Suppose there were an annual event contested on seemingly fair terms (with one exception) which one contestant never seemed to win. The event has been contested for a very long time under varying rules, conditions, and between varying numbers of contestants since the inception of the contest. The contestants are actually teams, and all teams are given equal access to sign any members of the player pool. The make up of this player pool has evolved considerably over time, and the style of play has gone through many changes throughout the history of the contest. There is one inherent advantage given to some teams, not by the league, but by the geographical location of those vying in the competition. Interestingly, the team that cannot seem to win, the team with which we are concerned, is one of the greatest beneficiaries of this large advantage. Yet, generations come and go and the supporters of our unlucky squad are always forced to say, “Wait till next year.” Next year always arrives right on schedule, but no matter how heartbreakingly close our team may come to bringing home the championship, they always lose. Always. What conclusion would be drawn from this situation? Would an objective analyst say that the incredible run of futility is merely the result of chance and bad luck, or would she say that the event is somehow fixed?
Or, as Steve Goodman put it:
The law of averages says that anything will happen that can/But the last time the Cubs won the National League Penant/ Was the year we dropped the bomb on Japan.