A recent study suggests the excitement of watching your favourite hockey team, whether live or on tv, can have a profound effect on the cardiovascular system, in some cases even doubling the heart rate. The Montreal study monitored the heart rates of Canadiens fans during games and found that those watching on tv had an average increase of 75% while those attending live games saw an average spike in their heartbeats of 110%. Accordingly, the study’s senior investigator, a cardiologist, says results have important public health implications because they show viewing a hockey game can be the source of intense emotional stress and carry the potential to trigger cardiovascular events in susceptible individuals.
I thought about my own situation when it comes to watching NHL hockey on tv. To be honest, I used to get really emotional, especially during the playoffs, when I was younger. Maybe it’s because we tend to be more emotional overall when we are young or maybe it’s partly to do with the fact that I played the game back in the day. I do know that now that I’m more “mature”, while still a “fan” of the game, I’m no longer as “fan-atic” about it, especially watching it on tv. Hockey is better experienced live at the rink, like Blades WHL games. Besides, I’m a Habs fan and as we started this season last week, while the tv cable listings had the opening Montreal-Buffalo game on TSN 2, when I tuned in it said the game wasn’t available in this area. That’s a rip-off if you’re paying for all 5 TSN channels. Not everyone in Saskatchewan cares about the Oilers or Flames compared to the Canadiens or Leafs. But obviously the network doesn’t give a hoot.