There seems to be a prevailing theory that the current lockout has led to more off-the-field trouble for NFL players. (Though you could also chalk it up to more attention on the behavior of players, if you're so inclined.)
Ray Lewis has a more interesting sociological theory, however, in that he believes general crime will rise if the lockout continues into the season.
"Do this research if we don't have a season -- watch how much evil, which we call crime, watch how much crime picks up, if you take away our game," Lewis said in an interview with ESPN's Sal Paolantonio.
But, um, why?
"There's nothing else to do, Sal," Lewis said.
He also seemed to attribute behavior of the general public through vicarious living.
"There's too many people that live through us, people live through us," Lewis 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."
It's an interesting theory, though I'm not so sure it holds water, at least at first glance.
For instance, less NFL games actually mean more money for the general public. More money, typically, means less crime.
Additionally, I'm not sure that anyone who watches football is going to see less of what happens on the field and become more violent, if you want to examine the vicarious living aspect.
But maybe Lewis has something here, if only because more free time can definitely lead to less appropriate behavior.
I'm not entirely sure that a rise in crime while the NFL is missing games can even be fairly classified as a direct correlation, either, but if it leads to the NFL and NFLPA working harder on getting a deal done and getting football on the field, then by all means, let's manipulate some statistics.
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