This really gives a new meaning to the phrase “diehard fan.”
One Harvard medical professional, Dr. Michael Craig Miller, has put together a list of suggestions and activities any fan can do to lower the stress that no doubt accompanies Red Sox postseason games, especially with their series with the Cardinals now tied 1-1.
“All seven games are scheduled to start around 8 p.m. Eastern Time,” Dr. Miller writes. “That could make for some late nights. If you have a chance to take a nap on game day, go ahead and do it.
“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. Tap into your inner fantasy legend and stretch along with the Red Sox players on TV! 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.”
Miller also touched on the ritual of vicariously supporting the team by devouring a bag of Doritos.
“The gluttony of Super Bowl Sunday is almost acceptable because it’s a one-day feast,” he writes. “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. If you drink, keep it moderate.”
Miller goes on to caution fans against throwing all their hopes and dreams into the game on the field. As entertaining as they might be, they are only games.
“Evolutionary biologists would tell us that the impulse to identify strongly with a group evolved because our survival depended on it,” he writes. “‘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.”
After all this team has shown fans, it’s easy enough to forget about all the stress and just believe they’ll win.