First Down, Six Feet To Go


I can believe the study that found that a lot of men wait until after the football or baseball game broadcast is over before they go to the emergency rooom.

Actually, the study found a spike in ER visits by men immediately after televised sporting events, following a study that found a drop-off during those events.

The conclusion seems pretty obvious, though it is also possible that the spike is the result of game-related injuries like traffic accidents stemming from post-game celebrations, overeating that mimics heart attacks, or even heart attacks when your team, say, hypothetically, the Philadelphia Eagles, loses a huge lead to a hated rival, say the New York Giants.

The study findings could also be a manifestation of the denial factor. I personally once waited until the end of a TV show–American Idol, actually–before heading to the ER with what turned out to be a form of heart attack.

The tendency is to delay as long as possible the step that declares both to yourself and everyone else that something is seriously wrong. The mind is a powerful thing when engaged in convincing ourselves that pain is not as serious as we secretly know it probably is. It can be a fatal fear, of course.

Hey, we're only human. And my guess is that us macho men are more likely to delay throwing the switch on that big flashing neon sign that says: HELP!, anyway.

I talked to the PR person for the doctor who did the study. She said that there had been so much media interest in the story that they had to move up the embargo to this week.

It made me wonder whether it might boost coverage of Darfur or the Iraq war if we tied it to a funky poll.

By John Eggerton