sightings. Not night time. Gladys Andresen"

(1) Red hair? Check

(2) Double-check

(3) That's our guy Andy!

(4) Wait, are you from outside of San Antonio?

(5) Any hint of cheeseburger?

Speaking of cheeseburgers, you can bet that every green dot on the sighting tracker above is within a 25-mile radius of the burger joint. But make of all this what you want. I certainly understand anyone who's skeptical. This blog doesn't even have a black background after all. But I love the idea that Andy Reid is carrying on the legend of Big Foot in Princess Bride fashion after taking over from close pal and doppelganger, Mike Holmgren. The only question now is who the original Big Foot was. Or at least who carried the duties prior to 2000. I'm going with Dennis Green. Same body build. Same Mustache. 

He's definitively not who we thought he was. 

- Jeffro