I am the kind of ultracool geek that frequents some out-of-the-way websites. One of them is www.thesportseconomist.com, which is exactly that - a website about sports run by economists. If you want to find out that, statistically, Belichick was right to go for it on 4th-and-2 from his own 28 a couple of weeks ago, this is a site you will like.
A couple of days ago, a nerdy paper on the increase in violence on Sundays in NFL cities when the home favorite unexpectedly loses was quoted.
Our key hypothesis is that negative emotional cues – benchmarked relative to a rationally expected reference point – make a breakdown of control more likely. We test this hypothesis using data on police reports of family violence on Sundays during the professional football season. Controlling for location and time fixed effects, weather factors, the pre-game point spread, and the size of the local viewing audience, we find that upset losses by the home team (losses in games that the home team was predicted to win by more than 3 points) lead to an 8 percent increase in police reports of at-home male-on-female intimate partner violence. There is no corresponding effect on female-on-male violence. Consistent with the behavioral prediction that losses matter more than gains, upset victories by the home team have (at most) a small dampening effect on family violence. We also find that unexpected losses in highly salient or frustrating games have a 50% to 100% larger impact on rates of family violence.
I am not shocked that angry, drunk males "exhibit a breakdown of control" and beat their intimate female partners more on days when the home team loses a game they shouldn't. What caught my eye was: "Consistent with the behavioral prediction that losses matter more than gains...."
Why is that? Why is losing more poweful than winning? Why does losing induce more rage than winning induces happiness? As a fan of the Mountaineers, and currently, a regular poster on this site, it seems like a salient question. Are you all more angry to lose than you are happy to win?
Even worse..."We also find that unexpected losses in highly salient or frustrating games have a 50% to 100% larger impact on rates of family violence." So, what was the domestic violence arrest rate in Morgantown like the infamous night of Pitt's 13-9 sneakthief victory as a 31-point dog?
And, as I ready to post this, ESPN reports that Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen was "sucker-punched" by an irate fan after Saturday's (heartwarming) loss to UConn. Clearly, "negative emotional cues," like losing, don't just lead to males beating females, but also lead to males beating over-rated, ferret-looking junior QBs as well.
It's Pitt week...we've been off. It is slow at work, and, as you can probably tell, I have had a lot of time just to think about things. Pardon me. Anyway... The Panthers are a small favorite on the road, but it is close enough to feel like a home game in the TV market....so...
...we'll check the arrest rates for domestic violence in Pittsburgh on Monday morning.