Up in Smoke: The Hand Off

By Vanessa Butler

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We know that Europeans are incredibly passionate about their soccer games, but we hadn’t realized it went this far. According to research conducted by Spanish and Dutch scientists, soccer fans get as excited watching a big game as they do when they’re having sex. The researchers tested 50 Spanish soccer fans’ testosterone and cortisol levels as they watched Spain beat the Netherlands for the 2010 World Cup. Sure enough, they went up.

Remarkably, the study found that the Spanish fans did not experience an additional surge of testosterone levels once their team had won. Apparently you feel surges of pleasure when you watch a sports game not because you’re excited about your team winning, but because your body is bracing for defeat. Whatever the case, we’re happy to hear that our brothers in Europe are finding a lot of pleasure in a couple of pints with friends, bleachers full of painted women and a good old soccer game.


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