(photos by Brian Murphy)
We’re less than a week away from one of the most important elections in U.S. history, and yet, history shows that at the end of the day, your vote is meaningless.
Doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican. Doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat. It doesn’t even matter if you live in Ohio.
If history is any indication, the only thing that matters when deciding the fate of the leader of the free world is the outcome of this weekend’s Washington Redskins game.
This might come as a bit of a shock to those newbie fans who came on board with the arrival of franchise savior Robert Griffin III, but 18 of the last 19 presidential elections have been decided by the Redskins’ final home game.
Simply put — if the Redskins win their final home game before the election, then whichever party is current in office, remains in office. If they lose their final home game though, change is on the horizon.
So while football fans were already excited at the thought of RGIII and friends matching up against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers, this weekend’s game is much more than two of the NFC doormats playing out the schedule.
If you’re hoping to see Barack Obama remain the commander in chief, then you’d be wise to root for the Redskins this Sunday. If Mitt Romney is your candidate of choice, then you’re best bet is to pull for a Panthers upset this weekend.
I’m sure some of you out there remain unconvinced the local football franchise hold this kind of power. It’s understandable that more than a few people hear sports fans talking about the “Redskins Rule” and remain skeptical. But facts are facts.
In 2008, the Redskins lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 23-6 on Monday Night Football, Nov. 3. A few days later, Barack Obama emerged victorious and the Democrats took over the White House.
In 2004, the Redskins lost to the Green Bay Packers 28-14, Oct. 31. This remains the only election game since 1936 that failed to correctly predict a presidential race. So what the hell happened? Well, here’s the lede from the Associated Press article on the game:
Clinton Portis celebrated the apparent winning touchdown with a leap into the end zone, capping a 43-yard reception that gave the Redskins a one-point lead with 2:35 to play.
Oops. Scratch that. Flag on the play.
Receiver James Thrash was whistled for illegal motion, a call Thrash didn’t understand and one that Washington coach Joe Gibbs called “an absolute mystery.”
On the very next play, Packers cornerback Al Harris intercepted Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell and Green Bay won. The only thing that makes sense is that the officials that day had grown tired of George W. Bush and tried to throw the game in favor of Green Bay. The football gods, of course, would never let cheaters prosper, so this remains the lone exception.
In 2000, the Redskins lost to the Tennessee Titans 27-21 on Monday Night Football, Oct. 30. A few days later, George W. Bush defeated Al Gore by the narrowest of margins.
In 1996, the Redskins defeated the Indianapolis Colts 31-16, Oct. 27. A few days later, Bill Clinton was re-elected over Bob Dole.
In 1992, the Redskins lost to the New York Giants 24-7, Nov. 1. A few days later, Bill Clinton unseated George H.W. Bush.
In 1988, the Redskins defeated the New Orleans Saints 27-24, Nov. 6. A few days later, vice president George H.W. Bush defeated Michael Dukakis.
In 1984, the Redskins defeated the Atlanta Falcons 27-14, Nov. 5. A few days later, Ronald Reagan was re-elected over Walter Mondale.
In 1980, the Redskins lost to the Minnesota Vikings 39-14, Nov. 2. A few days later, Ronald Reagan unseated Jimmy Carter.
In 1976, the Redskins lost to the Dallas Cowboys 20-7, Oct. 31. A few days later, Jimmy Carter was elected over Gerald Ford.
In 1972, the Redskins defeated the Dallas Cowboys 24-20, Oct. 22. A few days later, Richard Nixon was re-elected over George McGovern.
In 1968, the Redskins lost to the New York Giants 13-10, Oct. 27. A few days later, Richard Nixon was elected over Hubert Humphrey.
In 1964, the Redskins defeated the Chicago Bears 27-20, Oct. 25. A few days later, Lyndon Johnson was elected over Barry Goldwater.
In 1960, the Redskins lost to the Cleveland Browns 31-10, Oct. 30. A few days later, John F. Kennedy was elected over Richard Nixon.
In 1956, the Redskins lost to the Cleveland Browns 20-9, Oct. 21. A few days later, Dwight D. Eisenhower was re-elected over Adlai Stevenson.
In 1952, the Redskins lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-16, Nov. 2. A few days later, Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected over Adlai Stevenson.
In 1948, the Redskins defeated the Boston Yanks 59-21, Oct. 31. A few days later, Harry S. Truman was elected over Thomas Dewey.
In 1944, the Redskins defeated the Cleveland Rams 14-10, Nov. 5. A few days later, Franklin D. Roosevelt was re-elected over Thomas Dewey.
In 1940, the Redskins defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 37-10, Nov. 3. A few days later, Franklin D. Roosevelt was re-elected over Wendell Willkie.
In 1936, the Boston Redskins defeated the Chicago Cardinals 13-10, Nov. 1. A few days later, Franklin D. Roosevelt was re-elected over Alf Landon.
That’s it. That’s the list. To recap, there have been 19 presidential elections since this franchise came into existence, and even factoring in dirty officiating in ’04, the Redskins have accurately predicted the outcome 94.7 percent of the time.
So if you’re interested in the next chapter of this great country’s history, don’t bother showing up at the polls next week. Instead, do yourself a favor and tune in Sunday when the Redskins host the Panthers at FedEx Field.