Harvard Dems Chat with Senator Tim Wirth!
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Posted 9/27/09 by Eva Lam
So here’s the deal: Those of us from football-loving towns already understand that when your team loses, it messes up the whole rest of the day. Sunday afternoon becomes a bleak expanse stretching before you, holding only the certainty that you will have to contemplate your team’s ignominious defeat until you finally fall asleep. Monday morning brings little relief, save the small comfort of showing up to work or school and realizing that everyone else is still in the same funk over the same botched two-minute drill. Misery loves company, and there’s solidarity in suffering, and so forth. The catch is that when you’re relocated out east, out west, up north, down south, or – even worse – across oceans to some heathen country where “football” refers to a sport that doesn’t require you to have arms,1 it’s harder to find that solidarity. The upshot: we transplants have to find another way of ritually mourning our losses, and for me, that means making an excuse not to write Sunday Nights.
But lucky you – the Packers won today, so here’s a blog post!
First, my single favorite piece of academic literature ever: a 2003 letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrating that fatal traffic accidents increase immediately after the Super Bowl, and that the increase is much larger in the losing team’s state than the winning team’s state.2 Did you think I was kidding in that last paragraph? You were incorrect.
And speaking of health risks, here’s another important one. Apparently, a number of women in Sweden’s armed forces have lodged complaints about the quality of their army-issued bras. For one thing, the fasteners tend to come undone during exercise, producing this rich description from the Register:
…the problems have persisted for twenty years, with generations of young Swedish womens’ tophamper routinely breaking free of confinement to oscillate wildly during army PT sessions and field exercises – presumably often followed by impromptu stripteases as the more jubtabulously fortunate female troops sought to re-fasten their flimsy government lingerie.3
Even worse, the bras aren’t flame-resistant, meaning that any unlucky female conscript caught in a fire will actually emerge with her cheap Swedish military bra melted onto her skin.
On the other hand, bras aren’t all bad for your health. Last April, it seems, one woman in Detroit escaped serious injury in a gang-related shooting when a bullet bounced off the underwire of her bra. I could say a lot about this, but I will instead share my dad’s response: “The real Victoria’s Secret?”
Having ceded the floor to my dad’s email comments, I don’t think I can recover my momentum, so it’s football clip time. Today’s 36-17 stomping of the Rams yielded some great moments for the Packers, but my personal favorite is this one-handed catch by Donald Driver. Fabulous.
That’s all for this week’s Sunday Nights on the Lam. Good night, and remember – if you wear a bra, make it a flame-resistant bra!
1. At the risk of losing Wisconsin points, I will quote Mike Ditka, former Chicago Bears tight end and head coach: “If God had wanted man to play soccer, He wouldn’t have given us arms.”
2. Redelmeier, D.A., Stewart, C.L. (2003). Driving fatalities on Super Bowl Sunday. NEJM 348:368-369. Did you think I was kidding about that being a legit piece of research? Also incorrect. Look it up. IT HAS A GRAPH.
3. Which just goes to show you a lot about the wisdom of letting men write articles about bras. For a sample of Lewis Page’s other stellar reporting, see “Blind one-legged man wins arse-kicking contest” (The Register, September 25, 2009). For bonus points, see if you can decipher the meaning of the term “legless one-legged scuffler.”