Pharyngula

Dear Drew Brees,
As your fantasy football owner and a concerned fan, I respectfully request that you stop sucking. Your very manhood may depend on it. According to evolutionary psychologist David M, Buss, it is a well-documented phenomenon that testosterone levels in males fluctuate with the outcome of sporting events. Winners experience a boost of testosterone and mood while losers of athletic competition experience a decrease of testosterone. No wonder you feel like this:
i-0e6c9f1333a3fc84b23fd0376b5ed260-PH2007092502456.jpg

So you’re now 0-3, you threw about four too many interceptions Monday night, and let’s be honest. That fumble in the fourth quarter? You just dropped it didn’t you. It looks like you’ve had a lot of testosterone-dropping moments this season, and I have to warn you: If you continue on this painful trajectory, you could wake up one morning to find you’ve developed female secondary characteristics. You’ll never be able to enter a locker room again! Ok… I’m kidding about the breasts, but if you won’t step it up for you, do it for your fans. Studies show that male sports fans experience similar drops in testosterone after their team suffers a loss. Hasn’t New Orleans suffered enough loss in Hurricane Katrina? It’s time to play some really football.

Sincerely,
A Friend.

Comments

  1. #1 Brian English
    September 26, 2007

    I don’t think it’ll be a problem. Aren’t all american athletes juiced up on ‘roids? (ducks and hides for impending diatribes).

  2. #2 Martin Christensen
    September 26, 2007

    I’m with Ben D: in a true gentlemens’ sport, one must be prepared to lose a few teeth and break a few bones every once in a while. The Yankee girlies probably even use ball bunkers. :-)

    Martin

  3. #3 bernarda
    September 26, 2007

    Per the rugby comments above. Rugby players are on the field for eighty minutes, playing both offense and defense, unless substituted for. Let’s see an American football player do that. Being pumped up on steroids is not something is going to help in this case.

    http://www.rugbyworldcup.com/

    For more information and explanation of rugby “Why, oui je parle rugby(yes I speak rugby).

    http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/france_159/events_5487/rugby-world-cup-in-france-september-7-october-20-2007_5488/oui-je-parle-rugby_5683/why-oui-je-parle-rugby-yes-i-speak-rugby_9366.html

    Long link, so if it doesn’t work, just do a quick search.

  4. #4 Fernando Magyar
    September 26, 2007

    American football and Rugby??!! You guys call that sport?
    The only *TRUE* sport is Soccer. Try head balling a soccer ball into the net, sans helmet, you wusses.

  5. #5 Stephen
    September 26, 2007

    Hmm, this has brought the Brits out in force hasn’t it?

    Personally, as a Brit and a rugby fan, I think American football is the better sport. Immensely physical but also FAR more tactical (dare I say cerebral) than any other team game I know.

    Take the time to learn a bit about it before you dismiss it as a neutered form of rugby played by drones. That would be like saying rugby is a game for dull-witted toffs, traipsing around after a ball being kicked pointlessly backwards and forwards. Oh.

  6. #6 Randy
    September 26, 2007

    It’s probably because he doesn’t point up into the sky enough like all the great players do.

  7. #7 Ben D
    September 26, 2007

    In the spirit of research, I’ve been looking into some stats, and I can authoritatively state that rugby union, with a concussion incidence of 50% per season, is a better sport than American football, with a concussion incidence of 42% a season. Because we all know that head injuries are the true judge of a sport’s worth. Right?

  8. #8 Dan
    September 26, 2007

    Don’t take this the wrong way, but these student entries are seriously messing with my head. For a minute there, I thought PZ’s into fantasy football now?

    Don’t worry, Katie. This is a great snip of writing, and the thought of Drew Brees running around with floppy man-boobs cracked me up.

  9. #9 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    September 26, 2007

    Um Screwed that blockquote closing tag. My comments begin at

    Um….

  10. #10 David Marjanovi?, OM
    September 26, 2007

    If you continue on this painful trajectory, you could wake up one morning to find you’ve developed female secondary characteristics. You’ll never be able to enter a locker room again!

    Lack of male hormones alone doesn’t produce female secondary characteristics. For that you need estrogen and whatnot.

  11. #11 David Marjanovi?, OM
    September 26, 2007

    If you continue on this painful trajectory, you could wake up one morning to find you’ve developed female secondary characteristics. You’ll never be able to enter a locker room again!

    Lack of male hormones alone doesn’t produce female secondary characteristics. For that you need estrogen and whatnot.

  12. #12 Rex Grossman
    September 26, 2007

    Dear Drew – I don’t think you suck at all.

  13. #13 Heather
    September 26, 2007

    I am in the Biology Department at the University of Pittsburgh and I can assure you that football fanaticism can be a deeply ingrained part of science culture. Our most recent social hour was football themed. Perhaps this is true here because the Steelers have been doing so well and we crave the testosterone boost at this point like lab mice crave cocaine.
    I should start testing testosterone levels because there is a fraction of the department that still believes the Brown’s are going to come back on top. Wa ha ha.

  14. #14 Christian Burnham
    September 26, 2007

    Poor.

    Didn’t really capture the Phayngula demographic. No squids in football.

    Didn’t cite studies in which football supporters turn into girly men whenever their team loses. If you can’t find the references, then at least use more lurid examples with made-up error bars and sample sizes.

    Future student posters should look on this as an opportunity to publicly humiliate their professor with stories of his most embarrassing quirks. I want to know- does P.Z. pick his nose when he thinks no-one is looking? Does he name his Zebra fish after pop starlets? etc. etc.

    Again- when in doubt- make it up. We’re here to be entertained.

  15. #15 CalGeorge
    September 26, 2007

    Wooo! A Natalie Angier in the making!

    Could you also write a letter to the Pope explaining how god intoxication stupidifies?

  16. #16 Sven DiMilo
    September 26, 2007

    Hey, how ’bout those Mets?!

  17. #17 Trent Dilfer
    September 26, 2007

    Dear Drew,

    I think you’re doing just fine.

  18. #18 Willey
    September 26, 2007

    AHHH! Fantasy Football! Kill it kill it kill it! Not only do i have to hear this garbage all over my office, now it’s infiltrating every blog! Die!

  19. #19 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    September 26, 2007

    Wow, Pharyngula finally chose a subject I won’t touch with a ten foot pole.

    Oh, wait…

  20. #20 Chili Pepper
    September 26, 2007

    I never could stand team sports. The rules just seemed so pointless to me: “Why do you do it this way?” “Oh, well you see [long pointless recitation of rules]”

    As opposed to rock climbing: “Why do you do it this way?” “Because if you don’t, you will fall to your death.”

    (I think there’s a religion vs. science argument in there somewhere.)

  21. #21 Brownian
    September 26, 2007

    Ah, nothing says elevated intellectual discourse like the ol’ soccer vs. football debate.

    It’s just like being at the pub on a Saturday night just before the get-the-hell-out lights come on, but with less chance of me taking home that wacky artsy chick who becomes more exotic and intriguing with each shot of Jäger. (Okay, my chances weren’t much to begin with, but–hey! Don’t change the subject!)

    So, what tattoos are y’all going to get so we can tell which side you’re on?

  22. #22 Clare
    September 26, 2007

    I read Katie’s post as making fun of those “you’ll turn into a girl” jibes. So, no complaints about that, but a link to something by Buss would have been a good idea, because then it might provoked more discussion of the biological questions, as well (or instead of?) the “football sucks,” “no it doesn’t” comments.

  23. #23 rob
    September 26, 2007

    Was this mistakenly posted on the wrong blog?

    Ok, here’s how it is relevant to me.

    When I was a little kid, I thought I had to care about sports. Everyone else did. Although I couldn’t see the logic in caring who wins a game that TOTALLY DOESN’T AFFECT ME, I figured that since everyone else did, I should too. After all, I couldn’t be smarter than everyone else.

    Finally, I grew older and got some confidence in myself. I realized that giving a crap about teams that I don’t even know any of the players is just utter stupidity, and I didn’t have to do it just because everyone else does.

    Around the same time I applied the same thought process to religion.

  24. #24 Rey Fox
    September 26, 2007

    “So, what tattoos are y’all going to get so we can tell which side you’re on?”

    I’m going to shave my head and tattoo huge black pentagons on it.

  25. #25 American Scot
    September 26, 2007

    Maybe he and Rex Grossman can form a support group for shitty quarterbacks!

  26. #26 Brownian
    September 26, 2007

    Oh yeah.

    Awesome post, Katie!

  27. #27 Dustin
    September 26, 2007

    I don’t tink dat swimmin is like a sport or anyting like dat. Its an athletic competition, but it ain’t got no tradition or nuthin. And its like easy, and stuff.

    Famous last words of my High School Quarterback before he got in a pool to try to prove me wrong about swimming, and sank like a sweaty slab of meat.

  28. #28 Kseniya
    September 26, 2007

    It’s so nice to see Brady have a real receiving corps for once.

    Ohhhhh yeah. Being saddled with crappy receivers like Troy Brown and Deion Branch all those years really inhibited Brady’s ability to win. *cough*

    Seriously, though, you’re right. Having a world-class go-to guy is a new thing. (I wonder if the Pats team vibe will relieve Moss of some of his, ahh, baggage.)

    Hmmm. Maybe I’ll watch a game this year. :-)

  29. #29 Brownian
    September 26, 2007

    Well said, well said. I had the misfortune of having Phil Rivers and Kevin Curtis on my bench this week – surprisingly, I won anyway, raising my record to 1-2. But, speaking of Saints, it would be nice if Reggie Bush could do something besides get tackled in the backfield (the one-yard TDs were nice, but I’d like some yardage too).

    Ah well. As long as the Patriots continue to wreak unholy vengeance on the rest of the league for existing, I’m good. It’s so nice to see Brady have a real receiving corps for once.

    Ohhhhh yeah. Being saddled with crappy receivers like Troy Brown and Deion Branch all those years really inhibited Brady’s ability to win. *cough*

    Seriously, though, you’re right. Having a world-class go-to guy is a new thing. (I wonder if the Pats team vibe will relieve Moss of some of his, ahh, baggage.)

    Ah, I see. This is another post about glossolalia.

  30. #30 Fernando Magyar
    September 26, 2007

    Re #89 Brownian I don’t know where you live but for that comment alone I’d buy you another beer and a shot. To Katie and all the comenters, tks that was the most entertainment I’d had in a while. Oh and lest I forget, Harry Tuttle you are the only *TRUE* sportsman here. Ok, so my ancestry is Hungarian and I was born in Brazil maybe I’m guilty of a little cultural bias. LOL!

  31. #31 Bill Dauphin
    September 26, 2007

    Ohhhhh yeah. Being saddled with crappy receivers like Troy Brown and Deion Branch all those years really inhibited Brady’s ability to win.

    But he didn’t have Branch last year, and Brown, though a total stud (witness him stepping up to play defense a couple years ago when the DBs had been decimated by injury), is aging.

    And the upgrade to the receiving corps is not just Moss: There’s also Wes Welker and a new tight end (whose name escapes me at the moment). The results speak for themselves: It’s the first time (IIRC) a team has scored 38 points in each of its first three games since sometime in the 1960s. I don’t think the Pats will go undefeated — I don’t think that’s possible in today’s NFL — but I’ll bet they’ll be the last undefeated team to lose.

  32. #32 CJO
    September 26, 2007

    I never could stand team sports. The rules just seemed so pointless to me: “Why do you do it this way?” “Oh, well you see [long pointless recitation of rules]”

    As opposed to rock climbing: “Why do you do it this way?” “Because if you don’t, you will fall to your death.”
    The rules, say, of baseball, while in a sense arbitrary, are not pointless. In a way, they evolved along with strategy and tactics to become a game of almost unbelieveable precision. Look at a fast player like Ichiro digging out a bouncer. Look at how close every single call at first is when the ball is hit to the infield. Watch a really good middle infielder turn a double play, or a good catcher throw out a runner at second, and tell me the rules of baseball are pointless.

    Hmmm? Drew Brees? Fantasy football?
    *Clings to delusion that baseball season lasts forever*

  33. #33 garth
    September 26, 2007

    I LOVE guys who have to say “I just don’t find it interesting” or “They’re just thugs/monkeys/jerks/etc”. The jealousy just drips off ‘em. I mean, why comment otherwise? If it’s that boring and pointless then why even contribute? What are you adding? NOTHING! Nothing but maybe allowing you to say “See, in this small instance I am better than those ‘monkeys with a ball’ who intimidate me so very much.”
    In face-to-face conversation, saying, “Oh, I’m not interested in [whatever topic is brought up]” can serve a function. On a message board or comment thread, it’s masturbation.

  34. #34 David Marjanovi?
    September 26, 2007

    Still laughing about comment 50! :-D

    Duuuuhh yeah, dat’s like part uh da game. And da game’s ’bout tradition, and stuff. But, yeah, steroids are just part uh da game like dat. Dats important ’cause dat game’s ’bout competition, and tradition, and stuff. So steroids aren’t dat bad, ’cause dey’re ’bout competing, an tradition, and stuff. Yeah.

    What, do American Football players give intellectual speeches like this? That is way below, I mean, above the dignity of a football* player. There are whole books of famous football player quotes!

    “We must win. Everything else is primary.”
    — Lothar Matthäus

    * The game where you use a foot to kick a ball. Soccer. Why does anyone call American Football “football”?

    And there are quotes about football. Don’t misundreshtmate that sport.

    “By playing football you can rid yourself of a large part of the aggression that you build up by playing football.”
    — Ephraim Kishon

    (I think there’s a religion vs. science argument in there somewhere.)

    Of course. Where I come from, football is a religion.

  35. #35 David Marjanovi?
    September 26, 2007

    Still laughing about comment 50! :-D

    Duuuuhh yeah, dat’s like part uh da game. And da game’s ’bout tradition, and stuff. But, yeah, steroids are just part uh da game like dat. Dats important ’cause dat game’s ’bout competition, and tradition, and stuff. So steroids aren’t dat bad, ’cause dey’re ’bout competing, an tradition, and stuff. Yeah.

    What, do American Football players give intellectual speeches like this? That is way below, I mean, above the dignity of a football* player. There are whole books of famous football player quotes!

    “We must win. Everything else is primary.”
    — Lothar Matthäus

    * The game where you use a foot to kick a ball. Soccer. Why does anyone call American Football “football”?

    And there are quotes about football. Don’t misundreshtmate that sport.

    “By playing football you can rid yourself of a large part of the aggression that you build up by playing football.”
    — Ephraim Kishon

    (I think there’s a religion vs. science argument in there somewhere.)

    Of course. Where I come from, football is a religion.

  36. #36 Harry Tuttle
    September 26, 2007

    Hey Steve_C, NASCAR turns right sometimes, ever heard of road courses? Watkins Glenn ring a bell?

    NASCAR on road courses is a riot. Hey, who won at Infineon this year anyways? Why it was a rookie fresh from F1!

    F1?? F1?? Those girly euro-men don’t drive, they “paddle shift.” Heh. What kind of racing goes years (true statement) between bona fide passes for the lead on the track–I’ll tell you, F1!!

    Yep, paddle shifters. Because F1 isn’t still using 1940s technology. I mean… carberated pushrod V8s? On the “car of tommorrow”? WTF!?

    Seriously though, I’m not sure if F1’s tendancy to be a parade is any worse than NASCAR being meaningless until the last ten laps. Might as well throw the drivers’ names in a hat, pick the lineup at random and then run ‘em for 10 laps because passing isn’t worth a good goddamn until then. ‘Course F1 could usually just run qualifying and award race points for it because that’s all too often how they finish.

    F1 is getting better with the newly designed tracks like Turkey, China and their like becoming a bigger part of the schedule than the older European tracks that just aren’t wide enough to race modern F1 cars on. There’s even been some dogfighting up front this year.

    But if you want wheel-to-wheel road racing at its best go look at DTM racing or even Spec Miata/MX-5 Cup racing. Those dudes go at it hammer and tongs, passing, rubbing and wrecking from green flag to checkered.

  37. #37 Brownian
    September 26, 2007

    I never could stand team sports. The rules just seemed so pointless to me: “Why do you do it this way?” “Oh, well you see [long pointless recitation of rules]“

    CJO already responded to this regarding baseball, but there is a more general explanation: rules in sports evolve to prevent games from having foregone conclusions. In any competitive sport (and team sports especially), enterprising players will develop ‘trumping’ strategies that guarantee a win, or at least provide a significant edge. It is usually after these instances that rules get changed to either make such trumping strategies illegal or otherwise reduce or eliminate the edge provided by them. An example of such is the wooden backboard in basketball. Prior to the creation of the backboard, there was no backing whatsoever. Spectators sitting behind the baskets could reach out and tip the ball in or away from the basket to favour their preferred team. Wire meshes were then installed to prevent such interference, but the meshes became dented, and home teams would exploit their knowledge of the dents to sink more baskets. Finally, wooden backboards which did not favour either team due to their uniformity were developed, and remain to this day.

  38. #38 Brownian
    September 26, 2007

    Ah, Heddle, I recall reading about the ‘Great Potato Play’ some time ago, and I’m glad you reminded me.

    A classic to be sure.

  39. #39 Vitis01
    September 26, 2007

    I have recently thought that it would be a great idea to create a law that made it so if voter turn out was below 80% (or something) that all major league sports would be canceled until the next election.

  40. #40 Moses
    September 26, 2007

    NASCAR? F1? Not for me. Superbikes is where it’s at for me. 215mph+ suicide machines, wild courses, serious tactics, multiple passes and lead swaps (sometimes in the same corner) and all by guys who weigh 135lbs wearing minimal protection where a single mistake can mean death-by-cheese-grater.

  41. #41 Brownian
    September 26, 2007

    while listening to ol’ Rush on the radio, I suppose

    Epikt, I hope you’re referring to Rush the Drug Addict and not the Canadian prog rock band fronted by Geddy Lee.

    Because the band Rush wrote a song about an airport. And that’s cooler than anything the OxyContin Asshole ever did.

  42. #42 heddle
    September 26, 2007

    Passing in F1 is much more difficult because of the aerodynamic sophistication of the cars. The airflow off the back of an F1 car is pretty weird, and definitely screws up the aero downforce of anybody following closely.

    And this is considered a “plus” for F1 racing?

    Those “girly euro-men” are typically, and of necessity, in vastly better physical condition than your NASCAR heroes.

    That’s true. I am reminded of out of shape John Kruk (baseball) who was asked by a kid (I think): “What’s it like to be an athlete?” He responded with, “I’m not an athlete, I’m a ballplayer.”

  43. #43 Epikt
    September 26, 2007

    Posted by: Brownian

    Epikt, I hope you’re referring to Rush the Drug Addict and not the Canadian prog rock band fronted by Geddy Lee.

    Absolutely. But I wasn’t sure what the correct emoticon is for “drug-addled mutant.”

  44. #44 Brownian
    September 26, 2007

    Absolutely. But I wasn’t sure what the correct emoticon is for “drug-addled mutant.”

    Hmm. Something like this?

    $^P

    Needs more mutantness. How ’bout a pompadour with male-pattern balding, just like Rush?

    @$^P

    Looks like I’ve got the drug-addled mutant part down, but let’s make him angrier. He is the voice of conservative America doncha know, and they’re sick and tired and not gonna take it anymore.

    @>$^P

    Looking good, but still not specific enough. Let’s make sure the pilonidal cyst is represented, so no uncouth liberal mistakenly refers to him as a draft-dodger.

    @>$^P *

    There, a perfect likeness. Ooh, I can feel my leftist gonads shrinking at the site of such a decent (well, except for the drug addiction), hardworking (well, except for his flunking out of college), and honourable (well, except for the refusing to serve his country in its hour of need–oops, pilonidal cyst) man (as far as we know).

  45. #45 Micah
    September 26, 2007

    [blockquote]This sentence would be formatted in a blockquote if I had used angle brackets > around the tags instead of square brackets.[/blockquote]

    Much appreciated!

  46. #46 Sean
    September 26, 2007

    The same goes for fans. They can spend hours discussing the why’s and wherefore’s of decisions and tactics in a sporting event, but they are incapable of discussing anything about government economic policy or war policy or whatever policy

    Uh huh. Can your nose go in the air just a little bit more please? And get a wider paint brush. Perhaps a few sports fans out of the tens of millions in the United States alone were missed by that one. The cloud of smug coming from Clooney’s acceptance speech is nothing compared to the smug from the antisports folk.

    That is exactly what is mindless about it. Less than one percent of these players will ever have any use for what they learn in the play book.

    The rest are wasting their time when they could actually be studying something useful as well as interesting.

    Uh huh. In that case, I feel pity for you. A life of pure dedication where every aspect is devoted completely to the practical and useful. No time for entertainment, relaxation or simple pleasure. Well, thank you for sacrificing yourself to make the world a better place.

  47. #47 Kseniya
    September 26, 2007

    Right, Sean. Anyway, nothing’s quite THAT simple. Interest in sports may keep some guys on the couch all afternoon on Sunday, but it also gets a lot of kids out of the house and onto the playing field, and fosters a relationship with ones own body, a respect for physical fitness, and supplies a context in which people can pursue excellence through teamwork or through individual dedication, whether it’s in soccer, skiing, football, figure skating, rock climbing, curling – you name it.

    Also, at the risk of grossly oversimplifying, sports medicine is to orthopedics and physical conditioning as NASA is (or once was) to high tech.

    Bernarda’s not all wrong by any means, though. We’ve all known people who focus on sports to the exclusion of all else, and not in a completely healthy way. That’s not the fault of sport itself, however. Certainly the money paid to big-time pro athletes is rather obscene, but again that’s a failure of capitalism (or of human nature), not of sport itself.

    There are more important things – but there are more important things than music, too, yet while I wouldn’t want to live without it, I wouldn’t want to be blinded (or deafened) by it, either.

  48. #48 Kausik Datta
    September 26, 2007

    Soccer (though I prefer the term football, the ball game played with feet) is not comparable to either American football or rugby. Truly, soccer is unique; soccer is poetry in motion. Ah, to be able to control the movement of the ball without touching it with the hands; trapping a ball in flight with the torso, the thigh or the shin bone; sudden bursts of extreme speed, with equally sudden stoppage, all the while controlling the ball, keeping it away from the defenders, quickly scanning the field for friends or foes; an accurate pass to a fellow team-members, anticipating the direction and movement of the game; the sheer raw power of a side-tackle, and equally raw beauty of a swerve or a body-feint to avoid that tackle; and the final, overpowering ecstasy of putting the ball through to the relatively small area of the net, either with a cunning flick of the feet or a touch of the forehead, or with a straight shot exuding raw power; or an equally emotionally-stirring last-moment save by the goal-keeper demonstrating extreme athletic prowess as well as presence of mind… not to mention edge-of-seat excitement for the viewers every single minute of a grueling ninety minute game… each game a paean to stamina and endurance, speed, strength, and skill of the players…

    Hell, yeah, let me see any of those ‘manly’, ‘athletic’ American football players do that. Where is the beauty in a thick, heavyset guy – thickly padded or not, with or without a helmet – running in meandering directions clutching an oblong object, while being chased by several more of the same types, eventually only to be jumped upon and pommeled to the ground forming a heap? Where is the application of mind, the quick thinking, the strategy that evolves every minute, where is the skill, where is the athleticism (and I don’t mean that term in a WWF way…) in American football or rugby?

    Fernando Magyar and David Marjanovic, I salute you for taking the name of that ONE TRUE(TM) Spectator Sport, Soccer. Someone in the posts above tried to besmirch the name of soccer by mentioning British and German soccer hooligans. Those hooligans, sir, just demonstrate basic, lowly human nature; that is passion of the rabbles for you, incontinent of excitement, committing excesses that the society at large frowns upon – to them, soccer is a religion, and since when the religious have been rational (except Scott Hatfield)?

  49. #49 Ronnie Pudding
    September 26, 2007

    don’t play/understand fantasy football, but I think that Brees is being unduly ragged on here and not enough attention is being paid to the pathetic lack of protection he’s gotten from his O-line in the last three games. Not to mention New Orleans’ rather lackluster defensive play

    That doesn’t matter; O-linemen aren’t drafted in fantasy football.

    Play fantasy football and your perceptions of players will change greatly. Laurence Mauroney is a bum because hasn’t for being on a pass-happy offense (INTs don’t hurt you much, and wins don’t matter at all). Opinions of Reggie Bush vary greatly depending on whether you play in a PPR league or not.

  50. #50 Pablo
    September 26, 2007

    firemancarl

    Only really old Packer fans care much about Packer/Bears. Most Packer fans under 50 hate the Vikes much more.

    Bear fans like to think there is this big rivalry with the Pack, but that is wishful thinking.

    I asked my brother about this last year. He’s 50, and has been a Packer fan since he was probably 10 years old (aka Super Bowls 1 and 2). I asked, who do you hate more, Bears or Vikings? It wasn’t even close, he said. Vikes, by a long way.

    Yeah, the Packers/Bears go a long way back, but they’ve not been competitive against each other in a long time. When the Bears were good in the 80s, the Pack was way down so it wasn’t like they were in the way of anything.

  51. #51 justpaul
    September 26, 2007

    How about that great Olympic “sport” synchronized swimming?
    I’m waiting for the Olympics to sanction a sport I could participate in, that the US Marine Corps went to great lengths to teach me – synchronized walking (marching). If the first is a sport, why not the second?

  52. #52 Epikt
    September 26, 2007

    Posted by: Brownian

    Absolutely. But I wasn’t sure what the correct emoticon is for “drug-addled mutant.”

    Hmm. Something like this?

    @>$^P *

    There, a perfect likeness.

    Almost there. We just need to figure out how to animate it, so as to capture the flecks of foam around the corners of the mouth.

  53. #53 Christian
    September 27, 2007

    David Marjanovi?:

    Why does anyone call American Football “football”?

    Uhm… maybe because armpitball sounds kinda lame ;)

  54. #54 True Bob
    September 27, 2007

    As for Coulter, her alleged Adam’s Apple is easily explained:

    [Austin Powers]
    She’s a MAN, baby!
    [/Austin Powers]

  55. #55 Barn Owl
    September 27, 2007

    Hasn’t New Orleans suffered enough loss in Hurricane Katrina?

    In the world of medical school applications, Hurricane Katrina relief is the new Doctors Without Borders. Best not to raise the topic in an essay or interview, unless you have some concrete actions on your part to back it up. Most interviewers and admissions committee members are capable of checking the blogs and MySpace/Facebook pages, and of asking painfully direct questions about an applicant’s involvement in, and commitment to, activities mentioned in the application essays.

    Of course, there are plenty of medical schools that admit applicants almost exclusively on the basis of MCAT scores and undergrad grades, and that don’t seriously consider volunteer work and community engagement. Whichever your preference, Katie, best wishes for successful applications, and remember that admissions committees are not deliberately delaying decisions to torment applicants…rather, it’s a complicated process, and one that should be completed with care and effort.

  56. #56 Kseniya
    September 27, 2007

    LOL @ Bob    8-D

    (It’s like trying to stem the tide with a teacup…)

  57. #57 Rey Fox
    September 27, 2007

    “That is interesting, and explains rugby almost completely (heh) but unfortunately doesn’t give us much insight into the corresponding masculinization of females.”

    Well, masculinization hints at decreased fertility and baby-making and baby-rearing ability. It’s evolution, baby! ;)

  58. #58 Mr. Gunn
    September 27, 2007

    Wow, it took 166 comments until someone mentioned the real reason he’s not doing well. If he had the same protection that Peyton has for every pass, he’d do better. Hell, if I had that kind of protection, I could put up impressive stats. Did you see how skinny the whole O line looked against the defenders?

  59. #59 Bill Dauphin
    September 27, 2007

    Re graduation rates for athletes:

    It seems that it is better to be an athlete in Divisions II and III than in Division I.

    I don’t have any statistics on this, but decades of reading the sports pages suggests a few ideas:

    1. Division II and III athletes are FAR less likely to go on to professional sports. I don’t know if it’s true for lower-profile professional team sports (pro lacrosse, pro women’s softball, beach volleyball, etc.) or individual pro sports (golf, tennis, etc.), but the vast majority of college athletes who go on to professional football, basketball, baseball, hockey, or soccer come from Division I programs, not Division II or III. Of course, not all of those future pros leave school early, but some do, and where the overall roster size is small (e.g., basketball), even one or two can make a large difference on a percentage basis. And even among future pros who play out their full 4 years of eligibility, many may be so focused on their athletic endeavors that they do not graduate in that time. (Aside: Some might decry that situation, but I don’t. Those young people are quite appropriately focusing on the career of their choice, in just the same way that bio majors or future teachers are.)

    1a. One possible explanation of the higher graduation rates for female athletes is that they (sadly) have fewer opportunities than their male counterparts to pursue professional sports.

    2. No athletic scholarships in Division III. I don’t know whether there are athletic scholarships in Division II, but I’m guessing they’re less available/generous than in Division I. The logical conclusion is that fewer Division II and III athletes are in college primarily as athletes. (Again, I don’t think it’s a bad thing to be in college primarily as an athlete, any more than it would be a bad thing to be there primarily as a violin player or a short story writer.)

    I’d be curious to see statistics on graduation rates for students involved in intramural or club sports. I’ll bet they’re higher than the general population; I know it’s true that high school kids involved in extracurriculars — including sports — are more likely to stay in school and graduate.

  60. #60 Will Von Wizzlepig
    September 27, 2007

    Just thought I’d chime in…

    Grown-ups chasing after balls does not fall into any of these categories:

    biology

    evolution

    cephalopods

    Please don’t turn pharyngula into a bunch of people talking about what some overpaid ninny did or didn’t do.

    Please?

  61. #61 Rey Fox
    September 27, 2007

    “that I shall address thusly”

  62. #62 bernarda
    September 27, 2007

    Regardless of the disagreements on this thread, I must suppose Miss Katie is quite pleased with the enormous response.

    I say “bravo” to her.

  63. #63 Dave Godfrey
    September 27, 2007

    Ian-

    Tackles in Rugby League are from the chest down, as in Union you aren’t allowed to go for the head. I do take your point about forward passes affecting tackles too.

    As for not appreciating the stops between play, I guess that comes down to not having enough understanding of the tactical aspects of the game.

  64. #64 Barn Owl
    September 28, 2007

    Bill Dauphin @ #231-

    Barn Owl, are you suggesting that med schools will search the “series of tubes” for any hint of insincerity or self-interest in an applicant’s past?

    No, I’m not saying that at all-you seem to be taking my post to an illogical extreme. I thought I was pretty clear about indicating that my little cautionary tale example was a contrived one. But a search of Teh Interwebz is likely to occur if there are inconsistencies in an application, or if the essays or interviews raise red flags of some variety (the applicant constantly refers to self or seems arrogant, the hours devoted to different activities seem exaggerated, the applicant can’t answer questions about claimed activities and interests, etc.). It’s not common, but it happens.

    If a medical school applicant claims to have a desire to work with indigent populations in developing countries, or to work in an underserved community, or to devote her or his career to helping others, then I expect her or him to prove it. If the applicant uses the Hurricane Katrina debacle as an example of healthcare disparities and the need for improved disaster responses, then I’d hope that she or he had contributed in some meaningful way to post-Katrina relief projects. Did you provide first aid and comfort at one of the evacuation sites? Did you help clean or rebuild houses in flooded sections of New Orleans or the Gulf Coast? Did you collect or deliver necessities to Katrina survivors, train or handle cadaver dogs to find victims, help separated family members find their loved ones? Tell me about it then…I’m genuinely interested, because if you’re a good medical school candidate and promising future physician, then you’re so much more than your application, grades, and MCAT. Being less than your application is definitely a red flag, of course.

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