(BERKLEY, Calif.) -- It seems that unexpected losses by NFL teams are not only upsetting to the fans, but can also be dangerous for the wives and girlfriends of the male football enthusiast.
A study published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics analyzed the number of domestic violence police reports over ten years in areas where the NFL teams Panthers, Lions, Patriots, Broncos, Chiefs and Titans play. The authors found that there was a 10 percent increase in the rate of at-home violence by men against their wives and girlfriends when their home team lost a game they were expected to win.
By cross-checking the time of the police calls with game times, the authors determined that the spike in violence occurred within a tight window of time: in the final hour of the game and up to two hours after.
Male fans were not more violent when their teams lost games they were expected to lose.
The authors point out that the increase in aggression after unexpected disappointment isn’t limited to football game losses, but can be applied to other situations. For example, the authors say that “someone who gets a speeding ticket on the way home...might also be more likely to act out in a way he would later regret.”
It should be noted that the study is based only on reported cases of violence. Unreported cases of post-game domestic violence could mean the numbers are even higher.
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