Tournament scoring's up

(From Sports Illustrated, March 30, 1998)

A highly charged atmosphere surrounds the Five Nations rugby tournament, an annual series of matches among teams from England, France, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. National pride is at stake, and passion runs high. And in Ireland, at least, it's not just sporting passion.

The Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) recently completed a study showing that sexual activity on the Emerald Isle reaches a peak on the nights of Five Nations matches. The IFPA determined this by analyzing the demand for the morning-after contraceptive pill, which reached record levels on the mornings after games. "The whole town will get wrapped up in the game," says IFPA chief executive Tony O'Brien. "Drink runs freely, and even married couples get carried away." O'Brien also says that through a game-by-game comparison of contraceptive sales, the association was able to determine which opponent most raised Irish, er, enthusiasm. The answer, perhaps not surprisingly: France.