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A psychologist explains what makes sports fans become violent

From Little League to the pros, sports can drive some fans way, way too far.

A fight in the parking lot after the game, insults exchanged in the stands, screams echoing from the living room as a shoe bounces off the TV screen. Sports stir the emotions of those who watch it. And rightfully so. We are at times, witnessing both the success and failure of lifelong dreams. On live TV.

But it isn’t our success or our failure ... or is it? Our relationship with sports is complex. That’s part of what makes it so exciting. But it’s also what makes it a breeding ground for violent behavior. Alcohol plays a big role, but it’s not the only contributing factor.

Most fathers don’t need a beer before yelling at an umpire when their son strikes out. So ... why are fans so angry? We sat down with Professor Daniel Wann, who specializes in the psychology of sport fandom, to find out.