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.