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Why do fans riot after a win? The science behind Philadelphia's Super Bowl chaos.

Feb 05, 2018 - Washington Post Blogs

Fires in the streets. Smashed windows. Flipped cars. Light poles toppled by alcohol-fueled crowds. Philadelphia awoke this morning after the triumph of Super Bowl Sunday to a city in disarray and this vexing question: What is it about sports that makes fans riot?

Why do fans care so intensely about their teams? What is going on in their brains after a win or loss? What circumstances make a riot more likely?

Psychologists and sociologists have studied the phenomenon of sports fan viol...