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The Super Bowl Can Be Hazardous to Your Cellphone

What do you get when you combine the biggest sports event of the year, rabid fans, mugs of beer and tubs of dip? A slew of damaged cellphones.

Sports fans have a tendency to harm their cellphones or tablets while watching a game on TV or in person, according to an online survey by SquareTrade, a company that insures these devices. One in ten adults reports damaging a smartphone while watching or participating in a sporting event. They spent an estimated $2.4 billion to fix those damaged phones last year.

“Sports fans are dangerous to mobile devices,” said Ty Shay, SquareTrade’s Chief Marketing Officer. While alcohol and passion play a role in this (15 percent of those surveyed admitted to damaging a smartphone in a fit of emotion) a lot of sports fans simply appear to be clumsy. One in five said they’d dropped a cellphone in the toilet. It turns out that Seahawks fans are 11 percent more likely to fumble the phone than Patriots fans.

Dips can also be dangerous. The SquareTrade survey found that people who prefer spinach dip are 10 percent more likely than average to have damaged a phone in the last year. Guacamole comes in a close second. Shay has this advice for sports fans: “Keep your phone at hand, but not in hand while you’re watching sports.”

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-- Herb Weisbaum, NBC News contributor