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                      TIGER SOFTWARE www.tigersoft.com 
             

     FOOTBALL 
              MALE TESTOSTERONE,  "IDENTIFICATION",
                   SPLENDID ATHLETICISM AND
                        THE KEY ROLE THAT OFFICIATING PLAYS.

             
   (2009)  William Schmidt, Ph.D. www.tigersoft.com

                                                                  8/20/2009

                                                   The Role of Testosterone

        Home team advantage, it turns out, in football and maybe in other sports may be due
        to the fact that scientists have discovered that football palyers paying before a home
        crown have a bigger rise of natural testosterone than when they play in front of strangers. 
        (Source. )  Winning the admiration and respect of ones acquaintances is more important
        than winning the same from strangers.   Could that be why I got my highest bowling score,
        225, playing before my girl friend and my brother? 


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        High levels of  testosterone, is. of course, linked to alpha male behavior, aggression,
        boisterousness and a  determination to dominate.  Did you know that it was also linked
        to success in short-term trading in the stock market!  More muscle mass does not help.
        But competitiveness, willingness to take risks, vigilance and quicker reactions do help
        a professional trader.  And these are attendant to high levels of  testosterone. ( Source.
        Before rushing to the doctor, you might want to know that elevated levels of testosterone
        can also increase kidney damage and worsen high blood pressure, even if one avoids
        unnecessary bar room brawls and road rage incidents.   ( Source. )

                                       The Psychology of "Identification"

        In college my Sophomore year, our team was not only undefeated, it was unscored upon.
        It had a virgin goal line for the first six games of the season.  On the seventh game,
        I recall having imvited my favorite girl friend to the game, hoping some of the team's
        proud exploits would make her think more of me.   In the third quarter,  our team was
        scored upon.  I actually cried!  What she must have thought about this display!  I had
        identified very closely to the team.    Soon I was to understand what had happened. 
        That semester I took a course in international relations.  I chose to write a term paper
        on the pschological roots of nationalism.   My professor even suggested some reading. 
        Extreme nationalism, aggression and an exclusivistic loyalty to the flag I discovered,
        and I got an A on the term paper, can occur when individuals, lacking in  personal
        self-esteem, sometimes because of poverty or unemployment, enlarge their egos by
        identifying with a social entity, like an imperial nation state or a college football team! 

                                              The Lessons of Football

    Football practice I remember for the muscle pains it brought each new season.   Football games
        I remeber for the tension before the snap of the ball, more than I remember for the blocking
        and tackling.  But there were two plays I repeat in my mind over and over.  Besides playing
        on the line for offense and defense, I   kicked extra points. Once we were comfortably ahead
        in the last quarter.  We had just scored a touchdown.  The center, quaterback - who normally
        held the ball when I kicked it - and  I devised a special play that the coach knew nothing about.
        The quarterback had always wanted to catch a pass in a game and I had always wanted to throw
        one.  So, instead of kicking a regular extra point, the football was to be centered over my head
        as extra point kicker, as if by mistake, and I would go back after the ball and then throw
        the ball  high in the air in the right flat, where the quarterback would be to catch the ball for
        the extra point.  Amazingly, it worked perfectly. How I wish I could have a video tape of that.

        In high school, before games, each of the players would put a dollar in a pot and write
        down what he thought would be the score of our game. Before one game,  I recalling
        picking our team to win 27-0.  I figured that I would miss one of the four extra point attempts. 
        Back then, the goal posts were placed much more closely together than now.  Sure enough,
        in the game when we were ahead 20-0, I kicked the ball but it hit one of the goal posts. But
        not to worry.  In the game's last few minutes,  we got another touchdown.  And I went back
        to kick the point after touchdown.  If I made the kick, I would win the pot, having picked exactly
        the final score,  27-0.  But I did not get a chance to kick it.  The ball was centered and place
        down perfectly.  But our left guard deliberately,  so he proudly explained afterwards, his man
        in so that he could block my kick.  You see, the guard had bet 26-0 and wanted to win the pot. 
        Years later he became the Vice-Mayor for Cincinnati. He certainly knew how to make deals
        with the opposition when he stood to gain.   .

         The last story is just that as defensive tackle I used to hold my hands together and then bring
         them up very quickly to blunt the block of the lineman I was playing against.  I used this
         technique well all season.  I employed it for six straight games without anyone ever
         complaining.  In the seventh game, the player opposite me complained and the official called
         a 15-year penalty on me.   The moral was that officiating is subjective and the fellow I played
         against was smart enough to tell the referee to watch my use of my hands.  Umpires have a
         lot of power.  This was a good preparation for life.  Life - like football when badly officated -
         is not fair.   We can sit back and watch the politicans and bankers take all our money or
         we can complain and try to get the officials to see things differently.  

         Here are two Blogs I wrote earlier about football.

 
9/15/2008   Pro Football's Dirty Little Secret.  Are AFC/NFL Pfficals on The Take. 
                     Two Truly Horrible Calls Give Denver Two Touchdowns and Cost The San Diego
                     Chargers A Certain Win.

 
 
1/16/2008   Antonio Comartie, Master at Open Field Running.