Superbowl, Jan 2003
We have a few tests of the effect of major, globally monitored sporting events, notably World Cup Soccer. They have generally not produced persuasive effects on the EGG network.
Jay King wrote on Jan 26, "I was wondering if the project plans on checking the GCP for any events occuring during the time of the suprbowl. That is certainly an event that is monitored by people all over the world."
I responded, "If you give me beginning and ending times, I can at least do an exploratory look. It might be worth the investment of a formal prediction, but is several test cases, we have not seen significant effects for sporting events (e.g., World Cup Soccer, which is even more popular than the Superbowl.)"
He did write back and suggested the period from 6:00pm and 11:00pm that night (The game was in San Diego, but TV guide had east coast show time from 18:00, so that's 23:00 on the 26th to 04:00 on the 27th GMT). This graph shows the result, for 50 Eggs. There is a strong trend at the beginning, but it falls off to a level random walk during the second half. The terminal Chisquare is 18152 on 18000 df, which is equivalent to a probablity of 0.212.
Bryan Williams of the University of New Mexico also expressed interest in the Superbowl. He has done some analyses and explorations of GCP data and said he would take a look at the Superbowl data using 15-minute blocking, but with an otherwise similar prediction to mine. The following figure shows his result. He reports that the negative going trend has a Chisquare of 896.25 on 944 df and p = 0.864. This is contrary to expectation, but is not statistically significant, despite the relatively steady trend.