Kicks Off Its ‘Golden Hookah’ Award: Federal Study Blames National Football League for Increased Domestic Violence

By Craig Bannister | September 24, 2010 | 11:45 AM EDT

Philadelphia Eagles fullback Owen Schmitt (32) is upended by Detroit Lions linebacker Julian Peterson (98) during the first half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Today, Communications Director Craig Bannister presents the first-ever ‘Golden Hookah,’ a symbolic token that will be conferred on the government spending program that wins’s weekly “What Were THEY Smoking” award for outrageous government spending. will present the “What Were THEY Smoking” award each week to a government program, featured in exclusive reporting, that provides a stellar example of government officials sending our tax dollars “up in smoke.”

Inspired by stories that exposed federal grants that were used to subsidize research on hookah smoking in Syria and Jordan, the “Golden Hookah” symbolizes how government squanders the taxpayers’ hard-earned money on outrageous, unconstitutional and even unconscionable programs.

Each weekly video presentation of the “Golden Hookah” will also include a “Taxpayer Tally,” indicating how many American households it would take to subsidize the Golden-Hookah-winning government program if those households had their entire federal tax bills solely dedicated to paying for just that program.

This week’s winner is a grant of more than $314,000 that went to a study that sought to establish a link between increased domestic violence and NFL games in which the underdog beats the point spread.