Did you catch that Super Bowl TV spot from Jefferson Health about delivering “super babies” in nine months?
It’s an oft-repeated claim that victory on the field causes more couples to shoot for, ahem, another kind of touchdown. Even the NFL once claimed it was a thing.
But, on average, it does not appear to be true, according to a 2016 analysis by a researcher at North Carolina State University’s Institute for Advanced Analytics.
— Jefferson Health (@TJUHospital) February 5, 2018
In the home counties of Super Bowl winners from 1994 through 2014, the number of births rose on eight occasions when compared with the previous year, while it went down on 12 occasions.
On one occasion, the number of births stayed the same. That was in 2005, the second year of back-to-back wins by those perennial contenders, the New England Patriots. (Who, it need hardly be said, did not win this time.)
“For the most part, the percent change in births for the Super Bowl-winning county is random in this study,” wrote author Ashutosh Garg, then a graduate student at the institute.
The birth numbers came from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They are tabulated on a monthly basis, so Garg used totals in each year from November — which would include due dates that fell roughly 40 weeks after the big game.
For the Patriots, Garg did not use data from Norfolk County, Mass., the home of the team’s stadium. Instead, he used birth rates from Suffolk County, home of Boston — and presumably a bigger concentration of fans.
There’s no immediate word from Jefferson on any plans to decorate the maternity ward in Eagles green.