Thursday, November 06, 2008
Go to sporting events as a fan, not a fanatic

By Anthony Policastro, M.D

It's an exciting time of year for sports fans. The World Series is going on. Football season is in full swing. The hockey and basketball seasons are getting underway. Whether you root for professional teams or for college teams, it is a good time to be a fan. What a lot of people do not realize is that "fan" is short for fanatic. It is one thing to root for a team. It is another to go off the deep end. I have season tickets to the Baltimore Ravens. One thing I can depend upon every game is someone getting tossed out of the stadium for inappropriate behavior. They even have a number posted in the stadium that you can text if someone in your area is unruly. They do not put up with bad behavior. We have heard about the violence at soccer stadiums in Europe. We have witnessed rioting and looting after sporting events in this country. There is no reason for this kind of extreme behavior. One of the things that the Ravens post on their message board at each game is statement about behavior. It reads something to the effect of root hard, but show respect for those around you. It ends with the statement: "but don't be a jerk". Usually the fans all have audience participation on the "don't be a jerk" portion. Then some of them go out and do just that. We have a responsibility to be accountable for our actions. It does not excuse us if we have had too much to drink. It does not excuse us if we are angry about our team losing. It does not excuse us if we are elated about our team winning. We see similar inappropriate behavior from parents at their children's sporting events. Those parents are responsible for teaching their children the proper way to behave. They are clearly not doing that well. The Ravens make it clear. If you are tossed out of two games for inappropriate behavior, you lose your season tickets. I would bet that any one who wound up in that situation would not see it as the right punishment for inappropriate behavior. They would blame it on the stadium. There are lots of opportunities for us to be fans. However, we must take responsibility for our actions. We need to do that out of respect for others. We need to do that out of respect for our team. We need to be fans and not fanatics. We should not be a jerk.

Del Tech hosts seminar Learn how to keep your brain healthy at a free seminar at Delaware Technical & Community College, Owens Campus on Wednesday, Nov. 12 from 3 to 8 p.m. in the Carter Partnership Center. The "Living a Brain Healthy Lifestyle" seminar will include a conversation with experts and inspiring retirees, interactive exhibits and games, brain quizzes, refreshments and demonstrations. Key topics are nutrition, spirituality, mental stimulation, physical activity and socialization. This event is open to everyone; it will be especially helpful for seniors seeking to maintain and improve their memory and mental functioning as well as baby boomers who want to remain vibrant as they age. Keynote speaker is Dr. Paul D. Nussbaum, a noted author and clinical neuropsychologist who specializes in aging across the lifespan and promoting brain health; he will present via videoconference from 7 to 8 p.m. For more information or to register, contact the Sussex Retired and Senior Volunteer Program at 856-5815.

Nanticoke raffles game system The Look-In Glass Shoppe at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will raffle a Wii gaming system console that includes a CD with five sports games, two nunchucks and two remotes (retail value $350). Tickets are on sale at The Look-In Glass Shoppe (located within Nanticoke Memorial Hospital) from Nov. 14 until Dec. 15 at noon. Tickets cost $5 each or five for $20. The drawing will be held at noon on Dec. 15. All proceeds from The Look-In Glass Shoppe benefit Nanticoke Health Services. For more information about the raffle, call 302-629-6611, ext. 4955.

AIDS Walk a success AIDS Delaware and the Delaware HIV Consortium announce that the 2008 AIDS Walk was successful in creating statewide awareness and growing the walks downstate. Peter Houle, executive director of the Delaware HIV Consortium stated, "We are proud of the fact that we grew the Walks substantially in Dover and Rehoboth Beach, where we doubled last year's participation and donations." This year's AIDS Walk grossed more than $196,000. AIDS Walk Delaware is presented by AIDS Delaware and the Delaware HIV Consortium, along with the Ministry of Caring and the Faith Community Partnership as additional partners. Although this year's participation and donations for the Wilmington Walk were down slightly from 2007, the Walk in Wilmington's Rockford Park raised over $149,000. The downstate walks in Dover and Rehoboth raised a total of $46,000. Donations are still being accepted. Checks can be made payable to AIDS Walk Delaware and mailed to 100 W. 10th St., Suite 315, Wilmington, DE 19801. Online donations are also accepted at

Hospice needs volunteers Hospice patients and their families need volunteers to read to patients, run errands, offer companionship and/or provide relief for caregivers. Training is provided by Compassionate Care Hospice. An information session will be held at Seaford Presbyterian Church located at 701 Bridgeville Road on Tuesday, Nov. 11 from 10 a.m. to noon. A Compassionate Care Hospice representative will be available to answer questions. The session will be held in the lower level of the church. For more information, contact Volunteer Coordinator Susan Graves at 302-934-5900.

Nanticoke offers flu shots Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Occupational Health will offer flu shots to the public at Nanticoke Mears Health Campus (across from Seaford Post Office) on the following dates: Thursday, Nov. 6 - 4 to 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 7 - 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The cost is $20. Medicare billing is available with proof of Medicare insurance. Pre-registration is required. The vaccine is not recommended for anyone under the age of 18; it is recommended for elderly and high-risk individuals. To schedule an appointment, call Nanticoke Occupational Health at 629-6611, ext. 8682.

Stroke and Osteoporosis Screening Life-Line Screening will be at the Nanticoke Senior Center on Dec. 10. The site is located at 310 Virginia Ave. in Seaford. Appointments will begin at 10 a.m. Screenings are non-invasive. They help identify potential health problems such as blocked arteries and irregular heart rhythm, abdominal aortic aneurysms, and hardening of the arteries in the legs, which is a strong predictor of heart disease. A bone density screening to assess osteoporosis risk is also offered and is appropriate for men and women. Register for a Wellness Package with Heart Rhythm for $149. All five screenings take 60 to 90 minutes to complete. For more information regarding the screenings or to schedule an appointment, call 1-877-237-1287 or visit us on the web at Pre-registration is required.