The opposition marches onto the field not only to win, but to pummel you into the ground, mentally and physically. Like last time, you know it will take a week to get over it.
Your coach has his white board and marker in hand, furiously devising a strategy to 'prayerfully' attack your opponents head on. But their players are a good size bigger than you and quicker off the mark. Even though you're wearing your team colours with pride and enthusiasm, you can't help but admit the 'writing is on the wall'.
So what can the coach do to lead you into a miracle and counteract all that you're up against?
The solution may lay in science! Cambridge and German scientists have invented a spray that makes men more affectionate and in tune with other people's feelings. Believe it or not, it exists!
It is claimed that with just a puff or two of the so-called "cuddle chemical" even the most macho man can become sensitive, like a woman. The spray contains oxytocin, a hormone made in the body responsible for sexual attraction, trust, confidence and bonding at childbirth.
In spray form, it seems the chemical can make a man "feel" like a sentimental woman. Twenty-four healthy men were given nasal sprays containing oxytocin and twenty-four others a placebo. The men were then shown a series of heart-wrenching, emotionally charged photographs and asked to describe the level of empathy the pictures made them feel. The oxytocin group showed higher emotional empathy levels than those men who had taken the placebo.
Now here we have a solution, even if it's a little like hiding behind your mother's skirt! But heck, all is fair in love, war and sport! With this spray, your coach could casually stroll past the opposition during their warm up session, squirting a few puffs here and there in their direction. Many people today carry nasal type sprays with them and puff away without a second thought being given by passers by. The spray wouldn't be out of place at all.
Imagine the difference in the game! You'd be home and hosed, the opposing coach speechless and confused. But the question is, what if oxytocin had the opposite effect? The most common time that oxytocin levels rise in the body is after childbirth. It helps the mother bond with the, recognise and look after the child.
Oxytocin has this same effect in all known mammals – mice, sheep, people, the lot. Even lions.... and what is the most legendary characteristic of a lioness with a cub? She will fight like the fury to protect her young. Dogs with a new litter of pups will do the same – they will not let anyone or anything near them. Even a ewe who has just given birth will stamp her foot at any creature that comes close.
So hypothetically what would happen if you sprayed oxytocin on the opposition and the protective impulse kicked in? They might form a stronger bond, empathise further with each other and fight you to the death if you attack them. Not a good picture to paint! Maybe the coach would be better off spraying it over his own team.
Obviously no-one knows for sure the impact of such a spray. We are not insects, and a range of different hormones act together or in opposition, with our mental state, to produce our actions. Not only that, learning plays a bigger part in our emotions than raw hormones. Even with birds, learning is more important than simple chemical stimuli from the outside. Human's are the same.... so maybe, just maybe we should leave matters alone.......!!