It’s Just a Game? Can becoming overly engaged in watching a sports game affect your health?

‘Animal Crossing’ Product Review
Men Don’t Cry? A closer look into mental health

It’s Just a Game? Can becoming overly engaged in watching a sports game affect your health?

Game day snacks to your left and right? Check. Closest buds flooding into your man cave? Check. Lay-Z-Boy chair vacant, awaiting your arrival, wide screen TV powered on, all that is needed is you. These are some of the steps a man may take to get ready to watch “the big game,” may it be soccer, baseball, basketball, or football. It is quite a familiar story, getting ready to watch the big game, hyped up to see your team give it their all and be victorious, and at the end, march around proudly, telling your friends and family, “I told you so!” Being able to gloat and brag that your team was victorious can be a wonderful feeling, but what if your team lost? There are some people that are self-proclaimed “sore losers” and may see this loss as more than just a missed opportunity; it’s deeper than that. 

It’s ok to have a favorite sports team and even better if you say that you’re that team’s number one fan, but as a number one fan, will you support the team even if they are having a pretty bad season? In an article, provided by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, he discusses how some people will go above and beyond when it concerns supporting the team they love. A man by the name of Ryan Arledge just so happens to be one of those fans that fits the “die-hard fan” description. Some of the “number 1 fan” practices that Arledge involves himself in include: naming his pet after one of the team’s players and even getting married in the team’s colors. When Arledge’s team doesn’t win a game, he displays feelings of depression. He has stated that “The worst feeling in the world is when they play really bad,” After replaying the game in his head and listening to the post-game analysis on the radio, “my head’s just pounding.” 

Does Arledge’s behavior sound like something you have experienced, or even seen displayed in other people you may know? As seen in many studies, a social worker by the name of Ken Yeager, who specializes in what is known as “psychological trauma,” the symptoms Arledge displays when his team loses or performs badly “go all the way back to the fight-or-flight survival mechanism. Testosterone levels will drop if the team does badly, and stress hormones like cortisol will go up.” 

Now you may think watching a sporting event is all fun and games, but there are a few key details you may want to pay attention to before you begin to stress out over a team losing. According to Yeager, “If you begin to feel your heart begin to palpitate, you begin to sweat a little bit, you feel your breaths are shallow and racing, you’re getting a little too far into the game and a little too far away from the pleasure.” 

With this in mind, Yeager has listed a few steps and advice for the next time you want to enjoy a game and not put your health at risk. 

  1. Don’t overdrink/drink too much. 
  1. Don’t make a bet on the game. 
  1. Workout before the game to help lower stress levels. 
  1. Watch the game with fans that don’t typically overreact. 
  1. If you notice the game is going poorly, lower the volume on the television. Reduced volume will help decrease levels of agitation.   

Article submitted by Sade Bolling.

%d bloggers like this: