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101416_eagles-flag Matt Mullin/PhillyVoice

Pregame ceremonies prior to the Eagles season opener against the Browns.

October 14, 2016

The Philadelphia Eagles will decide the winner of the 2016 presidential election

What's more important to you – the winner of Sunday's game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Redskins OR the winner of next month's election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump?

Because depending on how you feel about the candidates and where your NFC East loyalties lie, you may have to adjust who you root for this weekend, thanks to a little something called "The Redskins Rule."

Since 1940, when the team moved to Washington, D.C., the result of their final home game prior to a presidential election has correctly predicted the winner in 17* of the 19 cases. And since the Redskins' next two games after facing the Birds are on the road, followed by their bye the final week before the election, it all comes down to Sunday.

*Following the 2000 election, in which Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the election, the rule was slightly modified for those cases. If you chose to include that, it's actually 18 of 19. Read more, here.

How does it work? Well, the rule states that if the Redskins win, then the party that is currently in control of the White House – currently the Democrats – will remain in power. If they lose, the opposing party will win the election. Essentially, if the Eagles win, history tells us that Trump will be the next President of the United States. But if Washington wins, then you can go ahead and pencil in Hillary as the first female president.

Here's a look at how it's played out over the last 75 years...

YRElectionGMWASPartyUpheld?
2016 Clinton
vs.
Trump
PHI ??
WAS ??
?? ?? ??
2012 Obama 
def. 
Romney
CAR 21
WAS 13
L W N
2008 Obama 
def. 
McCain
PIT 23
WAS 6
L
L
Y
2004 Bush 
def. 
Kerry
GB 28
WAS 14
L
W N*
2000 Bush 
def. 
Gore
TEN 27
WAS 21
L
L
Y
1996 Clinton 
def. 
Dole
IND 16
WAS 31
W
W
Y
1992 Clinton 
def. 
Bush
NYG 24
WAS 7
L
L
Y
1988 Bush 
def. 
Dukakis
NO 24
WAS 27
W
W
Y
1984 Reagan 
def. 
Mondale
ATL 14
WAS 27
W
W
Y
1980 Reagan 
def. 
Carter
MIN 39
WAS 14
L
L
Y
1976 Carter 
def. 
Ford
DAL 20
WAS 7
L
L
Y
1972 Nixon 
def. 
McGovern
DAL 20
WAS 24
W
W
Y
1968 Nixon 
def. 
Humphrey
NYG 13
WAS 10
L
L Y
1964 Johnson 
def. 
Goldwater
CHI 20
WAS 27
W
W
Y
1960 Kennedy 
def. 
Nixon
CLE 31
WAS 10
L
L
Y
1956 Eisenhower 
def. 
Stevenson
CLE 9
WAS 20
W
W
Y
1952 Eisenhower 
def. 
Stevenson
PIT 24
WAS 23
L
L
Y
1948 Truman 
def. 
Dewey
BOS 21
WAS 59
W W
Y
1944 Roosevelt 
def. 
Dewey
CLE 1o
WAS 14
W
W
Y
1940 Roosevelt
def.
Willkie
PIT 10
WAS 37
W
W
Y
*According to the rule tweak, this would have been considered a win for the Redskins rule, because Bush lost the popular vote in the prior election. Again, read more on that here.

And that could make things quite interesting for some fans this weekend.

If you're an Eagles fan who also happens to be a Trump supporter, then you're in luck; a win for the Birds is a win for the Donald. But if you're on Team Hillary, you may want to be careful what you wish for -- sure, 4-1 sounds nice, but are you ready for President Trump?

Of course, this election season has been unlike anything we've ever seen before, so it shouldn't really surprise anyone if this one doesn't follow tradition (just like in 2012). 

Although, if it doesn't -- and your candidate comes out on the losing end -- you'll know who to blame ... the Eagles.


Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin