An NFL ad for the Super Bowl features a choir of "Super Bowl babies" — people who were born nine months after their parents' home team won the Super Bowl. It's a charming spot that features everyone from one-year-olds to 49-year-olds singing about how the game indirectly helped usher them into existence. But are Super Bowl babies a real thing?
The commercial features alleged Super Bowl babies singing a parody — that doesn't feel like quite the right word — of the Seal song "Kiss From A Rose," with the lyrics changed to reflect the fact their birthdates were the result of their parents, umm, celebrating their home team's Super Bowl victories. Is this indicative of a larger trend? Or, to put it differently, do birth rates actually spike in places that won the Super Bowl nine months ago?
"Data suggests 9 months after a Super Bowl victory, winning cities see a rise in births," the ad claims. But it's unclear precisely what data this is referring to, because there don't appear to have been any studies conducted to address that question specifically.
However, there is some limited evidence that sports victories can cause spikes in birth rates in the city or region whose team won the game. Multiple surveys conducted in Spain have suggested that birth rates in Catalonia shoot up nine months after local teams win big games, and there were anecdotal reports that Boston experienced a baby boom nine months after the Red Sox finally won the World Series in 2004. After New Zealand defeated France in the World Cup, multiple hospitals reported an increase in their birth rates nine months after the fact.
These reports are difficult to corroborate, though, simply because there are so many other confounding factors that could also cause an increase in births in a particular region. But it's still a cute commercial, and who knows? Maybe this will compel some researchers to finally roll up their sleeves and get to the bottom of whether Super Bowl babies are indeed a phenomenon.
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