A just-released study revealed there is a direct link between an NFL fan’s saturated fat consumption and his team’s performance on the field. So, if you’re a long-suffering Jets fan, I’ll bet you pack on a solid 50 or so pounds each, and every, Fall. Conversely, if say, you’ve been a Steel Curtain fan (prior to this season, of course), odds are good you’re sipping on a smoothie and stomping around like a younger version of Mick Jagger.
The research draws a direct connection (a perfect spiral, if you will) to fans of losing teams eating such saturated fat dreck as McDonald’s after a loss while their winning opponents opt towards healthy food.
The feeding frenzy occurs because comfort foods (i.e. pizza, cheeseburgers, french fries and their ilk soothe a body) are the nutritional equivalent of a couch, a shawl and a warm fireplace. The only thing missing is a hologram of the fan’s mom, stroking the man’s neck and whispering, ‘There, there, little Eddie. Things will be just fine. You still have the business. Forget about the Steelers.”
The survey stats are sobering. Saturated fat consumption decreases by 16 percent after a victory (because the fans are happy and want to eat right). Conversely, the devastated fans of a losing team will increase their intake of saturated fat by 28 percent after a loss! Holy cheeseburger deluxe, Batman. That’s huge! Literally.
Pierre Chandon, an INSEAD professor and co-author of the research, says the link between diet and NFL team won-lost records is particularly prevalent in cities whose teams have the most devoted fans. And, says Chandon, Pittsburgh has the most ardent fan base. So, after an 0-2 start by the Steelers this season, it stands to reason that the cash registers at McDonald’s must be
lighting up like a Roman Candle on the Fourth of July.
I find this trend fascinating and, were I contemplating the purchase of a McDonald’s or Burger King franchise, I’d plant it not in Pittsburgh (which has a long record of success) but rather in Cleveland, Cincinnati or right outside the Jets’ Florham Park, NJ headquarters. The Browns have never appeared in a Super Bowl game, the Bengals have never won one and the Jets have been a disgrace since winning Super Bowl III on January 12, 1969. I’ve gotta believe those three areas would form the evil axis of poor nutrition.
These documented trends actually present an ethical dilemma to the owners of consistently poor-performing NFL franchises: Should they issue public service announcements at halftime: “Ladies and gentlemen, with the Jets trailing by 10 points and Tom Brady absolutely shredding our secondary, team management suggests you select your post-game meal in a responsible manner. Gang Green dieticians will be positioned at every exit ramp midway through the third quarter (which is when the Patriots should be applying the coup de graces). We do hope you speak to our trained nutritionists and begin eating in a more responsible way. The Jets team and management would like to have you here to witness many more losing seasons in the years to come.”
And a tip o’ Repman’s climbing helmet to Tommy Joseph Powers, Jr., for suggesting this post.