With the agony and the ecstasy of the Play-Off Finals set to reach its climax this Bank Holiday weekend, league sponsor, Sky Bet monitored the heart rate of a Millwall and Bradford City fan during their League One Play-off final at Wembley last weekend to see exactly the effect these games have on fans.
An 85th minute Steve Morison winner sent Millwall fan Jasper White into ecstasy as his heart rate leapt to 202 bpm (100% of his maximum predicted heart rate) in the Sky Bet League One Play-Off Final.
The Lions were promoted to the Sky Bet Championship in a nail biting finale to the League One season, and had to wait deep into the game to overcome Stuart McCall’s Bradford City.
Sky Bet, the EFL title sponsor, were studying the effects that watching the game had on heart rates and hooked up rival fans Jasper White (Millwall) and Jonny Lonsdale (Bradford City) to a monitor, along with the Millwall COO Steve Kavanagh and Sky Sports commentator and former Bradford player Don Goodman.
View the video here: https://youtu.be/njbh0fpecSw
Millwall got off to the brighter start in the game and this was reflected in the fans’ heart rates, with Jasper’s heart rate jumping from 145 at kick off to 167 when Millwall were awarded an early free kick that went close.
However, the Bantams grew into the game as the first half went on and in the 53rd minute Jasper’s heart rate dipped below Jonny’s for the first time in the game.
As the game approached extra-time, both fans knew that any goal would settle the result, and sure enough, when Morison stabbed home from a Lee Gregory flick-on, Jasper’s heart rate jumped through to 100% of his maximum heart rate at over 200 bpm.
Meanwhile, Bradford fan Jonny slumped to 113 bpm as he realised the chance of promotion was over for another season.
Both Goodman and Kavanagh’s heart rates peaked at the goal with the Millwall COO reaching 145 bpm from an average of 107.
Heart rate specialist Ollie Rix said: “During the first half and majority of the second there was slight fluctuations with key events, but the real change came with the goal.
“Overall the Millwall fan had a higher level of excitement throughout the game, but the peak shows the huge stress the body can go through supporting your team when the result means everything.”
The full-time whistle heralded jubilant celebrations from the Millwall fans and players and captain Tony Craig was fitted with a monitor as he went to the Royal Box to lift the Sky Bet League One Play-Off trophy.
Craig’s heart rate leapt to 174 as he lifted the trophy towards the Millwall fans, in what is sure to be remembered as one of the best moments in his career.