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Michael Craig Miller, M.D., a fancy pants Harvard doctor and die hard Red Sox fan, no really, he’s a very healthy human being, it will not be easy for nature to off this guy, has some advice for this year’s World Series viewers on how to have a healthy baseball viewing experience.
A healthy baseball viewing experience? Pssh, yeah, that sounds fun. While I’m at it why don’t I eat a well done steak or a compete in a sober go-cart race? If you want to celebrate your sports with “health”, jog alongside a marathon and hand out power bars to the runners, you Prius owning nerds. When it comes to the Big Four American sports, the entire point of watching them is to celebrate the remarkable feats the human body is capable of, all while doing things to your body that will ensure it never even comes close to achieving the aforementioned remarkable feats.
So let’s take a look at the doctor’s advice, and then give far more realistic, and thus superior, advice on how to watch the Cardinals and Red Sox compete for the Commissioner’s Trophy.
Sleep: All seven games are scheduled to start around 8:00 pm Eastern Time. That could make for some late nights. If you have a chance to take a nap on game day, go ahead and do it.
For games 2 through 6 or 7 (I’m of the opinion this is going at least six), yes, you will need to nap, because you’ll be hungover as all balls, and more emotionally drained than a fat girl at the end of the The Notebook, or a stupid girl at the end of The Time Traveler’s Wife, your call. If you’re at work, sneak out to the bathroom and have a solid toilet snooze. Don’t bring your phone though, or you will be tempted to read every article you can about the series. This is your only time to recover before you once again drink a beer for every half inning, which you have to do, because every beer is a rally beer, and the loss will be on you and your liver if you don’t comply. If you’re a student, just skip class and sleep, then thank Jesus for your lifestyle, you spoiled shits.
As far as Game 1 is concerned, no, you do not get to nap. What you need to do instead is start drinking around 3 or 4pm (why aren’t you drinking!?!?!), depending on your time zone, in preparation for the start of one of America’s great sporting events.
Exercise: Physical activity—and I’m not talking about adjusting the La-Z-Boy or opening a bottle of beer—is a good way to get rid of pre-game jitters. A 20- or 30-minute walk, run, swim, or whatever can help you relax. It’s also good for blood pressure, which can climb high during a stressful game.
Essentially, this is about stress relief. Instead of hitting the trail after a close loss, to have a jog and blow off some steam like a yuppie vegan, break some shit. Preferably something that isn’t easy to break, so that you get a good workout. Also, use a baseball bat, because, you know, baseball. If your team is victorious, but you’re still feeling the jitters of a back and forth contest, I recommend either masturbating or hooking up, depending on availability. It shouldn’t be hard for anyone to cum after a win though, both fanbases are in a perpetual circle jerk anyway.
May I also recommend you take up smoking? Great stress reliever.
Food: The gluttony of Super Bowl Sunday is almost acceptable because it’s a one-day feast. But doing that night after night can give you heartburn and affect your weight. If you routinely snack while watching baseball, try some healthier alternatives to chips and sour-cream dip. Examples include whole-wheat crackers and hummus or guacamole, dried fruits and nuts, or celery and carrot sticks.
Celery and carrot sticks? Hummus? I’m sorry, weren’t the Dodgers eliminated? Deport this man. I bet Dr. Miller is the type of guy to show up to his kids’ games with orange slices and water for the post-game snack. Why is no youth sports father ever beaten to death over that? The only time you should even touch celery during the World Series is when you pick it up off your Buffalo wings plate and throw it in the trash with profound disgust.
Your World Series diet should include as much chili as possible, as it not only makes a great cold weather snack, but also goes on both nachos and hot dogs. In fact, you should be dipping your hot dog in your nachos. Aside from that, have as many cheese and sour cream based dips as possible. Personally, I prefer to eat a gallon of Buffalo chicken dip (with ample amounts of bleu cheese) whenever my team has a big game. An assortment of sausages and bratwursts is also appreciated, because America. Basically anything less than a cheese and meat tray may as well be a salad. Put out hummus for the women, I suppose, though St. Louis and Boston women aren’t exactly the dainty types. Hell, if you show up to a watch party with hummus they’ll probably call you a pussy or a quee-ah, respectively.
Alcohol: If you drink, keep it moderate. Being sleep deprived and hung over for up to nine days isn’t good for your health, and certainly won’t endear you to your family members or coworkers (although some of them may be in the same boat).
You lost me at “moderate”. If this country hasn’t run out of Busch and Sam Adams by the end of this series these two cities will have failed America.
Emotions: Some people can watch a World Series game dispassionately. I’m not one of them. As a Red Sox fan, my mood goes up and down with the team’s success. The anxiety that fans like me have is actually rooted in evolution. The human body reacts to a threat—physical or emotional—with the “fight or flight” response. The adrenal glands pump the hormone epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) into the bloodstream. It causes the heart to beat faster than normal. Blood pressure rises. Extra oxygen is sent to the brain, increasing alertness. Sight, hearing, and other senses become sharper. Blood sugar (glucose) and fats are released into the bloodstream from storage sites in the body.
That makes sense when the threat is short-lived. But when it lasts for several hours, or several days, this stress response can be harmful. If you find yourself getting stressed, breathing deeply and slowly for a minute or two while saying a relaxing word like “win” can help.
Who knows why we get so caught up in our teams’ fortunes? Evolutionary biologists would tell us that the impulse to identify strongly with a group evolved because our survival depended on it. “Defend your tribe” has morphed into being true to your team. This can sometimes drive us to watch games anxiously, even angrily. Once you’re in that frame of mind, it’s hard to find the pleasure in it.
Each of these two teams have won two World Series titles in the last decade alone. They are second and tied-third all time on the World Series wins list. Each could make a “dynasty” case if they win a third this year. Will emotions be running high? They fucking better be. What kind of ass just shrugs at their team being in the championship with so much on the line? The Red Sox could complete their curse turnaround, own third place on the titles list, and go from laughing stock to dynasty in nine years. Plus Bostonians will once again get to shout about how “Bawston is the fawking tits” compared the rest of the country, and the media will absolutely perpetuate that. Meanwhile, the Cardinals will have their fourth dynasty in the history of the franchise, and everyone from St. Louis will get to say, “See! Isn’t our city great?” Though, unfortunately, no one will believe them or care.
Use a stress ball if you need, though I’d recommend having another beer instead. Either way, let your emotions run wild and free, because somewhere a Cubs fan just died having never seen his or her team even play for a title.
[via Harvard Health Blog]