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December 13, 1976

"Toot-Toot" and Health to Boot

JAMA. 1976;236(24):2783-2784. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03270250051031

"Kill the umpire! Get that SOB out of there! Why can't that guy learn to make an easy lay up?" Do these statements sound familiar? Isn't this the voice of a 250-pound fat man with a "beer gut" that gets no exercise himself and is the first to criticize an official, umpire, or player from the stands? Is this decadence, laziness, or, at best, purely a boredom-fighting activity?

So state Proctor and Eckerd1 in their article on therapeutic implications of spectator sports. They end their well-done article by extrapolating as follows:

People's emotions are similar to steam locomotives. If you build a fire in the boiler of a locomotive, keep raising the steam pressure, and let it sit on the tracks, sooner or later something will blow. However, if you take it and spin the wheels and toot the whistle, the steam pressure can be kept at a safe