Philadelphia – A University of Pennsylvania study of ex-NFL linemen found that years of repeated holding penalties make the men incapable of performing even the most basic hugs. Linemen average two holding penalties per game, and linemen who had been called for ten or more “severe” holding penalties were 400% more likely to balk at, screw up, or completely ignore hugs. “We compared the linemen to a control group of kickers and quarterbacks,” said lead researcher Dr. Ken Klinman. “Presented with a family member standing with arms out in a hug position, the linemen were unable to reciprocate. In the worst cases, some linemen responded with a handshake.” MRIs revealed that portions of the brain which normally light up at the onset of a hug remained dark in the linemen. Dr. Klinman theorized that the trauma involved in being penalized for holding someone, frequently a 300-pound man, imprints in the linemen a fear of holding anyone. The NFL says it takes holding penalties seriously, but that it believes other causes, such as anger management issues or concussions, may be to blame.