Broncos fans are celebrating a big win over the San Diego Chargers. But one fan is recovering and several Chargers fans were arrested.
Video of a fight between fans surfaced and is quickly spreading online. It happened Sunday night near San Diego after the game. It may have started because the man was wearing a Peyton Manning jersey in Charger territory.
Just last month a stabbing took place at the Mile High Stadium after the same two teams faced off. Now video of what appears to be several Chargers fans beating a Broncos fan.
But it's not just competitiveness and rivalry that sparks these fights. A psychologist gave us a deeper and more scientific explanation.
"I saw the video, I'm not surprised by it, in fact I think we see it quite often," said certified counselor, Jon Cleckler.
'Fan violence' is a national headline that’s often seen.
“In psychology we call it ‘Group Think.' It's the ability to kind of get outside of yourself and whatever the group is doing is more likely to be what you act on. Suddenly when the rest of the group is making the decision, it takes away your individual thoughts about that decision. I think it absolutely played a role," said Cleckler.
Another common role played in these scenarios is a change in biology
"The testosterone levels in men when their team wins, goes up about by 20 points. When they lose, it tends to go down. Studies show that testosterone changes with a win and loss,” Cleckler explains.
And the scoreboard can even affect a dedicated fans self esteem.
"So you have an individual who feels good about the victory, who highly defines themselves around the team and feels like the victory is theirs. They go out into a situation that's hostile, then it really becomes a dangerous situation and i think that's what occurred,” says Cleckler.
Dangerous situations that, with the right amount of control, can hopefully be avoided.
"The Denver Broncos are certainly taking the next step, it's a great time to keep this in mind. I'm a sports fan and one of the things we need to be personally aware of is how much we're investing in being a fan. We've all been there. Anyone who's a sports fan has felt it. But when you can feel your heart drop when your team has done something wrong, and you’re hitting the walls, then it’s time to reassess where you are," says Cleckler.
According to our sister station in San Diego, several people were arrested. The Broncos fan who was beaten was not seriously hurt.