Domestic Violence Linked to Football Upsets

Local-team upsets match to an 8% upswing in abuse

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 23, 2009 6:42 PM CST

(Newser) – Losses by local NFL teams may trigger episodes of domestic violence among their fans, a new study suggests. Researchers examined domestic violence reports in 1995-2006 and found that upsets of home teams matched up with an 8% bump in incidents of domestic violence. The surge in violence almost doubled when traditional rivals, such the Bears and Packers, squared off.

The new violence occurred in the 3 hours following the game's end, supporting the notion that the painful loss triggered the episode. The researchers don't suggest that football is to blame: The upset likely just provides a trigger. "In a world without football, acts of abuse might merely get postponed, only to be brought on later by some other source of anger," writes Ray Fisman for Slate.

Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb (5) is tackled in the second quarter of yesterday's game in Chicago, a 24-20 upset by Philadelphia.   (AP Photo)
Packers running back DeShawn Wynn leaps over Chicago defenders during this Oct. 7, 2007, game in Green Bay. The Bears won in an upset.   (AP Photo)
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