Football season is over and for Wisconsin residents the season could not have ended better. The Packers took the Super Bowl title and our whole state had a reason to celebrate. We warned readers about the dangers of drunk driving on Super Bowl Sunday, but were fans also at a higher risk for other criminal charges?
More specifically, could the outcome of NFL football games affect the rate of domestic violence in Wisconsin? A new study says yes.
Two Sociologists recently published a comprehensive report which links NFL home-team losses to rises in domestic violence. The researchers analyzed domestic violence police calls in six different states and compared them to NFL football stats of teams in those states.
The results were surprising. The data showed that a home-team loss could result in a 10 percent jump in domestic violence 911 calls within 1-2 hours after the end of the game. If the team lost to a traditional rival or if the team lost in an important playoff game, the amount of domestic violence calls could double.
The study showed that the trigger for domestic violence usually only occurred after a surprising loss. If the team was expected to win but lost instead, that was the most likely scenario to result in violence.
Wisconsin was not one of the six states studied but we do take our football seriously. To put this in local terms, regular season losses by the Packers could have contributed to a 10 percent jump in domestic violence calls. On the rare occasions when we lose to the Vikings, domestic violence calls could be up by 20 percent. Thankfully, we did not have to find out what would happen if we had lost the Super Bowl.
In light of this information, die-hard Packer fans should examine their own behavior. If you know that you take it personally when the Packers lose, make sure that you don't do something you'll regret later. If you are prone to losing your temper, make sure that you only watch games alone or with friends who are your physical equal. In other words, pick on someone your own size.
Just because the study shows a link between NFL football losses and a rise in domestic violence, that does not excuse it or condone it. Domestic violence is still illegal and will result in arrests and jail time.
Source: Time Healthland online, "Fan Rage: How Home Team Losses Contribute to Domestic Violence," Alice Park, 22 March 2011