WARNING! WARNING! ::NERD ALERT!::
Consider yourself warned.
Many of y'all know that I'm a little odd. Sometimes I've even come right out and warned someone that I'm terribly strange inside my head, but I just do a good job of not acting so in public. So, in case you haven't been told by me personally, here it is: I'm weird.
Now, on to our experiment.
If you're a living, breathing American, you are likely aware that we are officially in the midst of football season. Most people you run into have a team who they will root for and defend with a ferocity that surpasses their love for their own children. They'll talk smack about their arch rival. They'll spout off numbers and statistics to make themselves feel and/or sound important. (Newsflash to you males: we girls have NO idea what you're talking about and we don't care how many rushing yards So-And-So had this season vs. last season.)
Anyway, back to the experiment.
As I said, most people have a favorite team. And here's what I'd like to do: I'd like to take one of these rabid, hopelessly-devoted-to-(insert university here) fans and hook them up to sensors. Like the kind they use in the hospital to monitor your heart rate and the little things they stick on your head to see if your "pleasure centers" in your brain are being activated. Now, turn on your favorite team. It's sure to be a great game. Your Team is playing University of Somewhere. You get in your chair, while hooked up to all the sensors and electrodes, and you drink your beer and munch your chips and give your team 110% of your utmost devotion. Your team wins and you jump around with your buddies, slapping high fives as a means of expressing your jubilation at the 48-0 victory.
Now we have baseline readings.
Next week, you are asked to root for That Other Team. *gasp* How dare you ask me to do such a horrific task!!! No, no. It's all in the interest of science and progressing the medical field.
You sit in the same place you sat while cheering for Your Team. You are asked to cheer for That Other Team with the same amount of gusto and vigor and enthusiasm as you'd use for Your Team. Here's where the experiment would get interesting, in my opinion. Could you trick your brain into tapping into those same "pleasure centers" as they're used when cheering for your own team? Would your cardiac response be the same?
The following week, you're asked to submit to the testing once more. However, this week, you're asked to watch two teams who you have no emotional ties to whatsoever. They'd likely be out-of-conference teams without huge stats or heavy media coverage. This time, you're asked to pick whichever team you'd like to cheer for and are again asked to cheer for them with that same enthusiasm. This time, your team loses. What's the neurological response? What's the cardiac response?
I shared this with a friend the other day and she said it'd be unlikely that we'd find anyone willing to betray their own team at this time of year. She's probably right, but I still think it'd be interesting to see how my little "experiment" would work out.
It's all in the interest of science, right? Hey, maybe they should hook me up to those sensors and see if they can pinpoint what makes me such a weirdo. ; )