Super Bowl Neanderthal As we approach the ritual of the Super Bowl, many men find that everything else末including their beloved families末take a back seat. Dr. Fiore explains why modern human males become Neanderthals during the Super Bowl. BY DR. NEIL FIORE
How do you handle a husband who turns into a neanderthal for football?
Why do I treat my wife like a second-class citizen when the Super Bowl comes around?
For men, the Super Bowl is a semi-religious event during which millions make a pilgrimage back to their ancestral brains to pay homage to the hunter-gatherers who passed on their genetic material. Hunting wild boars through the primeval forest is now replaced with chasing a "pig skin" across a field or buffalo wing onto a napkin.
Part of the ritual includes the consumption of fermented wheat and barley beverages, chips and assorted meat-like products. Modern human males need these symbols to free them from their routine, civilized lives and to remind them of manly battles for the survival of the most fit. Where else can they harmlessly root for their team's self-sacrificing heroes on a field of pageantry along with wardrobe malfunctions?
On Super Bowl Sunday, the average football fan is so overcome with emotion, religious fervor, and the vicarious sense of being in a battle of champions that he forgets all other concerns. Everything else takes a back seat. Fortunately men, it will last less than 24 hours.
What Should Women Do?
Just as Black Friday is a hunter-gatherer day women fighting for a big sale item, Super Bowl Sunday is a hormonal day for men. Women should give men plenty of room to have their day. In fact, this would be a great day to escape to the mall, which is devoid of men. Try to understand that your man isn't ignoring you so much as reclaiming his "Inner Neanderthal" and paying homage to his ancestral brain.
So men, you can tell your wives that they might feel more empathy for you on this day. For a few hours this event puts you in touch with your long lost instinctual selves that socialization and civilization have robbed you of.
To help be more accommodating to your wife, men might drink less to keep some portion of their human brain in tact to manage their behavior and to keep in touch with their higher values and priorities. It should be noted that the urban legend that domestic violence increases during the Super Bowl has been found to be false. Please be responsible and enjoy the game.
Neil Fiore, PhD is a psychologist, coach, speaker, and author of Awaken Your Strongest Self: Break Free of Stress, Inner Conflict, and Self-Sabotage [McGraw-Hill, 2006]. For more about Neil's latest book, free tips and articles, and his motivational newsletter, go to www.neilfiore.com.