MVP Von Miller is bad news for markets

When an AFC player is named Super Bowl MVP, markets have lost an average of 14 percent.

Super Bowl MVP Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.
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Super Bowl MVP Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.

Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller beat up Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton last night, racking up 2.5 sacks and a couple of fumbles on his way to the Vince Lombardi trophy and the Super Bowl most valuable player award.

If (very abbreviated) history is any indicator, investors this year may be as bummed out as Newton was at his postgame press conference. When an American Football Conference team wins the Super Bowl, and a defensive player like Miller is awarded the MVP, the S&P 500 loses more than 13 percent on average during the rest of the year.

Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos forces Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers to fumble the ball during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.
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Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos forces Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers to fumble the ball during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.

If the AFC's Super Bowl success wasn't enough to spook the market, that might do it. (The market historically has had subpar years after AFC wins, rising 3.6 percent on average.)

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The last time an AFC defensive player nabbed the MVP hardware was in 2001, when Ray Lewis' Baltimore Ravens were champions in a year that cost investors nearly 12 percent. The only other time it happened, in 1973, the S&P 500 pared more than 14 percent after Miami Dolphins safety Jake Scott recorded two interceptions on the way to a Super Bowl VII victory.

In Sunday night's defensive matchup, the market would have preferred any of the Carolina Panthers defenders to win. Correlation may not mean causation, but of the six years an NFC defensive player won MVP, markets rose an average of 14 percent.

There's a silver lining for investors, at least if they're not also Panthers fans: The two years the Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl (1998 and 1999), markets added 28.34 percent and 20.89 percent.