This is one of the many letters I received in response to a Stranger article I wrote called "Coincidence? Domestic-Violence Reports Spike on Super Bowl Sunday" [Feb 9]:

"Charles Mudede's piece on domestic violence around the Super Bowl was a waste of ink. His 'study' of domestic violence rates based on four days of police reports is an illustration of nearly everything that can be done wrong with a study. I'll harp on one, the lack of controls: Without controls, an experiment is worthless. For instance are there spikes of violence (1) on other Sundays? (2) On other socially intense days (such as Christmas or Thanksgiving)? (3) On other big TV days such as Oscar night?

"As a liberal who likes football, let me propose a hypothesis for why guys like Charles Mudede write articles like ['Coincidence']: Because they feel threatened by the rowdy, blue-collar mystique that surrounds the game. Football is the game of the mechanic, the janitor, the frat boy, the construction worker (and the women that love them). These are the 'real' men that pencil-necked proto-liberals were scared of in high school, and fear and loathe even now." —Cedar McKay

Agreed, the method I used in "Coincidence," a survey of DV reports during the Super Bowl weekend, lacked "controls," but it was, as I said in that article, not meant to be an in-depth sociological study but a quick look over imperfect data. To begin with, many (if not most) domestic- violence incidents go unreported, and so what appears in police files poorly represents what is actually taking place in reality. Nevertheless, I decided to have a second look at DV reports, this time from Friday, February 17, to Monday, February 20, to see if there was a noticeable difference from the reports filed during Super Bowl weekend. The only big TV event during the period of February 17–February 20 was the Winter Olympics, whose ice and snow competitions may or may not have had an influence on these results: Friday had 2 DV-related reports; Saturday had 4; Sunday had 14; and Monday had 0.

In all, the Winter Olympics period had 50 percent less DV reports than the Super Bowl period, but, like the Super Bowl period, Sunday was its most active and violent day. (Erica Barnett's theory, stated in my original article, that "Sunday might simply be the most violent day for intimate-partner abuse [because two] people have been together for two whole days," might have some validity.) Curiously enough, the Winter Olympics period saw a decline in male/female violence and a sharp increase in female/male violence (by 70 percent). There were also marked increases in male/male violence and female/female violence.

As for Cedar McKay's hypothesis (a bookish person like myself dislikes American football because it is a game for "real" men), he clearly has not read my posts on the Slog. I'm of the opinion that American football, especially when compared to rugged rugby, is for sissies. Football players are fat (some with pronounced beer bellies) and they wear armor. I'm also of the opinion that a person who strikes or threatens a physically weaker person is the most abominable sissy. Therefore, the real link between DV and football is this: Both involve sissies.