Everyone knows that athletes are conceited jerks who coast through life on a magic carpet constructed of full ride scholarships and billion dollar contracts. It's enough to make a person put down their gigantic foam finger and pick up a stupid book or something. And maybe you should--if you want to die.
Seriously, sports can save your life in a whole bunch of unexpected ways. Don't believe us? Keep reading.
7Man Sells Blood for NFL Tickets, Saves Own Life
NFL tickets are expensive as hell. You can usually save some coin by scoring season tickets, but unless you're rooting for, say, Jacksonville, the waiting list to actually get season tickets can sometimes border on unbearable. The Green Bay Packers, for instance, have been sold out of season tickets since 1960.
But so worth it
A reasonable person might shrug and move on with their life, but sports fandom is not about being reasonable. Thus we have the case of Jim Becker, a 2010 inductee into the Packers Fan Hall of Fame. He bought season tickets from 1952-2008. During those years he was raising eleven kids and had little money to spare for tickets. When he found he could sell his blood for money, he donated as often as he could just so he could afford to eventually be shit on by Brett Favre. These are the kind of screwed-up priorities that make non-sports fans hate sports fans.
But here's the twist to this story:
During one donation prescreening doctors discovered Becker's father died at age 43 of hemochromatosis, a disease causing excessive amount of iron in the blood. They tested Becker and discovered he too had the disease. However, discovering the disease wasn't what saved Becker's life. The most common treatment for hemochromatosis is phlebotomy treatments, which in laymen's terms means donating lots of blood.
By obsessively giving blood so he could buy his damned Packer tickets, Becker normalized the levels of iron in his blood and saved his life. When he was inducted into the Fan Hall of Fame, he was a ripe 79 years old. And Brett Favre was still an asshole.