The National Football League strike, now in...

The National Football League strike, now in its third week, may heighten tension between the players and the owners but it could reduce the number of murders in league cities, said a researcher studying the relationship between football losses and homicide.

Teams made up of replacement players don't evoke the same kind of intense interest among fans as the regular NFL players and will reduce gambling, the two ingredients that most often lead to football-related murders, said James H. Gundlach, an associate professor of sociology at Auburn.

The strike may reduce the murder rate up to 5% in NFL cities compared to a regular season, he said.

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