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A Football and Crime Correlation?

In a one-on-one interview recently, Ray Lewis stated his belief that if the NFL season locks out for the entire year, crime will rise in cities across the United States.

"There's too many people that live through us, people live through us," he said. "Yeah, walk in the streets, the way I walk the streets, and I'm not talking about the people you see all the time. There's nothing else to do."

I understand Ray Lewis's logic, however, it sounds juvenile at best.  The team plays once a week and during that time, hundreds of thousands of people watch, let's say the Ravens, and devote three hours of their life to their team.  Other than that three hours once a week, there is no point during the season that fans dedicate a large portion of time to the Ravens.  They listen to sports radio, read newspaper articles, and watch the nightly news recapping team news, but fans do all of this in conjunction with other activities.

I highly doubt that in the fall, on Sundays when NFL fans will have nothing to do, people will say, "Hey, let's rob that 7-11 since there is no football on!"  I know that people invest substantial energy in their fanaticism, but they won't wander the streets like lost sheep looking to cause problems because they cannot "live through [the players]."  If Lewis hopes that this argument will help end labor negotiations, the attempt will fall flat on its face.

Ray Lewis wants us to examine the statistics to see the connection between the two.  But I have bad news for him: there is just no correlation between crime and the NFL season not occurring.  Then again, maybe Lewis can attest to a thing or two about committing crimes in the absence of football, so who knows after all?


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