A Game of Emotions

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boogy fight.jpg

As an avid Minneosota Wild fan, I was devistated upon hearing of Wild's defensman, Derek Boogaard's death. Standing at 6"8, 265 pounds, the "Boogyman" (as he was known) was an ultamite intimidating force that ensured justice on the ice. One of the most violent sports, hockey is one of the only profesional sports that allows fighting during games. At times, the sport appears more like WWE than hockey. Recently, 3 current hockey athletes died. All of them were intimidating enforcers like Boogard and all of their deaths were strongly linked to depression and suicide.

This raises a critical issue. To what extent, does violence contribute to depression? Is there something about the emotional distress of fighting night after night, that might predispose them to depression, addictive behavior, or suicide? Perhaps, repeated physical assult to the head affects the neurological process in the brain?


Emotions are in absolutly no way simple and there is no doubt that there are many variables that contribute to our everyday feelings. Chapter 11 discusses the differnet theories regarding emotion. For example, according to the James-Lange theory, our emotions result from our interpertations of our bodily reactions to stimuli. Cognitivists suggest that emotions are products of thinking. While these theories offer valuable insight, in psychology, it is important to study multiple levels of analysis. Personally, I believe that the nerological process in the brain plays a larger role in emotion than it is granted. Different nerotransmitters effect different emotions and dammage to certain neurological pathways can lead to negative reprecussions. While these deaths in no way gurantee causation, it does seem to suggest some degree of correlation. What are your thoughts, feelings and emotions?

1.)My favorite blog was " "Frickin' Dolphins with Fricken' Laser Beams on their Frickin' Heads" by hahta009 because it not only quoted a funny movie scene but also raised implications on the possibilities of shaping. The Skinnerarian tactics have huge potential beyond just fun shows in Sea World.

2.) My next favorite blog was "A Voice with No Words" by corr0147. It discusses the case of Genie, a girl who was neglected as a child and never learned to speak. Although the case was tragic, it seems to suggest that there is a critical period for development of language.

3.) My third favorite blog was "I remember nothing" by deere003 because it shows how succeptable memories are.

Furthermore there have been many former football athletes who have been diagnosed with depression. Most recently, former great-Walter Peton was revealed to have depression.


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I liked how you linked something that is so broad like emotion to a subject quite narrow like suicide. Emotion is so complex and constantly evolving that it is difficult to find an answer to why/if fighting contributes to depression and ultimately suicide. Also I liked how you used an example that many people are interested in, hockey.

Great photo! This blog also made me think of the effects of violence on gender. Most physical sports(football) are more geared towards men (not saying that women don't play physical sports, but this has always been the view held by many). I also liked how you related it to one of the 6 priciples of critical thinking!

Yeah, this is really a serious issue in the NHL right now after so many deaths of young players.

There is a major story and documentary currently running in the NY Time about the life, fighting career and death of the "Boogie Man."


Did you ever see him play?

I was always amazed at how the crowd got instantly aroused by a fight in the NHL. It seems kind of brutal to let it go on now that we know how much long term damage it can do to a person's brain.

I would say the evidence is getting pretty clear that this kind of head trauma can lead to depression and cognitive impairment. There is plenty of cases in boxing and the NFL as well.

Boogaard was apparently a mild mannered boy growing up and his size dictated his enforcer role in hockey. I am sure he was affected by having to play this crazy role in life at such a high and public level.

The multiple head blows didn't help matters.


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This page contains a single entry by hillm109 published on November 6, 2011 3:06 PM.

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