After shooting down that phantom statistic, he criticized the remainder of FAIR's evidence as anecdotal. That's the second problem with the debunking theory. FAIR was actually the first to describe their evidence showing that claims of spousal abuse increase on Super Bowl Sunday as anecdotal. They were basing their claim on firsthand accounts from people who worked in women's shelters. Again, no one was saying the incidents increased by 40 percent, only that there was, historically, an increase in the number of calls or claims from women on that day.
Siri Stafford/Digital Vision/Getty Images
"If the Broncos don't start converting on third down, I'm fucked."
Ringle fought back with a claim or two from people who worked at shelters who said, as far as they knew, there was no increase where they worked during that particular Super Bowl. Not to be a purist about it or anything, but that's also anecdotal evidence.
In later interviews with the experts Ringle contacted to "debunk" the claims made by FAIR, it was revealed that only one of the four even agreed with the main point of his article. Among the hard-hitting evidence he provided was this quote:
"Super Bowl Sunday is one day in the year when hot lines, shelters, and other agencies that work with battered women get the most reports and complaints of domestic violence."
Ringle reported that the person this quote was attributed to didn't recall saying it, but then adds that he did say something very similar, which was this:
"Super Bowl Sunday is one of the days in the year when hot lines, shelters, and other agencies that work with battered women get the most reports and complaints of domestic violence."
That's the same fucking quote! In both cases, it's pretty clear they're saying that it's just one of the busiest days, not the busiest. Another expert who was quoted in Ringle's article as saying "You know I hate this" said he was actually referring to Ringle's line of questioning.
"It's you I hate!"
He described Ringle as "hostile" and, on the same day he was quoted in Ringle's debunking article, went on record in another publication to assert that the PSA probably saved lives.
In other words, if you take that questionable "40 percent" statistic out of the discussion, Ringle didn't really disprove anything, because FAIR never reported anything that could be definitively proven either way. None of this is new information, by the way. A woman named Laura Flanders explained all of this almost as quickly as the "debunking" started making the rounds, but for some reason, that part of the legend always gets left out.
Personally, I'm inclined to believe that there probably is an increase in domestic violence on Super Bowl Sunday. I base that on another rage-related statistic -- traffic accidents. In the hour immediately after the Super Bowl, death by car accident goes up by a whopping 41 percent. Is that because everyone is drunk driving? That probably has something to do with it, but keep in mind, Super Bowl Sunday is the eighth biggest day for drinking beer. People are drunk, but not a lot drunker than on any other "holiday." Something else is at work behind those numbers, and my guess is that something is probably rage. Losing always sucks, and given how much money is bet on the Super Bowl each year, losing probably sucks for a lot of people even if they didn't have a team in the game.
Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images
"Gambling never leads to violence!"
So all of that alcohol and rage and anger come to a head when the angry drivers of the world hit the streets, causing them to die at a much higher rate than usual. It's an increase of such proportions that it borders on being unbelievable, and it's probably the best indicator available of what a Super Bowl loss does to some fans' frame of mind.
Clearly, a Super Bowl loss brings out the very worst in the road ragers of the world, but for some reason, we're supposed to accept it as fact that the spousal abuse set has found a way to keep the obviously overwhelming influence of the Super Bowl on one's mood from impacting them in the slightest. Road ragers may die in droves after the Super Bowl, but spousal abusers always keep their cool.
Sorry, Snopes, I don't fucking buy it.
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