There are two, maybe even three, pervasive—not to mention very unfortunate and destructive—myths about the Super Bowl that seem to gain at least a little traction most years.
The first is that every working girl in a three-state radius flocks to the city hosting the big game. There’s also the assertion that sex trafficking spikes too, but in reality, neither is a problem disproportional to the size of the event—or any other major urban event.
Arrests and apprehensions for such offenses do happen during the Super Bowl each year, but not in any larger numbers than they would for a city that, for instance, is hosting the G8 summit.
Then there’s the claims that domestic violence reports skyrocket during the big game. Although evidence proves that visits to the local hospital emergency room increase during the Super Bowl, they aren’t necessarily associated with game-induced rage or physical assaults.
On Super Bowl Sunday, there’s usually a spike in traffic accidents, people injuring themselves in trip-and-fall incidents and other people being nabbed for drunk and disorderly behavior in public. The key word there is drunk. There are a million ways to die during the Super Bowl, but at the hand of an irate spouse is actually quite low in the risk concerns.
The third Super Bowl myth, which has nothing to do with being the harbinger of doom, is the ridiculous assertion that a billion people worldwide watch the game. Sorry—not even close. While the big game may find some sort of audience outside the U.S., it's just a small fraction of the 100-plus million who watch it here.
In fact, the 2006 World Cup final between Italy and France drew a global audience of just over 600 million at its peak, making it the most-watched sporting event in the history of the world.