Toxic Shock explains "underdogs"?
Updated: Jan 4
Fascinating research unveils stunning potential connection between brain parasite and football success!
As the Británicos take a break from the rough and tumble of Sunday league football, Bulldogz have delved deep into the internet to find any help in providing an edge to the hard-working Brits to help them move toward the right end of the table. What we have discovered is truly mind
This extraordinary journey into the unknown started with a series of interesting articles going back several years in which statisticians were able to successfully and consistently predict World cup match results, without knowing anything about football. They were not relying on clever Octopi but merely studying data regarding the propensity of brain parasites in each country.
To understand this fascinating research, we must become familiar with Toxoplasma gondii.
Toxo is one of the most successful parasites in the world and can be found in almost every type of mammal on the planet. Despite this, the only place it can successfully reproduce is the stomach of a cat. Therefore the single-celled organism has developed an interesting life cycle relating to rodents. Rats and mice feed on Toxo in cat faeces which then interrupts the neurons in the brains of the rodents and reverses their natural aversion to cat urine, thereby providing the cat with an easy meal and continuing the life cycle of the Toxo.
Fertilizer on livestock fields can contain cat waste material and eating the uncooked meat of animals that graze on this material can introduce Toxo into your brain. Furthermore, the popularity of pet cats has increased the risk of Toxo infection, in fact, almost a third of the human population now has a chronic, latent infection.
There are claims that Toxo infection can make subtle changes to human behaviour. Studies have uncovered a correlation between national infection rates and overall personality traits like neuroticism and risk-taking for reward. While the science is still subject to hotly contested debate the studies have produced an uncanny ability to predict World Cup Football knockout results. The FIFA World football rankings curiously mirror the rates of Toxo infection in the population as well.
This is truly staggering stuff. Does Toxo infection really make a country better at football? Does this mean the Brits legendary relationship with dogs is actually preventing them from more world cup glory? England, after all, has an infection rate of only 6%.
Of course, the data is not a sure-fire indicator of success. Italy won the World Cup in 2006 with a relatively low average infection rate of 33%, which when compared to Brazil (67%) Argentina (52%) and Spain (44%). Many African countries have substantial public health issues and infection rates in the seventies (Ghana, Gabon 71%) or sixties (Ivory Coast 60%) but have never won the tournament.
There are indicators as to the impact of Toxo infection on the human brain. We know that infection of the male brain makes people more likely to get into car accidents and more attractive to females. More prone to being jealous, dogmatic and dismissive of authority. Evidence suggests that motorcyclists are more likely to carry a Toxo infection. It makes men more aggressive and less inhibited. Perhaps it could be seen as a case of inadvertent, cultural doping?
That all being said, studies indicate that Toxo infection slows reaction times. There is a study to suggest national team players suffer the same infection rates as the general population. It could even be possible that the correlation is a pure coincidence. Perhaps eating raw meat gives the edge and toxo is just a side effect?
So before the Británicos all rush out to own cats or start a regimented diet of carpaccio, we suspect it would serve the team better to concentrate on their passing and communication skills on the pitch. And not to play hungover, but then again, with the club Christmas social scheduled for the next Saturday prior to a match, we will not hold our breath.
Británicos F.C are a British community football club in Zaragoza, proudly sponsored by Gallagher Irish Tavern.