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
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)
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(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.