So this is kind of interesting, isn’t it?
My Grey Cup 2018 Prediction: Calgary over Ottawa by more than a touchdown.
— CFL Predictor (@CFLPredictor) June 13, 2018
Wow, isn’t that wild. A twitter account called @CFLPredictor that posted exactly one tweet, on June 13, before the season started, correctly calling the outcome of the 106th Grey Cup, played in November! What are the chances of that?
Well … I gotta come clean; as it happens, I have a pretty good idea what the chances of that are, because I …
- created the CFLPredictor account on June 10, as a private account not visible to anybody.
- wrote a script (using a nifty command line twitter tool) that posted hundreds of variations of the above tweet – essentially, every possible combination of Team A over Team B
- in a close one
- in overtime
- by a touchdown
- by more than a touchdown
- in a blowout
Essentially it did this ..
#!/bin/sh for t1 in BC Edmonton Calgary Saskatchewan Winnipeg Toronto Hamilton Ottawa Montreal; do for t2 in BC Edmonton Calgary Saskatchewan Winnipeg Toronto Hamilton Ottawa Montreal; do if [[ $t1 != $t2 ]]; then tweet "My Grey Cup 2018 Prediction: $t1 over $t2 in overtime." tweet "My Grey Cup 2018 Prediction: $t1 over $t2 in a close one." tweet "My Grey Cup 2018 Prediction: $t1 over $t2 by a touchdown" tweet "My Grey Cup 2018 Prediction: $t1 over $t2 by more than a touchdown." tweet "My Grey Cup 2018 Prediction: $t1 over $t2 in a blowout." fi done done
To be safe, my script had to include various extremely unlikely options like “Toronto over Hamilton”, because with the CFL’s crossover playoff format, any team can potentially beat any other team.
(It didn’t post “Toronto over Toronto”. I have my integrity here.)
- admired the 9 * 8 * 5 = 360 different tweets, none of which were visible to anybody other than me.
- waited until November 25, Grey Cup day
- PANICKED because in looking over my script, it had encountered an error months earlier and had neglected to tweet two possible Ottawa-over-Calgary outcomes.
- on November 25th, watched the game carefully, hoping desperately for anything BUT “Ottawa over Calgary in overtime” and “Ottawa over Calgary in a blowout”.
- watched with relief as when Calgary beat Ottawa 27-16
- deleted all but one of the tweets
- made the account public so anybody could see it
- retweeted the now-visible one remaining tweet
I’m still impressed. This weird account posted only one tweet in June, before the @CFL season even started – and correctly called the Grey Cup outcome. Must ask it for lottery numbers. 🙂 https://t.co/70K5BusT9i
— 𝑺𝒕𝒆𝒗𝒆 𝑯𝒂𝒚𝒎𝒂𝒏 (@shayman) November 26, 2018
- sat back and waited for the flood of people to comment WOW, that CFLPredictor account must be either a football genius or some sort of amazing artificial intelligence to have correctly called the outcome of the Grey Cup months before it happened.
I’m not sure what my plan was going to be if anybody else actually picked up on this but naturally I was hoping it’d get mentioned in the media somewhere.
To my slight disappointment but ultimate relief, everybody on the Internet must be smarter than me because nobody fell for this fake news ruse.
So anyway, next time you see an amazing Internet prediction, consider the possible source.