Does the number of Eagle Scouts in a team’s home city predict the winner of the Super Bowl?

Updated for 2018’s Super Bowl LII

The question is tantalizing for fans of Scouting and sports: Is there a correlation between the number of Eagle Scouts in a team’s home city and that team’s odds of winning the Super Bowl?

The short answer: It’s a tie. In the past 26 Super Bowls, the team with more Eagle Scouts in its home city won 13 times and lost 13 times.

That makes Super Bowl LII in Minnesota super important; it will tip the scales in one direction or another.

As with any math problem, now we must show our work.

How it was done

We looked at the past 26 Super Bowls — from Super Bowl XXVI in 1992 to Super Bowl LI in 2017.

For each Super Bowl, we tallied the number of Eagle Scouts from each team’s home city during the year of the season.

Take Super Bowl XXX as an example. That 1996 game, which determined the champion of the 1995 season, matched the Dallas Cowboys against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In 1995, the Dallas-based Circle Ten Council had 400 Eagle Scouts, while the Pittsburgh-based Laurel Highlands Council (then called the Greater Pittsburgh Council) had 257. The Cowboys’ home council had more Eagle Scouts, and the Cowboys won the game, 27-17. Score one for the Eagle Scouts.

All tied after 26

In head-to-head matchups, the Super Bowl winner came from the city with more Eagle Scouts 13 of the 26 times. It’s a tie.

The winner of 2017’s Super Bowl LI, the New England Patriots, tied things up with their overtime win against the Atlanta Falcons. New England’s Spirit of Adventure Council had fewer Eagle Scouts in 2017 than the Atlanta Area Council.

Super Bowl LII

So how do things look for Sunday’s Super Bowl LII, which determines the champion from the 2017 season?

Well, the Patriots’ Spirit of Adventure Council had 328 Eagles in 2017, while the Eagles’ Cradle of Liberty Council had 322.

A difference of six Eagle Scouts? That’s really close!

If the Patriots win, the record of the team with more Eagle Scouts improves to 14-13. If the Eagles win, it’ll fall to 13-14.

So if you haven’t yet picked your team for Sunday’s game, there’s one piece of evidence for you to consider.

Not perfect

New note for 2018: 

As many commenters have pointed out, BSA local council boundaries don’t always perfectly align with a team’s home region.

So consider this just a fun way to look at the Super Bowl and Scouting and not a surefire way to predict the game!


The raw data

Number in bold is higher number of Eagle Scouts that year

Super Bowl Winner Number of Eagles Opponent Number of Eagles
LI New England Patriots 328 Atlanta Falcons 676
L Denver Broncos 488 Carolina Panthers 244
XLIX New England Patriots 281 Seattle Seahawks 436
XLVIII Seattle Seahawks 486 Denver Broncos 525
XLVII Baltimore Ravens 523 San Francisco 49ers 220
XLVI New York Giants 161 New England Patriots 294
XLV Green Bay Packers 313 Pittsburgh Steelers 488
XLIV New Orleans Saints 96 Indianapolis Colts 358
XLIII Pittsburgh Steelers 465 Arizona Cardinals 1,168
XLII New York Giants 148 New England Patriots 304
XLI Indianapolis Colts 376 Chicago Bears 378
XL Pittsburgh Steelers 403 Seattle Seahawks 416
XXXIX New England Patriots 283 Philadelphia Eagles 286
XXXVIII New England Patriots 258 Carolina Panthers 160
XXXVII Tampa Bay Buccaneers 281 Oakland Raiders 170
XXXVI New England Patriots 232 St. Louis Rams 450
XXXV Baltimore Ravens 318 New York Giants 291
XXXIV St. Louis Rams 470 Tennessee Titans 282
XXXIII Denver Broncos 390 Atlanta Falcons 325
XXXII Denver Broncos 332 Green Bay Packers 246
XXXI Green Bay Packers 242 New England Patriots 215
XXX Dallas Cowboys 400 Pittsburgh Steelers 257
XXIX San Francisco 49ers 172 San Diego Chargers 297
XXVIII Dallas Cowboys 423 Buffalo Bills 116
XXVII Dallas Cowboys 432 Buffalo Bills 103
XXVI Washington Redskins 532 Buffalo Bills 113

Hat tip: Thanks to John Churchill and Nathan Johnson for pulling together this info.

About Bryan Wendell 3282 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.