July 17, 2008

Not tonight, honey, I have a game tomorrow.: The notion of pre-game abstinence from sex to enhance athletic performance is a longstanding one. But is that notion as fictional as Rocky Balboa? Sean Cupp thinks so. Chris Byrd is the guinea pig. Tom Fornelli resents his high school coach.

posted by MrFrisby to culture at 09:35 PM - 17 comments

Crash Davis: I never told him to stay out of your bed. Annie Savoy: You most certainly did. Crash Davis: I never told him to stay out of your bed. Annie Savoy: Yes you did. Crash Davis: I told him that a player on a streak has to respect the streak. Annie Savoy: Oh fine. Crash Davis: You know why? Because they don't - -they don't happen very often. Annie Savoy: Right. Crash Davis: If you believe you're playing well because you're getting laid, or because you're not getting laid, or because you wear women's underwear, then you ARE! And you should know that! Not really the idea behind the article, but . . . well, frankly, I basically am incapable of expressing myself without quotes from The Simpsons or Bull Durham.

posted by Skot at 01:36 AM on July 18, 2008

In 1975, Joe Lutz became the manager of the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in Japan's Central League. The team had a good bit of success that year, but Lutz was fired part way into the season. One of the reasons was his training methods for the players being much more relaxed than the normally rigorous "Samurai" methods used in Japanese baseball. Among his reforms, much to the delight of the players' wives, was the discouraging of the taboo on sex before games. Something must have worked, because the Carp won the Japan Series that year (and I was in the Hiroshima Stadium for the deciding game).

posted by Howard_T at 08:15 AM on July 18, 2008

Casey Stengel used to say that it's not the sex that hurts an athlete's performance, it's the staying up all night chasing after it.

posted by rhickok at 08:30 AM on July 18, 2008

I agree that physiological benefits from abstinence prior to the fight are overrated (and have known that), but what about mental aspects? Namely, self-discipline, gained from strenghtening will power? Certainly a useful skill for any athlete. (I'm trying to come up with a counter-argument for this debate, and this is the best I can come up with so far)

posted by Bonkers at 10:12 AM on July 18, 2008

Great link. The photo that accompanies the article is hilarious. ... I basically am incapable of expressing myself without quotes from The Simpsons or Bull Durham. You say that like it's a bad thing.

posted by rcade at 11:05 AM on July 18, 2008

... I basically am incapable of expressing myself without quotes from The Simpsons or Bull Durham. Crash Davis: After 12 years in the minor leagues, I don't try out. Besides, uh, I don't believe in quantum physics when it comes to matters of the heart. Annie Savoy: What do you believe in, then? Crash Davis: Well, I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days. [pause] Crash Davis: Goodnight. Annie Savoy: Oh my. Crash... Ebby Calvin LaLoosh: Hey, Annie, what's all this molecule stuff? Ditto that rcade.

posted by BornIcon at 11:35 AM on July 18, 2008

OK, let me get this straight (hehe). The old theory was that sex made it hard (snort) to compete. But now studies indicate that pregame/match/fight scroggin' can improve the stamina, or length (snicker), and aggression of an athletes performance. Well, that's great news. But what the heck are Skot and BI doing?

posted by THX-1138 at 01:23 PM on July 18, 2008

But what the heck are Skot and BI doing? You need to watch the movie Bull Durham. There is a discussion about sex affecting your performance and streaks between the main characters that is only one of several lively, humerous, and well written banters. I am surprised that a sports fan and obvious movie buff (assuming due to the login name - also a fan of George Lucas) like yourself has not yet viewed this title.

posted by knowsalittle at 01:52 PM on July 18, 2008

Actually, when I first read the article, the scene that Skot quoted was the first thing that I thought of.

posted by MrFrisby at 02:50 PM on July 18, 2008

knowsalittle-- yeah, I get it. I have Bull Durham in my collection. Part of the Kevin Costner baseball trilogy. I thought I'd make a weak attempt at humor. I had at first wanted to make a veiled jibe at BI and Skot that their use of quoted banter had the ring of one person making a pass at another, but thought my first attempt too overt, so I scaled it back. But perhaps I hid the message too much. Or perhaps, I shouldn't have attempted it at all, as upon reflection it might have been construed as insulting and unfunny. But this article almost has it all: sports and sex. I'll read it while drinking a beer and achieve nirvana.

posted by THX-1138 at 03:03 PM on July 18, 2008

Meanwhile....back at the point of the thread....if the legends about Magic and Worthy's sexual exploits while members of the 'Showtime' Lakers in the 80's are even a little true, it would seem that it certainly doesn't hinder performance on the BB court. They did not find it difficult to erect (giggle) banner after banner in the Forum.

posted by knowsalittle at 03:50 PM on July 18, 2008

I never believed that crap for a second, and in fact I ensure that I have sex before every PlayStation game I play.

posted by irunfromclones at 04:10 PM on July 18, 2008

I think this is ALL a load of CRAP! I ALWAYS Perform better after sex!! (Or maybe I just don't care about how I perform AFTER sex!) Either way I say it's a load of CRAP!

posted by emancipated107 at 11:00 PM on July 18, 2008

Emancipated107 -- isn't it more important how you perform during?

posted by Monica Poland at 11:46 PM on July 18, 2008

Given Wilt Chamberlain's claim to have had sex with 20,000 women, if there were any truth to the "it weakens the legs" theory, he wouldn't have been able to walk, let along play in the NBA.

posted by dviking at 11:55 PM on July 18, 2008

I'm pretty sure that I read somewhere that Bob Beamon had sex the night before his Olympic event. That turned out okay.

posted by grum@work at 08:57 AM on July 19, 2008

You're absolutely right Monica... That's why I said maybe it's just that I don't care about after...

posted by emancipated107 at 09:25 AM on July 19, 2008

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