Did you know that married couples that get along and are overall happy with each other the most share many similarities in their DNA? In a study done by the University of Colorado at Boulder, when comparing the genomes of over 800 married couples and looking at areas that normally differ amongst most humans, more than half of these couples had fewer differences than two random people from the same population. The study went on to suggest that people, in general, get along with people of similar genome types and use these similarities to collaborate their efforts for more difficult projects.
This study perfectly applies to sports and family at the same time. In the case of sports, those that have the drive to win to the point where this competitiveness is within their own DNA always seem to push themselves and their teammates (who have their own parallels to couples in a relationship considering they live with each other more than their own families) to greater heights. Furthermore, these people seem to demand that they are surrounded by similar people that demand this very greatness in order to achieve the ultimate goal of a championship. The same story occurs in my autoethnography because when the Rangers traded their captain in Ryan Callahan for an again star in Martin St. Louis. Many questioned the move at the time of the trade, but the main reason behind such a trade was because St. Louis had the experience and the drive to push a team to a championship. That showed even after his mother’s death to the point where he scored the first goal for the Rangers on Mother’s Day as teammates swarmed him with hugs soon after he pointed to the sky. No matter the situation, St. Louis gave his all…and that always rubbed off on his teammates.
Now, getting to the point of family, the main reason that I got along with my grandmother (other than the obvious reason of her being my grandmother) was because of the kind hearts we both shared for the world. Because of this understanding, it helped us get along and have this unspoken bond where we could just look at each other and essentially have conversations with our eyes (just as many couples in the study claimed to do to continue the happiness within their relationship). By sharing similar DNA, we could talk about things that you couldn’t talk about with someone who was “just a friend” because your own family has their own sayings and colloquialisms that no one could understand from one simple meeting with the family It is something ingrained in the hearts and minds of our family to speak and act a certain way around each other and not be afraid to get into fights with each other based on what we say because we know that is just what we do and it is better to get something off of our chest and fight about it now rather than keep it inside (which is why this last sentence was so long because I just needed to get that whole idea out on to paper and don’t really care if someone disagrees with this point or not since it is only my opinion after all).
This understanding meant the world to me, and just as when one person loses the one they have been married to their whole life, I feel like I lost a part of my team when my grandmother passed away. The Rangers continue to face their own deaths. The team from that 2014 Stanley Cup is slowly dying to the point where Henrik Lundqvist is one of the only members that still remain on that team. Because of his no-trade clause, he will most likely remain a Ranger his whole career. Because the Rangers are so bad now that the team traded away so many future pieces to win in those previous years, he will most likely do so without ever winning a Stanley Cup, forever tarnishing his legacy even though he is one of the greatest goaltenders to ever live (I’m not just saying that because he is my idol you can look it up he is a top 10 goalie of all time…anyone who says otherwise just because he doesn’t have a championship is a joke). However, one thing he will never tarnish is the close-knit bond he has created with people like me because his DNA will always bleed the red, white and blue…of the New York Rangers.
By the way, a quick note on the survey…I just found out they only did this survey with white couples. I have no idea why and even after I looked into it, the only explanation that seems to make any sense is that white couples (or just couples of the same race) are more likely to have similar genome types, meaning that they did this survey knowing that they would get the answers they wanted? Or…since it is Colorado, a predominantly white state, it just worked out that way? That doesn’t seem to make sense, but I did look up other explanation on these studies, and only one of them seemed to question why they only used white couples (this source also mentioned that the couples were all born between the 1930s and 1950s, but that could just be because they wanted relationships they knew were long lasting and overall happy). So…though I do not have an answer, this is definitely something to ponder, and even if this study turns out to be disputed (which it hasn’t yet in 5 years, but rather critically acclaimed), I still stand by my points on family and sports because common similarities that are rooted in our DNA bring us closer together, and only make it that much harder to lose them when they do have to ultimately leave.