Being a long standing Arsenal supporter I tend to get a bit twitchy come match days but hey so do thousands of other football fans, so what’s to worry about, certainly not a crisis you would think. But could those nerves be just the tip of an iceberg when it comes to what is really going on when watching our favorite teams when match day comes around?
“It’s only a game”, “It’s only a game” I kept repeating it with a smile on my face as I watched the scrambled goal from Man City go into the back of the net yesterday afternoon against my Arsenal. I was trying to bring a semblance of calmness to the way I watch matches now – and there are a couple of reasons.
Since I had a heart incident recently I have a heightened awareness of the tunings of my body and am more sensitive now to the level of exertion and pressure that my body is capable of. I can read the warning signs early.
Add to that the story I relate below you will understand why I am being more laid back about the outcome of a mere football match.
Let’s get this in perspective.
This is apparently what happened to a Manchester United fan (no, I’m not smirking!) when she sits in the stands at her beloved Old Trafford. The thing is she is not alone and this is probably very common.
Whenever Man U are playing their big rivals such as Arsenal, Chelsea or Man City she would begin to feel so ill that she wanted to leave her seat and get away from the ground. Although she also suffered from other symptoms such as chest pains, fatigue and sleepless nights on non match days they escalated when the referees whistle blew. Writing in the BMJ doctors from Trafford General Hospital stated that:
“The patient would experience episodes of anxiety, palpitations, panic, light-headedness and a sense of impending doom towards the end of high-profile matches.” and “We believe that our patient was having difficulty mounting an appropriate physiological cortisol response during the big games – we present this as the first description of Manchester United-induced Addisonian crisis.”
Apparently ‘Addison’s Disease’ can occur when there are problems with the adrenal gland, which in turn can interrupt the supply of hormones such as cortisol, normally released when the body is under stress and if left untreated it can prove to be fatal, but fortunately it can be successfully controlled.
There is a serious message here and although I am making it sound quite flippant if you do experience symptoms as described when watching your teams in whatever sport then do something about it.
Remember – “It is only a game”
What an evening – all agree that the quarter final of the UEFA Cup match between Arsenal and Liverpool was a humdinger. There is an added level of interest in our family as we all support different teams. And so it was that I sat watching the match with my son supporting Liverpool and me Arsenal.
The first leg held at Arsenals ground was a 1-1 draw and the second leg last night in Liverpool in front of their intimidating fanatical supporters.
The match had everything fantastic play at breathtaking speed, brilliant individual skills, end to end action, the lead changing hands, drama and a biased ref. Well ok my side lost and I am bound to seek solace. I was emotionally drained at the end. Arsenal were actually ahead and going through with only 7 minutes to play – so what went wrong. (more…)