It has happened to all of us at one time or another. When we were so excited about something, whether it was soccer-related or not, we’ve gotten goose bumps. For me, the last time this happened was last week when I saw the Martin Tyler TV commercial on ESPN to promote the World Cup. I’ve seen the commercial (see video above) a half dozen times or more already, but watching it last week, it really sunk in and felt real because the World Cup is now just 84 days away. As soon as I saw it, goose bumps shot up across my arm.
If you’ll allow me, I thought it was interesting to get a description of what goose bumps are, what they’re called in other regions and why they happen:
Goose bumps, also called goose flesh, goose pimples, chill bumps, or the medical term cutis anserina, are the bumps on a person’s skin at the base of body hairs which may involuntarily develop when a person is cold or experiences strong emotions such as fear or awe. The reflex of producing goose bumps is known as horripilation, piloerection, or the pilomotor reflex. It occurs not only in humans but also in many other mammals; a prominent example are porcupines which raise their quills when threatened, or sea otters when they encounter sharks or other predators.
Awe is definitely a good word to describe one of the triggers that causes goose bumps. There have been plenty of experiences in my life where soccer has given me goose bumps. Watching the national anthems being played before a World Cup game. Listening to supporters at Anfield singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” Stepping inside the Orange Bowl in Miami to see 40,000 fans cheering on a friendly between Germany and Argentina. The list goes on and on.
I will note that as I get older, I get goose bumps less often than when I was younger. That’s probably because I’ve experienced a lot and there aren’t a ton of new experiences I have yet to see or feel. But it’s also probably because I’m more desensitized to things. I’m not sure if that’s because of being older (40) or living in a culture where so many of us live in our separate worlds and interact less.
But what about you? When was the last time you got goose bumps when it was related to soccer, and what caused it?