Thursday, 31 January 2008

Sick as a parrot

Silver Goals by the BBC

Researchers at Munich's Ludwig-Maximilians University have found that male fans at football matches are at a much greater risk of having a heart attack or another cardiovascular problem on match days.

The study was undertaken by studying German fans during the 2006 World Cup Final.

Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, the researcher said: "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 shoot-out."

I think that anyone with more than a passing interest in the beautiful game will readily understand the emotional strains before and during a match. The highs and lows of the emotional rollercoaster. The actual sense of physical pain when you team of choice concedes the clinching goal in 90+4. The utter elation at an unexpected victory. The sense of anticipation on awaking on a match day and the slow build of excitement and anxiety throughout the day as kick off approaches.

I suspect that some of you who may have noticed my particular allegiance will understand the extreme disappointment caused by Arsenal’s rather humiliating defeat at the hands (or feet) of Tottenham Hotspur in the recent semi-final of the League Cup (or what ever they are calling it this week). The gloating of all of the tiny totts who still maintain that they support a ‘big’ club was particularly annoying.

However there is hope.

Tottenham (which spell checks as ‘misbegotten’ :-) ) will now meet Chelsea in the League Cup final on the 24th February.

As a ‘neutral’ I sincerely wish for a barnstormer of a game. 4-4 after normal time, 2 goals a piece in extra time and one of those penalty shootouts that cycles through the entire team with everyone, including the goalkeepers, taking shots.

As the German study makes clear the eventual outcome isn’t the main issue. But from the comfort of my bar stool I will be watching the televised crowd shots with interest.


Mousie said...

If I may be so bold... could it be, perhaps, that there is a correlation between these heart attacks on match days and the increased pie / burger / beer consumption at that time?



jmb said...

That sounds like the perfect game to me. Nothing more exciting than games which end in penalty shots, provided it wasn't nil nil in normal time and extra time.
Unfortunately such a game could be responsible for quite a few heart attacks on the day as the tension mounts.

Liz said...

They won yesterday! And according to younger son, the game against Tottenham didn't count because they were saving themselves for more important things.

I don't think it needed a research programme to tell me that my heart was veering dangerously between high and low points during yesterday's 6 nations' game against England.