We Sent The Falcons And Patriots Down ‘The Oregon Trail’ To Predict The Super Bowl Winner

Getty Image / The Oregon Trail

What is the best way to predict the outcome of the Super Bowl? Some choose to crunch the numbers and go with a statistical analysis approach. Others turn to Madden 17 for a simulated result.

These are worthwhile efforts, but that’s all just guesswork. The only scientific way to determine the Super Bowl winner is to turn to the old Oregon Trail game. That’s what we’ve done, sending our party down the trail in hopes of finding out who the last man standing would be with the Lombardi Trophy.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how this all works (for those that have seen my Oregon Trail predictions elsewhere, you know the drill and can skip this section). On my trusty DOS emulator I fire up The Oregon Trail and put in our party and run them down the trail one time, winner take all (if you don’t believe me, SPOILER ALERT: Tom Brady doesn’t get dysentery and do you really think I’d try multiple times without making sure I got that screencap to save forever?).

The party leader for this exercise is “Lombardi” for the Lombardi Trophy. The reason for this is, in the old game, nothing ever happens to the party leader until all four other members of the party have died.

So, that brings us to our contestants. In the other four slots, alternating Patriots and Falcons, we have Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, [Bill] Belichick and Dan Quinn. Now, we’re about ready to roll.

The next step is to go to the store and purchase the requisite supplies. That’s not really all that important, but for clarity I always go with three yoke of oxen, eight sets of clothes and 750 pounds of food. That’s more than enough for how I play The Trail.

With supplies set, it’s time to set up the rations and pace. Since the point of this exercise is to kill off people and get down to the last man standing, the rations are set to meager and the pace is set to grueling to create the most possible chaos. At every river we caulk the wagon and float it. There’s no taking the ferry or hiring an Indian guide, that would be cheating. Fording the river is just outright dumb and is a guarantee to fail on some rivers, so caulking and floating creates the most random results.

Now, let’s see how our heroes do on the trail to Super Bowl glory.

Offensive lineman down. Next man up.

Rough start for Tom Brady. That’s either a strip sack or an interception. Advantage Falcons.

Oh, and Matt Ryan gives it right back. Poor Matty Ice, the nerves of that first Super Bowl start seem to be getting to him.

With his quarterback quite literally sh*tting the bed, Dan Quinn is struggling to keep his composure on the sidelines.

Pick six from Ryan and it might be Matt Schaub time. This seems like it’s The Oregon Trail equivalent of a 13-3 lead for the Patriots after the first quarter.

I didn’t know this game was being played at FedEx Field.

It appears as though Belichick is not trusting The Process. 13-10 Pats in the second quarter.

We’re in a full on meltdown on the Pats sideline. Belichick is falling apart as the Falcons are now up 17-13 at the half.

That’s THREE wardrobe changes from Lady Gaga during the halftime show. Very impressive stuff.

Start of the second half and it’s still not going well for the Pats. Atlanta’s starting to pull away as it’s 24-13. Brady and the offense are out of gas.

Never count out Tom Brady and the Pats, though. Quinn’s defense gets too loose and allows a touchdown. 24-20, late third quarter.

That’s a pick six for Brady and a commanding 31-20 Falcons lead early in the fourth. The Pats are in a spiral.

And just like that the Pats answer. 31-28 in the middle of the fourth quarter and we’ve got ourselves a ballgame.

Falcons field goal to go up 34-28. Late fourth. Pats are in trouble.

Crippling false start on the Patriots on their final drive.

The Falcons have done it. They are the Super Bowl 51 champions with a 34-28 final score. Book it.