Tag Archives: Aaron Rodgers

Seasonal Affective Disorder

barrow-alaskaYes, S.A.D.  Before you start thinking I’m making this up, it seems to be a bona fide medical disorder.  According to the Mayo Clinic, the condition begins and ends pretty much the same time every year, onset in the fall and goes well into the winter months.  This subset of major depression is so called because it’s seasonal.  Here are the symptoms, again directly from the pages of the Mayo Clinic:  “Symptoms specific to winter-onset SAD, sometimes called winter depression, may include:

  • Irritability,
  • Tiredness or low energy
  • Problems getting along with other people
  • Hypersensitivity to rejection
  • Heavy, ‘leaden’ feeling in the arms or legs
  • Oversleeping
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain”

Now, wait just a minute.  I have every one of these symptoms; in fact, I had an ice cream sandwich for breakfast.  Hey, it just sounded good.

And the prescribed treatment for this condition, twenty minutes twice a day in front of a light box.  So I immediately saw dollar signs, and started thinking up designs for light boxes in my head.

I saw myself in front of the sharks on “Shark Tank,” pitching my idea as a cure for SAD, asking for $150,000 for 8% of my new company, “SAD Bright.”  Maybe I can make an APP that is just a bright light, maybe soothing music, or even a bright video game.  I guess it has to be a bright light, so sitting in front of gigantic computer monitor for 20 minutes, twice a day, won’t work?  No, I didn’t see myself getting a deal with the sharks.  The daydream ends with me hearing Kevin say “You’re dead to me,” and walking away into the hallway where the camera records me shaking my head saying “They just didn’t get it.  This is a serious disease.”

Let’s look at the risk factors associated with this winter-onset, seasonal affective disorder:  Being female is one.  SAD is diagnosed in women more, but men have more-severe symptoms.  Younger people have a higher risk for winter SAD.  And, yes, it’s hereditary.  People with SAD are more likely to have family members that have it.

I remember watching an episode of “Northern Exposure,” one of my favorite shows in the 90s, where everybody walked around with headlamps during the dark winter months.  Bright lights, phototherapy.  In Barrow, Alaska the sun sets in November and doesn’t come up again for 65 days.  That would make me SAD.  I’m no longer a night person.  And yes, SAD is more prevalent in people who live far north or south of the equator.

So this got me thinking, are they’re more extramarital affairs, hanky-panky, goings-on, in the winter, because people are SAD?  Evidently not.  From the extensive research I conducted, (okay, I only checked the Zurin Institute website) it doesn’t seem to matter what time of year it is.  According to statistics, one in every 2.7 couples will be somehow affected by infidelity. 

Then that train of thought brought me to questioning birth rates?  Are more babies born in the Summer?  Yes.  In fact, from 1990 to 2006, more babies were born in August, with the exception of six years where July was the slim title-holder.  Counting back nine months we get November, December, exactly when the sun goes down in Barrow, Alaska, and people around the world start getting SAD.  Coincidence…of course it is, but I’ll bet I can make a case that during the winter months in most of the world, we hang out indoors more than we do outside.  The temperature drop outside, leads to things heating up indoors, thus more births occur in the summer.  And if I wanted to stretch the statistics further, I could come up with a correlation between winter-onset SAD and extramarital affairs. 

But there are two things I know for sure:  I’m not anywhere close to being a behavioral scientist, and light boxes won’t get a deal on “Shark Tank.”   


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Church of the NFL

It’s Super Bowl Sunday.  The biggest day of the year for football fans and particularly for those of us that are members of The Church of the NFL.  We go to church every Sunday during the football season.  No chores get done from August to mid-February on that day.  We don’t work on Sunday, we have “NFL Ticket” and we watch “The Red Zone”.  It’s all about chips and dip, hot wings, pizza, beer and jack and coke.  And before you pass judgement, I remind you, that going to church on Sunday doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.  But sitting on the couch all day Sunday watching football, makes you a football fan.

I’m rooting for the Green Bay Packers, because I hate the Pittsburgh Steelers.  It’s not very Christian to hate, but I think they’ve won enough Super Bowls over the last 45 years.  The Packers haven’t won one in a while, and Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback for the Pack, is making his first start in a Super Bowl.  The man who replaced the legend Brett Favre.  Hell, you can even bet on the number of times they will mention Brett Favre during the game.

Aaron was the 25th pick in the 2005 NFL draft.  In other words, he wasn’t highly touted as a successor to the great Brett Favre.  He sat on the bench for three years, just like I did in high school, so I immediately relate to him.  Of course, I sat on the bench because I sucked, Aaron sat on the bench and learned.  Now, in three years, he has thrown for over 12,000 yards and took a team riddled with injuries all season, and the sixth (or last) seed in the NFL,  to the big game.  He deserves to win and I hope he wins the MVP.

I’m off to take a shower and get ready for church.  There are some preparations to be made.  No Super Bowl party.  No noisy sports bar.  I’m all about watching the game.  Living in a gambling town, I have money riding on the outcome.  Serious stuff.  So we’ll pick this up again after the game….

Well, it was a good day in church.  Almost.  The Packers won.  Not too many teams can come back from 4 turnovers, three of which result in a touchdown.  Aaron Rodgers won the MVP of  Super Bowl XLV.  Something the great Brett Favre didn’t do.  But I lost my $1500 parlay card on a difference of 10 yards.  The longest field goal in the game was 33 yards.  My bet was on the Packers and the Steelers kicker did it.  Oh well, I haven’t been lucky all season.  Way to go Packers!  Sorry Shelbers.   

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