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Rugby (the religion of Wales) and its influence on the Catholic church: should Pope Benedict XVI be worried?

Payne GC, Payne RE, Farewell DM - BMJ (2008)

Bottom Line: There is no evidence of a link between papal deaths and any home nation grand slams (when one nation succeeds in beating all other competing teams in every match).There was, however, weak statistical evidence to support an association between Welsh performance and the number of papal deaths.Given the dominant Welsh performances of 2008, the Vatican medical team should take special care of the pontiff this Christmas.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, University Hospital Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XW. garethpayne@doctors.org.uk

ABSTRACT

Objective: To explore the perceived wisdom that papal mortality is related to the success of the Welsh rugby union team.

Design: Retrospective observational study of historical Vatican and sporting data.

Main outcome measure: Papal deaths between 1883 and the present day.

Results: There is no evidence of a link between papal deaths and any home nation grand slams (when one nation succeeds in beating all other competing teams in every match). There was, however, weak statistical evidence to support an association between Welsh performance and the number of papal deaths.

Conclusion: Given the dominant Welsh performances of 2008, the Vatican medical team should take special care of the pontiff this Christmas.

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Fig 2 The performance of the rugby nations for each year showing the years of papal deaths. The dashed lines represent years when the tournament was not completed
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fig2: Fig 2 The performance of the rugby nations for each year showing the years of papal deaths. The dashed lines represent years when the tournament was not completed

Mentions: To investigate the general theory of papal rugby, we constructed a measure of a nation’s rugby performance: the ratio of points difference (points against subtracted from points for) to the number of games played. In other words, we used the average (signed) difference in score per game as an indication of how well a team played in that year. Note that we did not adjust for changes to rugby scoring laws, nor for the beginning of the professional era in 1995. Figure 2 plots our measure of performance for all six nations against the year of competition and also indicates the years of papal death.


Rugby (the religion of Wales) and its influence on the Catholic church: should Pope Benedict XVI be worried?

Payne GC, Payne RE, Farewell DM - BMJ (2008)

Fig 2 The performance of the rugby nations for each year showing the years of papal deaths. The dashed lines represent years when the tournament was not completed
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2605615&req=5

fig2: Fig 2 The performance of the rugby nations for each year showing the years of papal deaths. The dashed lines represent years when the tournament was not completed
Mentions: To investigate the general theory of papal rugby, we constructed a measure of a nation’s rugby performance: the ratio of points difference (points against subtracted from points for) to the number of games played. In other words, we used the average (signed) difference in score per game as an indication of how well a team played in that year. Note that we did not adjust for changes to rugby scoring laws, nor for the beginning of the professional era in 1995. Figure 2 plots our measure of performance for all six nations against the year of competition and also indicates the years of papal death.

Bottom Line: There is no evidence of a link between papal deaths and any home nation grand slams (when one nation succeeds in beating all other competing teams in every match).There was, however, weak statistical evidence to support an association between Welsh performance and the number of papal deaths.Given the dominant Welsh performances of 2008, the Vatican medical team should take special care of the pontiff this Christmas.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, University Hospital Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XW. garethpayne@doctors.org.uk

ABSTRACT

Objective: To explore the perceived wisdom that papal mortality is related to the success of the Welsh rugby union team.

Design: Retrospective observational study of historical Vatican and sporting data.

Main outcome measure: Papal deaths between 1883 and the present day.

Results: There is no evidence of a link between papal deaths and any home nation grand slams (when one nation succeeds in beating all other competing teams in every match). There was, however, weak statistical evidence to support an association between Welsh performance and the number of papal deaths.

Conclusion: Given the dominant Welsh performances of 2008, the Vatican medical team should take special care of the pontiff this Christmas.

Show MeSH