The 3-8 Carolina Panthers aren’t exactly having the best season. The team currently sits in the bottom of the NFC South, head coach Ron Rivera’s job is thought to be on the chopping block and sophomore quarterback Cam Newton has regressed from his stellar rookie year.
There’s one area where the team has exceeded all others, though: sheer bad luck. The Panthers are a stunning 0-12 in coin tosses this season (0-11 prior to games and 0-1 prior to overtime). You don’t have to be an expert in statistics and probability to know that’s really improbable. In fact, the odds against it are roughly 4,000 to 1.
In an effort to turn things around, the Panthers have reached out to fans for help. The team set up a poll on its official Facebook page, asking fans to vote for whether the team should call heads or tails at its next game. The results are awesome:
What are they going to do if the poll remains 50-50? Hey, I know — they could flip a coin to decide the winner!
Improbably, this isn’t the first time in recent memory that an NFL team has absolutely sucked at a task with a 50-50 chance of success. Last year, the Cleveland Browns started 0-11 in coin flips. Coincidentally, that team sucked, too.
Though it’s a huge stretch to say that not winning the coin toss has a significant impact on a team’s chances of winning the game (all it really decides is whether you start the game with the ball or start the second half with the ball), it’s definitely a weird quirk. Perhaps the more meaningful impact is a psychological one — when a team repeatedly blows the heads / tails call, the athletes (already a very superstitious bunch) might start to genuinely believe the team is cursed.