From: The Wall Street Journal

Why Virginia Basketball Will Make You Yawn

The Wall Street Journal:

Everyone in the NCAA tournament has a pre-game routine, and they’re willing to entertain almost anything if it has the right psychological effects. Virginia guard Malcolm Brogdon, though, prepares for the opening tip in what may be the strangest way possible.

“I’ve never met a player,” said teammate Marial Shayok, “who yawns on a consistent basis.”

This is how one of college basketball’s best players gets ready for games: He yawns. It’s a habit that Virginia fans have begun anticipating and some of Brogdon’s teammates have seen so often that they barely notice anymore. The first time Shayok witnessed it, however, he couldn’t believe his eyes. “I thought it was an accident, and then I kept seeing him do it,” he said. “I thought he wasn’t napping before games.”

Almost anything related to yawning causes yawning, says Robert Provine, a University of Maryland, Baltimore County neuroscientist and esteemed yawnologist. His research shows that 55% of people yawn when they see someone else yawn—which may be why you want to yawn while reading about Brogdon yawning.

The way yawning spreads would suggest that Brogdon is the patient zero in a yawning epidemic on Virginia’s basketball team, but his teammates say they’re immune. “It never catches on,” Shayok said.

Read the whole story: The Wall Street Journal

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