Soccer Hailed As “Miracle Cure” For Insomnia
across the country yesterday sung the praises of professional soccer as a revolutionary
new way to cure insomnia. The announcement came on the heels of a yearlong study
conducted by the American Medical Association on sleep disorders and possible
new remedies. After experimenting with dozens of new medications and techniques,
doctors stumbled on the new cure almost by accident.
Says Dr. Ben Mientowski: “Well, we had a few subject who were real tough
cases. They wouldn’t respond to anything we tried. Real lost causes. We
tried Ambien, Xanax. We even tried hypnosis, but to no avail. So one day we
walk into the ‘sleep room’, and there they are, about a dozen of
them, dead asleep. Some were even drooling on themselves. The soccer game was
on TV, but we didn’t make the connection right away. We thought we had
some kind of miracle on our hands. But after extensive testing, it was determined
that the cause of the sudden turnaround was, in fact, soccer.”
The new miracle cure won't be much help to insomniacs outside the United States,
where soccer is considered to be a very exciting, compelling sport. But here
in the States, the game has roughly the same effect as a sledgehammer to the
“American insomniacs have been given a gift from God,” says AMA
president Dr. Sanjay Mehta. “There are a lot of very, very happy people
today. These are people who never thought they’d sleep again and now,
thanks to the game of soccer, their suffering has finally ended.”
One of the former insomniacs, Doug Gould, 38, of San Mateo, CA, describes the
experience of that fateful day: “We were at the end of our ropes, the
whole lot of us. I hadn’t had a wink of sleep in days, and some were even
worse off than me. It just seemed like we were destined to be awake forever.
While we were eating lunch one day someone put the TV on, and it was a soccer
game. None of us had ever seen a soccer game before. Well, next thing I knew
I was waking up hours later with my face in a plate of spaghetti. It was a miracle.
Thank you professional soccer!”
Now that soccer has been officially recognized as a cure for insomnia, doctors
are taking steps to make sure patients get their fill of the incredibly boring
sport. A prescription of one game a day, every day, is recommended for serious
cases until the problem subsides. But the problem of how and where to view so
many games has yet to be addressed. Some have suggested satellite dishes so
that sufferers will be able to view as many games as they want, and some have
suggested that Major League Soccer donate tapes of past games so that sufferers
can always have them on hand.
“Its not important that the games be live,” said Dr. Mehta. “These
guys really wouldn’t know the difference anyway. Whether it’s a
regular season game between the New York-New Jersey Metrostars and the DC United
or a World Cup championship match, they aren't gonna be able to stay awake through
it. So my suggestion is to have Major League Soccer provide hospitals with videotapes
of games. Once we have the tapes, we can make as many copies as we want. It
would be at a minimal expense to MLS, and it provides a valuable community service.
It will be an act of mercy.”
MLS officials have mixed emotions about the new discovery.
“Um…we’re really happy that these people are no longer suffering
from insomnia,” says William Mailer, league president. “We’re
glad to be able to help. On the other hand, being known as a miracle cure for
insomnia isn’t exactly what we’re shooting for, here. The upside
is we’ll have a huge fan base among insomniacs, but the downside is most
other Americans will probably avoid us like the plague. I suppose we can give
them some videotapes, if that’s what they want.”
Like it or not, Major League Soccer has thousands of new, ravenous fans. Insomniacs
around the country have propelled TV ratings to all time highs, and almost doubled
the national fan base. Several insomniacs have publicity thanked the league
for vastly improving their lives.
“MLS saved my life, pure and simple,” says teary eyed sufferer Charles
Popovich of Terre Haute, IN. “I just wanna thank God for putting soccer
into my life and saving me from my wretched existence. I have learned something
that most Americans have yet to see: soccer truly is a wonderful sport. Thank
League PR people are taking what they call a pragmatic approach to the situation.
While shying away from the suggestion that their product is incredibly boring
and sleep inducing, the league is taking steps to embrace its new fans.
“As you know, our fan base has almost doubled in the past few weeks. This
insomnia thing has been a huge boon to the league. I mean, who gives a shit
if they’re sleeping? As long as they’re tuned in to soccer games,
that’s all that matters. We would love to invite the insomniacs of America
to see a game in person at a discounted group rate. We’re prepared to
bring hundreds of cots into the stadium to accommodate them.”
While doctors and patients alike are rejoicing at the groundbreaking discovery,
some experts are warning against widespread use of soccer to treat sleep disorders.
“While soccer is a magnificent way to cure insomnia and most other sleeping
disorders, it can also have an adverse affect on the mind for some people,”
says Dr. Marvin Malemon, psychiatrist from New York City. “The game’s
languid pace, tedious, repetitive nature, and crashingly dull tempo are a double
edged sword. While it’s a definite sleep aid, soccer is not recommended
for people with depression or anxiety disorders. For anyone who will be able
to sit through an entire game, the effects could be damaging psychologically”
While Malmeon is totally supportive of the use of professional soccer to cure
insomnia, he is pushing to have a warning statement read before every game that
describes the potential side effects for people with psychological disorders.
However, since doctors are not prepared to recommend soccer viewing for anyone
other than sufferers of acute, severe insomnia, the warning label probably wont
“This is for hard cases, that’s all,” says Mehta. “You
don’t wanna prescribe soccer to just about anybody. Its just too risky.”
1 Issue 9