Male hockey fans may be swelling with pride, among other things, over their favourite teams, according to a sex study conducted at the University of Alberta. Researchers have discovered that men exposed to televised hockey tend to have larger penises, a physical manifestation that goes off the charts come playoff time.

“We haven’t figured out the reason for this yet,” said one researcher. “But one of us thinks it’s all about the sticks.”

Another conclusion that’s being yanked around is the psychological theory that fans view hockey players as extensions as themselves. “And given the physiology of some of those players, I suspect,” adds another researcher, “metaphysical worship translates into increased physical properties. And voila! The penis gets larger through fanatical thought!”

Yet another theory being flogged, but eventually beaten down, was the notion that fans fantasized their favourite players, given their size and protective gear, resemble Roman gladiators. Bu that notion was deflated by researchers as being far too homoerotic to be considered seriously.

“Man,” commented yet another researcher. “That one was far too gay, even for us!”