BRONCOS +4 v DOLPHINS
Just when you think we as a society can get some sanity back to our daily lives it appears that insanity just doesn’t want to end its seemingly infinite dominance over us. Gone is the election yet we now see the fight continue as claims of ballot stacking, dead people voting and a communist conspiracy that created the software that somehow automatically changes your vote (if you voted for Trump) to Joe Biden but only if the incumbent (Trump) was leading by a certain amount. Not to be outdone, we have these feckless state governors instilling more draconian lock-down measures on to us “peasants” only to be exposed as hypocrites and frauds when their hair needs fixing (House Maj. Leader Pelosi/Chi. Mayor Lightfoot), a riot is happening (MN Gov. Waltz) or when their presence is required at a $400 dollar plate dinner (CA Gov. Newsome). More lunacy ensues as one now can legally possess cocaine, heroin and LSD in Oregon but if you have grandma over for thanksgiving dinner you will be arrested, charged and possibly jailed for up to 30 days while the delicious turkey dinner that took all day for you to prepare will now be confiscated as evidence in the event you have the audacity in pleading not guilty to the felony charge of “enjoying pumpkin pie” with your family on thanksgiving! I’m exhausted just thinking about it. This is on top of the insanity of the sports media jackals and socially inept doctors/scientists who were screaming how by playing sports we didn’t care about humanity and were all evil. Yet can you name just one athlete that has become seriously ill and/or hospitalized let alone died due to Covid-19 (flu)? I will help you with the answer, ZERO! So, I welcome you to the biggest scam (of many) in the history of the world (at least in my lifetime). All of this got me to deduce that people are primarily scared of their own shadow and would prefer to be “sheep” and live in a nanny state rather than as the New Hampshire motto states, “LIVE FREE OR DIE!”
It got me thinking and I surmised that this “insanity” has a lot to do with the current power and control “trip” being used by our elected “dictators.” There is a lot of truth to this notion but I actually think it has a lot more to do with the public's irrational fear of a virus (Covid-19), that although highly contagious has a lower percentage rate of death than the yearly flu, and if you are under 50 you have a greater chance of dying in your drive to work (if you even have job anymore) than to die from contracting it. So with my psychological mind it got me thinking on what actually is fear, how it works and why is it such a powerful force in people’s lives that they will give up their own liberty in return for the false sense of security some hack politicos or government doctor/scientist tries to instill over you even at the expense of your civil rights under the quickly dissolving U.S Constitution.
Once again like every post I hear the masses screaming “what the hell does fear have to do with winning a bet?” Great question. My answer is everything. This confidence is due to my identifying one player on the team I am against today (Mia) that will be facing an opponent that if faceless, odorless yet can bring the toughest man to their knees (fear). Yet before I focus on the player and their plight, I wanted to address fear and how it can paralyze one from accomplishing our purpose and dreams.
Ahh, I hear that bell in my head telling me that this is a perfect time to welcome you the reader once again into the mystical and sublime world affectionately known as “psychobabble.”
Why Do We Feel Fear?
Fear is one of the most powerful forces in your life. It affects the decisions you make, the actions you take, and the outcomes you achieve. Who you are and what you do has at one point or another been influenced by fear. Being successful relies to a large extent on knowing how to leverage fear.
Fear is critical for survival. It is a hardwired, primitive emotion that involves several parts of the brain (not just the amygdala) and creates a complex experience marked by a distinct pattern of mental and physiological activity.
Fear is an internal – mostly automatic (but not entirely) – alarm system, which exists to warn against threats to survival. Survival, in the past, meant staying alive. It meant not getting killed by a predator, a disease, a rival, or a natural disaster. These threats included anything that could literally cause death or serious harm. Fear is what kept our ancestors out of harm’s way and why you are alive today!
But as the world increased in complexity and demand, the meaning of both survival and threat has changed significantly. What does survival mean nowadays and what poses the biggest threat to it?
Karl Knows “Fear”
According to author Karl Albrecht, all fears, regardless of how big or small, fall into five categories:
- Fear of extinction
- Fear of mutilation
- Fear of losing autonomy
- Fear of separation
- Fear of ego-death
Consequently, the role of fear is to promote survival in these five domains. To protect from anything that threatens to destroy not only our lives, but also our physical and psychological well-being, our autonomy, and our connection to others.
So, what are we trying to protect in the context of our complex social, cultural, political, and technological world?
Biological survival: The need to stay alive remains the highest priority. Without being alive, everything else is futile. The sound of the fear alarm is the loudest when your life is at risk.
Physical health and ability: Being healthy and strong is not only a requisite for biological survival, but it is also necessary in order to meet the demands of daily life. This is why millions of people get the flu shot (soon to be the Covid-19 shot) every year and why there is (and always will be) hand sanitizer in every purse.
Autonomy: We want to be able to make our own decisions and live our lives the way we choose. We don’t like being restrained physically or metaphorically. This is what makes being trapped, whether in an elevator or in a horrible job, so scary, and why fear of imprisonment is a good deterrent for breaking the law. The same now can be said in some “dictator” ruled U.S States.
Social survival: We want to belong and to stay connected. To be accepted and respected by our peers. We try to steer clear of criticism and rejection from people we like or even total strangers. Being alone and feeling unwanted and irrelevant can be frightening. This is one reason why people stay in bad relationships or join gangs.
Self-worth: Given how long we have to live with ourselves, we must protect our self-worth at all costs. A shattered self-esteem is a big problem in any context. The fear of feeling worthless and inadequate can be very limiting, as it stops you from thinking big, expressing yourself, and taking risks. This is why the impact of losing a job or getting a rejection letter can last for days or even weeks.
What Are We Scared Of?
We have eliminated many of the threats that put our ancestors’ survival at risk, yet fear remains. What keeps people scared in these times?
Researchers surveyed 1,500 people about the kinds of things they are really afraid of. The fears that made it to the top 5 list included:
- Government corruption
- Tracking of personal information by government and corporations
- Terrorist attacks, and bio-warfare
These are definitely scary events with devastating and long-lasting consequences. But are these the fears that keep you up at night? Are these the fears that are holding you back from achieving your goals? Is eliminating the virus, preventing government corruption or bio-terrorism your highest priority?
How about things like losing your job, not having enough money to provide for your family, getting sick without healthcare, being bullied at school or harassed at work, or failing to live in line with your values? These fears may not be as explosive as terrorist attacks, but they can certainly make your day-to-day life miserable.
Survival needs and what threatens them have changed over the millennia. Nonetheless, the role of fear remains the same.To warn and protect. Fear can be uncomfortable, even paralyzing at times. According to the psychiatric literature, there are over 100 documented phobias, a disorder characterized by persistent and irrational fear of objects or situations.You may already know of agoraphobia, claustrophobia and social phobia. The good news is that for the large majority of people fear is not pathological. But it can be equally crippling.
The truth is you cannot eliminate fear, nor should you try. But you can still be fearless. Being fearless is not the same as eliminating fear. Being fearless means knowing how to leverage fear and the first step to leveraging this fear is to identify what scares you.
Fear can be uncomfortable and crippling. But eliminating it would be the equivalent of taking down your home alarm system because it sometimes makes loud and irritating sounds.
Being fearless doesn’t mean eliminating fear. It means knowing how to leverage fear. And to do that, you need to know a few things about what you are dealing with.
- Fear is healthy.
Fear is hardwired in your brain, and for good reason: Neuroscientists have identified distinct networks that run from the depths of the limbic system all the way to the prefrontal cortex and back. When these networks are electrically or chemically stimulated, they produce fear, even in the absence of a fearful stimulus. Feeling fear is neither abnormal nor a sign of weakness: The capacity to be afraid is part of normal brain function. In fact, a lack of fear may be a sign of serious brain damage.
- Fear comes in many shades.
Fear is an inherently unpleasant experience that can range from mild to paralyzing—from anticipating the results of a medical checkup to hearing news of a deadly terrorist attack. Horrifying events can leave a permanent mark on your brain circuitry, which may require professional help. However, chronic stress, the low-intensity variety of fear expressed as free-floating anxiety, constant worry, and daily insecurity, can quietly but seriously harm your physical and mental health over time.
- Fear is not as automatic as you think.
Fear is part instinct, part learned, part taught. Some fears are instinctive: Pain, for example, causes fear because of its implications for survival. Other fears are learned: We learn to be afraid of certain people, places, or situations because of negative associations and past experiences. A near-drowning incident, for example, may cause fear each time you get close to a body of water. Other fears are taught: Cultural norms often dictate whether something should be feared or not. Think, for example, about how certain social groups are feared and persecuted because of a societally created impression that they are dangerous.
- You don’t need to be in danger to be scared.
Fear is also partly imagined, and so it can arise in the absence of something scary. In fact, because our brains are so efficient, we begin to fear a range of stimuli that are not scary (conditioned fear) or not even present (anticipatory anxiety). We get scared because of what we imagine could happen. Some neuroscientists claim that humans are the most fearful creatures on the planet because of our ability to learn, think, and create fear in our minds. But this low-grade, object-less fear can turn into chronic anxiety about nothing specific and become debilitating.
- The more scared you feel, the scarier things will seem.
Through a process called "potentiation," your fear response is amplified if you are already in a state of fear. When you are primed for fear, even harmless events seem scary. If you are watching a documentary about venomous spiders, a tickle on your neck caused by, say, a loose thread in your sweater will startle you and make you jump out of your seat in terror. If you are afraid of flying, even the slightest turbulence will push your blood pressure through the roof of the plane. And the more worried you are about your job security, the more you will sweat it when your boss calls you in for even an uneventful meeting.
- Fear dictates the actions you take.
Actions motivated by fear fall into four types—freeze, fight, flight, or fright. Freeze means you stop what you are doing and focus on the fearful stimulus to decide what to do next (e.g., you read a memo that your company will be laying off people). Next, you choose either fight or flight. You decide whether to deal with the threat directly (tell your boss why you shouldn’t be laid off) or work around it (start looking for another job). When the fear is overwhelming, you experience fright: You neither fight nor flee; in fact, you do nothing—well, you obsess about the layoffs, ruminate, and complain, but you take no action. Being continuously in fright mode can lead to hopelessness and depression.
- The more real the threat, the more heroic your actions.
We react differently to real and imagined threats. Imagined threats cause paralysis. Being scared about all the bad things that may or may not happen in the future makes you worry a lot but take little action. You are stuck in a state of fear, overwhelmed but not knowing what to do. Real threats, on the other hand, cause frenzy. When the threat is imminent and identifiable, you jump to action immediately and without flinching. This is why people are much more likely to change their eating habits after a serious health scare (e.g., a heart attack) than after just reading statistics about the deleterious effect of a diet based on fried foods. If you want to mobilize your troops, you have to put yourself in danger.
All of the above descriptions of fear and what it is and what it does to our minds which then relates to our actions leads us to a key member of an ascending AFC team whose performance is vital to their current and future success. This player is the highly prized number 1 draft pick QB Tua Tagovailoa.
When discussing Tua and his fear (which I describe in detail below) I harken back to a harmless question posed to Tua while at Alabama. Tua, who is from Hawaii was asked “why did you chose to play for Alabama.” In response Tua gave a very intuitive response (which I still remember) that everyone just got a chuckle out of but with no follow up question (usual by the incompetent fan boy sports media). A smiling Tua simply responded that, “I knew I wouldn’t ever have to play in the cold.” Tua continued, “I’m from Hawaii and I hate the cold.” Hmm this innocuous quote made me think to myself, “well if you hate something (cold) it means you have experienced it and had a bad experience, or you have never experienced it but have an innate fear of it.” Now I have to the best of my ability scoured the internet for a time Tua has played in the cold (no). Now I don’t know if he personally at some point in his life ever experienced the cold so I will surmise he quite possibly hasn’t. If this is true, then this personal “hate” of the cold is not necessarily from a bad experience(s) but a phobia of the cold that he possess from within. This intrinsic delusional and irrational outlook of the cold that Tua is currently experiencing actually is classified from within the phobia family and is named Cryophobia.
Cryophobia is the irrational fear of extreme cold, ice, or frost. Someone suffering from this condition can expect to endure a high amount of anxiety when merely thinking of extreme cold, let alone actually experiencing it.
If they allected with this condition were to experience extreme cold in some way, then then the amount of anxiety that they would have would be so intrusive and extreme that they may even have a full-blown panic attack as a result of it. Although this will not always be the case for everyone, it is certainly possible to occur insofar as their Cryophobia is severe enough.
Someone suffering from Cryophobia may be so fearful of the cold that they may go to painstaking efforts to ensure that they don’t experience it. For example, they may refuse to go outside when it is cold unless they absolutely have to. In fact, if their Cryophobia is intense enough, they may even decide to move to an area that has a warm climate to ensure that they will not have to experience any ice or frost.
Although avoiding their fear of ice or frost may help them to reduce some of their acute anxiety, such a behavior may also be worsening their Cryophobia in the long run due to the fact that by constantly avoiding their fear of extreme cold, they are also reinforcing it as well.
This is very important to take into consideration seeing as how most people who suffer from anxiety disorders often avoid the thing they fear. Thus, creating a vicious cycle which can easily spiral out of control.
As is the case with virtually every other phobia that exists, someone with Cryophobia can expect anxiety to be the most prominent symptom of their condition. Also, as previously mentioned, their anxiety may be so extreme that they may even endure full blown panic attacks as a result of it. Depending on the severity of their panic attack, they may even need to be hospitalized. However, this will vary from person to person and will be dependent on many factors.
Furthermore, someone with Cryophobia may go to painstaking efforts to ensure that they do not come into contact with their fear in any way. This may mean them not only avoiding areas where they may come into contact with their fear, but also that they may actively try to prevent it from happening by taking a more hands-on approach.
Below, you will see some more common symptoms of Cryophobia. These are but not limited to:
- Anxiety when thinking of cold weather, ice or frost
- Anxiety when near/touching ice or frost
- Constantly avoiding cold weather situations, ice or frost.
- Unable to cope with their anxiety.
- Muscle tension, shakiness, and sweating.
- May experience panic attacks.
One way out of this paralyzing fear is exposure therapy. This approach is one of the most common ways to treat anxiety disorders such as Cryophobia. It can be an efficient way to help desensitize the patient to their specific fears. Could this experience today in Denver be the “face your fear” moment for Tua that is the “magic elixir” to what ails him? We shall see.
I know that to call it a “freeze” in Denver today with a game-time temperature of 48 is a stretch (especially from myself who was born and raised in Minnesota, who went to law school in North Dakota and where a high temp of 48 in late November would be considered “balmy”). This condition (Cryophobia) that in my opinion Tua possesses might be much more noticeable next week in New York (Jets) or the Dolphins season ending game in December at Buffalo. So, today we can consider this a “Tua Trial” as it pertains to his performance in the “cold” weather elements.
Like most of my underdog plays I am on the worst of the 2 teams, have no compelling reason behind taking the worst team and in this instance could be waking right into a Buzzsaw as the Dolphins have that look of a team that is gelling while taking every week as a unique an exciting challenge. This enthusiasm displayed currently by the Dolphin players analyzed from a biological standpoint is giving each member the dopamine release that is akin to what a drug addict receives when they seek and get their “fix.” When a team is experiencing this symbiotic relationship and corresponding feeling there are no bad spots in the schedule. During this “puppy love” period it’s not even about the opponent as it is more about the opportunity to play and show the league that they belong in the discussion when playoffs are discussed (i.e. respect). Have you ever heard the phrase “they are too young to know what they don’t know?” This should be the motto of the 2020 Miami Dolphins.
In addition to my insanity by going against this current Dolphin “freight train” of emotion, I might have to do it with the Broncos back-up QB (Brett Rypien). I actually think this might be a blessing in disguise as the Broncos despite their current dismal record, as a team have been playing surprising well but are being internally sabotaged by their ironically cloned Jay Cutler new franchise QB (Drew Lock) who is systematically killing any progress and momentum the team makes, as every time they collectively take 2 steps forward Lock single-handedly brings them 3 steps back. Lock who consistently makes ill-advised throws and has no concept of how to manage a drive as it relates to time, down and distance keeps flinging the ball deep downfield into double coverages which one or most likely more enviably end in disaster (Int). Conversely, although Rypien, who is less talented seems to make better decisions while knowing how to spread the field and manage the game.
In addition to the Bronco QB quandary, I will also acknowledge that HC Brian Flores and his diabolically devised “ameba defense” could seriously wreak havoc on whomever the Broncos use at QB. This unique defense has 6 men standing at the line of scrimmage not in a 3-point stance. This concept doesn’t allow the QB to properly identify the “Mike LB” thus who is rushing and who drops in coverage. This confusing style can/will give even the most veteran QB trouble so can you imagine what it will do to the “young meat” the Broncos will put on display Sunday. That being stated I think that due to the Tua’s mental condition Broncos HC and defensive mastermind Vic Fangio can also devise his own unique scheme that can raise havoc on the young and inexperienced Tua, thus making him uncomfortable and forcing him into his own set of miscues. I feel this just won’t be a simple defensive game where both teams find it hard to move the ball and score but one where there will be defensive scores that will out match the offensive production. The only fear I have is that the Dolphins, if what I expect happens (Tua “freezes” in the Mile High Cold) can ask back-up QB Ryan “Fitz-Magic” to come in an save the day whereas the Broncos can go from bad to worse no matter who it uses at QB.
Somehow or someway I need to get through the 1st half alive as the "Mahi-Mahi" surprisingly have the best point differential in the first 30 minutes (+74). Plus, how am I going to navigate a “walking turnover” with this Wild Horse Bronco club who have lost five fumbles and thrown a league-leading 16 interceptions up against this ball hawking Dolphins defense who are tied for fourth in the league in takeaways? Add to the fact that the Fish have the #2 ranked special teams (Den #23) and I smell a blocked punt/kick to slay my cover. Have I defeated myself and scared you enough in this analysis?
In the end I will plug my nose and hold on with team that has been playing hard (actually out-gained Las Vegas last week) with a bunch of young and hungry talent that will look across the field and think to themselves, “that can be us” if we just get our act together.” In addition, it might be a flat spot for the kids from South Beach as they might be caught looking ahead to the season ending gauntlet which includes fellow AFC contenders Chiefs, Raiders, Patriots and Bills. Also everyone has been slapping them on the back and telling them it is they that will be the one and not the Bills who will slay the mighty dragon (Patriots) and lay claim to the AFC East division title not only for this year but for the forceable future. Yet with all the permutation noted, my eyes will be focused on Tua. Will he prove me wrong by facing his perceived fear head on by brushing off the cold and thin Mile High air like a experienced veteran who embraces all challenges to his leadership role (QB) or will he go into the “fetal position” by dressing in 5 layers, always having a long coat draped over his shoulders, gloves and tassel hat firmly in place as he is seated on the heated bench in front of the space heater as his teeth continually chatter while blowing into his hands praying for it to be all over so he can get back to the tropics (Mia) alive?
For us who invest in Denver today we can be confident in being aware that Tua has his sights set on the flight back to paradise (Mia) and not the Orange Crush bunch that is hungry and more importantly desperate for a much-needed win. If this occurs, we all can celebrate together not only for today’s win but for future revenue knowing that, “nothing burns (Tua) like the cold!” GOOD FORTUNE TO ALL! PhD!
COWBOYS/VIKINGS OVER 47
2-TEAM 7-PT TEASER:
JAGUARS +17.5/BUCCANEERS +3 (Mon)
GOOD FORTUNE TO ALL! PhD.