Many predictions in advance of yesterday’s riveting Euro 2016 final gave France a win over Portugal, pointing to home pitch advantage, history, questions about whether Pepe would be fit to play, and so on.
But with the help of a fantastic extra-time goal by the substitute Eder, Portugal won out over France 1-0. This morning’s day-after analysis will no doubt point to any number of explanations for the win, but according to one recent study the whole thing may come down to color. “When opponents of a game are equally matched the team dressed in red is more likely to win.” There you have it — Red-1, Blue -0.
It’s a wild theory that probably doesn’t hold up on a match-by-match basis, but seen through the long view with scientific language like “more likely” and “less likely” it seems entirely plausible, and points to the remarkable power of color on our psyches and body chemistry. Basically it appears that we’re essentially still a bunch of primates and that “red seems to be the color, across species, that signals male dominance and testosterone levels.”
Here’s a National Geographic article that summarizes the study.