Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday Without Steelers

This is going to be hard. It's 12:46 pm. The Steelers are in the playoffs and playing against the Broncos. It should be an easy win. And I don't have a plan yet. I've got to figure out what to do instead of watching the game. Museum? Movie? Read a book? Nothing sounds too appealing right now. I might have to fall back on that old Sunday favorite: a nap.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Your brain on sports

From Grantland, the sports web site, here's a link to a story that tries to explain the brain science behind our addiction to sports:
"If you were watching World Series Game 6 when David Freese hit his game-saving two-run triple on a 3-2 pitch in the bottom of the ninth, you may have jumped out of your seat, sloshed beer down your chest, and spewed half-chewed nachos toward the screen. But unbeknownst to you, as the beer fizzed, your brain leapt up, stretched your left arm nearly out of its socket trying to close the air between ball and glove ..."

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Do domestic abuse calls go up after big football games?

That was a question that came up in an interesting conversation I had with my office neighbor, Sue Goetinck. Sue is the science writer at The Dallas Morning News. She said that she remembers another science writer years ago writing a story about the increase of domestic violence calls after the Cowboys lost. Or, more generally, after any big home-team loss. That got us talking about the science behind watching sports. Sue remembers seeing a science show, maybe Nova, that addressed this very issue. The conclusion was that there is a scientific basis for why men are more interested in watching sports games than women. She thinks it has something to do with the mirror neurons in a man's brain. Maybe that explains why the WNBA has never really taken off -- because women don't really like to watch sports (generally speaking) as much as men do. This may also explain why video gamers are predominantly male. Food for thought, and I think I'm going to explore this further.