(Originally written October 6, 2013)
A new study in Psychological Science has found that “vicarious defeats experienced by fans when their favorite football team loses lead them to consume less healthy food.” In case you’re wondering why the average Buffalonian looks like an offensive lineman, well, 13 years of vicarious defeats will do that to you–not to mention those four straight Super Bowls. As per the study’s abstract, “These effects are greater in cities with the most committed fans, when the opponents are more evenly matched, and when the defeats are narrow.” Or in other words, Wide Right Into the Extra Large Pizza! 😉
On the flip side, the study’s author, Pierre Chadron, told NPR that “After a victory, people eat better,” to the tune of five-per-cent fewer calories and nine-per-cent less saturated fat. And hey, I kinda get that. After Super Bowl XL, my t-shirt size went up to an XL–from a medium–but lately, my weight has been headed in the opposite direction. As the Seahawks start the season 4-0 for the first time in franchise history, I’m having a hard time finding a pair of pants that fits me in my closet, cuz they’re all too big for me now.
The funny thing is that I actually used to eat more after a Seahawks win. Since most of their games kick off around 4:30 pm Eastern Time, and I don’t have a personal chef, there’s no way I’m making dinner until the final whistle blows–which means not consuming a full meal until 7:30 or so. When they won, I’d usually order take-out, but being that I’m no longer next door to Burrito Bandidos and their mouthwatering halibut on white with everything, I’ve had to put a stop to that tradition. It also doesn’t hurt that the Hawks have only had one 4:25 kickoff thus far this season…
But on the other hand, my calorific intake during games is directly related to negative performance. Simply put, whenever the Seahawks surrender a touchdown, I crack open a beer. During a losing season, I’d go through a sixer a game, but lately, the stout SeaFence has me almost stone-cold sober at the end of each contest. Which certainly does wonders for my calorie count–not that I’m counting, anyways.
Granted, my calorie count isn’t strictly tied to Seattle’s early success this season. Since moving to my new apartment in April, I’ve actually started using the exercise room, and I also walk to work now. My diet, on the other hand, remains more-or-less unchanged. That being said, if Seattle goes to 5-0 this afternoon, I am so eating a queeno tomorrow!
UPDATE: And if the Hawks beat Carolina today, you might as well back that quinoa truck up in front of my driveway, cuz I’ll be going vegan all the way to the Super Bowl!