Citing one of the stranger studies I’ve read
, the NY Times says that diehard sports fans triple their risk of a heart attack. (It’s only double if you’re a woman – seriously, have you ever seen a woman paint her chest in two colors and then sit in the cold for hours wearing a viking helmet? Nevermind, don’t answer that one.)
The intrepid researchers studied hospital records during the World Cup – a sporting event which traditionally attracts the most rabid of fans – and discovered that the fans are really putting the “die” in diehard. On days that the person’s team played cardiac emergencies more than tripled. “How the team played, the overall importance of the match and whether the winner was determined by a shootout all affected fans’ heart risks,” so say the German researchers. “Apparently, of prime importance for triggering a stress-induced event is not the outcome of a game — a win or a loss — but rather the intense strain and excitement experienced during the viewing of a dramatic match, such as one with a penalty shootout.”
I have to admit this phenomenon is particularly strange to me as I’ve never been much of a Superfan (my husband would contest I’ve never been any kind of fan at all). I had 20th row tickets to the Jazz-Bulls playoffs and ended up leaving during half time because, well, I was bored. If that makes you want to throw things at me, I’m sorry:) I can get pretty pumped up for the Summer Olympics – this year, baby!! – but never to the point where my heart races or my blood pressure goes up. If Michael Phelps doesn’t sweep, I can still sleep alright.
So how about you guys – have any of you ever experienced a sports crush so intense you worried about a heart attack?? Or at least cared enough to wear the head of a dead animal as a hat? Come on, tell me about the crazy things you’ve done in the name of sports-love!