the late 19th century, Sigmund Freud started modern psychology after
hypnotizing women who suffered fainting spells. After reliving and
confronting childhood traumas, the women could recognize their own
demons and stay conscious. That was the theory. "Id" and "ego" and
"superego" came later, Freud's attempts to make order of seemingly
irrational behavior. Of course, now we realize the women's corsets
were simply too tight. A little more oxygen can do wonders for a
person's ability to stand upright.
the National Mental Health Association has a much more scientific
explanation for why people are depressed in December and January.
"Seasonal affective disorder" afflicts many. According to NMHA,
1. regularly occurring symptoms of depression
(excessive eating and sleeping, weight gain) during the fall
or winter months.
2. full remission from depression in the spring
and summer months.
3. symptoms have occurred in the past two years,
with no nonseasonal depression episodes.
4. seasonal episodes substantially outnumber
nonseasonal depression episodes.
5. a craving for sugary and/or starchy foods.
webmistress/alphageek for this site, Kelli McBride, first recognized
the obvious connection. Those are all the same symptoms baseball
fans suffer through the long off-season. The solution, of course,
is to figuratively loosen people's corsets again. Bring on baseball.
as she has noted in the margins of other essays on this website,
has a much more serious disorder, Cubness, but her experiences serve
as well as any to describe this newly recognized affliction, off-seasonal
1. Most baseball fans eat too much during the
off-season, particularly during the early stages of the affliction
in November and December. The eating typically peaks four to
five weeks after the last game of the World Series.
2. Most baseball fans post a full recovery from
depression every spring.
3. Baseball fans have these symptoms every year
-- reaching back well into previous generations. The growing
popularity of televised basketball and hockey, and the recent
development of football as a winter sport, instead of relieving
the symptoms of off-seasonal affective disorder, only serve
to remind baseball fans of the fun they are not having.
4. Fans of teams in contention, and usually
Cubs fans too, look forward to every game. **
5. A ball park hot dog and a Coke sound good.
Whitman said, "Baseball will take our people out-of-doors, fill
them with oxygen, give them a larger physical stoicism." The man
should have been a doctor -- and I should be baseball commissioner.
Cox, Feb. 13, 2006
here. I would like to clarify that Cubs fans do not usually look
forward to every game. We in fact DO look forward to every game.
We are not weak-kneed, fair-weather fans who need an excuse to enjoy
the excellent sport of baseball. We love it no matter how well,
or how poorly, our team is playing.