Why They Shouldn’t Let Doctors Talk About Sports

A Massachusetts Fox TV station had a cardiologist named Dr. Shukri David on during its newscast this morning, the New England Sports Network reports online.

David was invited on to talk about healthy eating while watching the Super Bowl. (Or, as I’m told Stephen Colbert puts it, attending a Superb Owl party.)

The host probably wishes she had left it at that, because when she asked Dr. David to predict a winner of the big game, he confidently responded that he’s a Brady fan, “So go Patriots!”

The online account refers to David’s comment as “awkward,” but when I watched it, it’s the host who seemed to be in an awkward fix. She tried to give him a chance to back out gracefully, but he wouldn’t take the hint. (See for yourself here.)

Even I know that it’s the Denver Broncos, not the Patriots, who will be playing the Vikings on Sunday.

What this illustrates is that every news beat tends to be shaped by the Super Bowl as the event approaches. My email box has filled up in the past week with various suggested health and science angles from public relations types eager to get their people in print.

One of the most active is the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, which offers a mental health expert to talk about “the people who are so emotionally connected to their team that they can be obnoxious when the team wins, and unbearable when they lose.”

Another publicist from the same Wexner Medical Center offers the head of its voice clinic to analyze a problem that Vikings’ fans haven’t had for quite a while.

“Doctors say thousands of fans injure their vocal cords from cheering too loudly, and this year the cold weather could make matters much worse,” the email announces.

(Among expert suggestions: Warm up your vocal cords just as a singer would; avoid alcoholic beverages.)

Given that the temperature in New Jersey is predicted to be in the upper 40s, at least at the start of the game, the weather may not be cold enough to make matters too much worse.

Finally, there’s the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, where mathematics professor Roger Johnson has devised a mathematical formula for predicting the outcome of football games.

Johnson, a Vikings loyalist, claims to be right 63 percent of the time in the regular season and 80 percent of the time in the playoffs.

His conclusion: Seattle is 0.2 points better than Denver.

So Seahawk fans can look forward to cheering their team on to that 30 to 29.8 victory.

You can reach John Lundy, who will be watching “Downton Abbey” on Sunday evening, at jlundy@duluthnews.com.




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