Super Brawl

The Stranger's Charles Mudede has an interesting item on the possible correlation between the Super Bowl and domestic violence.

It's been over ten years since a coalition of groups, contending that domestic violence rises on Super Bowl Sunday, convinced NBC to run a PSA against violence -- on the House.

In the absence of conclusive studies, Mudede [who incidentally wrote the screenplay for the film Police Beat] finds this data from Seattle police reports instructive:


"On Sunday, February 5, in the area of Seattle, there was a 50 percent increase in reports that involved a male hitting or threatening to hit a female. Not only that, the aggressor/victim combinations covered the entire spectrum of human sexuality—male/male, female/female, and female/male, each with a significant increase on Sunday when compared to the other monitored days. But by far, male/female binary stood as the dominant structure for physical, intimate-partner abuse. It was also the most violent."
Mudede also cites an ad as possible proof of the connection:
It is for Michelob Amber beer and shows a pretty woman getting slammed, super sacked, totally flattened by a man who, after the terrible tackle, stands, and yells, with wife-beater force, at the woman's crushed body: "You were open, now you're closed." [VIDEO]
In all fairness, Mudede does include the criticism of a skeptic who contends that his findings are "worthless," so clearly he's not hoping to publish his results in Science, but I've got to both agree and disagree -- and strongly on both counts.

On the one hand, as one who could take or leave football, and as one who attended a Big 10 school where football was every bit as sacred as church, I can attest to the often flabbergasting behavior it appeared to have spawned. The drunkenness and disregard for etiquette and rules one would never conceive of violating was commonplace. Surely domestic violence isn't too difficult to imagine in that circumstance.

On the other hand, in addition to Mudede's skeptic Erica Barnetts' reservation that Sunday itself may be to blame for the extended alone time faced by couples (a thoroughly depressing thought), I'd add that when they watch football, people are gathering and drinking like a young George Bush.

When people gather and drink, violence is more easy to come by. Throw a game and some betting into the mix and yes, you've probably got a recipe for domestic violence (see Party, Fraternity).

Trying to pin it on football (even if I wouldn't care a whit if went away tomorrow) reminds me of prudish busy-bodies who are out to abolish gambling, premarital sex, porn, video games, music with the word fuck in it etc...

This is clearly not what Mudede's after (his goal is to bring attention to "the fact that women are under constant attack—from men at work, on the street, and at home.") but I wonder why a thinker as good as he is is wasting his time on such an easily-debunkable theory that only allows those who'd like to turn their back on this rampant problem an easy excuse for doing so? Discuss.

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