Drop the gloves

For the next few weeks (and hopefully into June), we here at The Durango Telegraph are fully prepared to oscillate in a moment’s notice between a state of terror and ecstasy, rapture and despair, loathing and jubilation.

What, you ask, could possibly drive us into such madness? Especially when the 2024 Presidential Election is still (thankfully) so far off?

What else? The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Oh yes, while your two Telegraph faithfuls don’t root for the same team (one for the Avs, the other for the Rangers), both teams are in the playoffs, and we’re ready to experience prolonged hell. And, it’s not just us; we now have scientific evidence of our anguish. Well, technically it’s a clever ad campaign, but still.

Bayer Aspirin, a German pharma company, is trying to raise awareness around the stress of watching your favorite team and the risk it poses to your heart health. According to Bayer, stress – like the heart-pounding moments fans may experience when watching their favorite teams play – increases cardiovascular risk. In fact, Bayer says heart attack risk can more than double when your team’s on.

“It doesn’t matter what sport, league, or team you cheer for – every fan has experienced heart-pounding moments when watching their team play,” Kelly Fanning, General Manager at Bayer, said in a press release. “While that feeling may seem trivial, the stress that comes from those heart-pounding moments, along with other risk factors, may increase your cardiovascular risk.”

At first, we kinda thought this was a joke, but then found many of these claims are backed up by the American Heart Association. A 2009 study found death rates in Los Angeles from heart attacks and ischemic heart disease increased in 1980 after the Rams lost a championship playoff game. And in the 1984 Super Bowl, a Raiders victory was associated with a decline in death rates from any cause. (Does it count that I die a little on the inside every time I watch the New York Jets play?)

The ultimate goal of Bayer’s campaign, however, is to encourage people to get screened for cardiovascular disease, so who can argue with that? Plus, it seems better than our stress management plan of taking a shot every time there’s a commercial break.

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