Thanks in large part to the play of running back O.J. Simpson, the Buffalo Bills were solid in the 1970s. Simpson ran for over 10,000 yards in a Buffalo uniform, leading the Bills to three consecutive winning seasons in the mid-1970s.
Simpson left Buffalo after the 1977 season. After a brief spell of mediocrity in the 1980s, the Bills returned to dominance in the 1990s. Buffalo won the AFC Championship on four consecutive occasions in the early 1990s. They made the playoffs eight times in the decade.
After the 1999 season, however, the Bills fell into a rut that they haven’t been able to get out of just yet. They have yet to make the playoffs in the 21st century.
O.J. Simpson has been in prison since December of 2008 for his role in a 2007 armed robbery.
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While these two pieces of information may seem unconnected on the surface, there’s actually a correlation. According to Twitter user Matthew Gritzmacher, Buffalo has a .488 winning percentage when Simpson is out of prison. When Simpson is in prison, however, the Bills have a winning percentage of just .410-percent.
Yes – Buffalo wins nearly half of their games when Simpson is out of prison. Simpson is now out of prison. He was released from Nevada’s Lovelock Correctional Institute on Sunday morning after being granted parole back in July.
This is a strange correlation – but correlation does not equal causation. Are the Bills going to defeat the Atlanta Falcons in their upcoming matchup because Simpson is out of prison? If they do defeat the Falcons, Simpson’s release won’t have anything to do with it.