Thank God for Rob Ray’s hair. 

A scary situation occurred during a Monday night hockey game between the Buffalo Sabres and the Arizona Coyotes. 

Rob Ray, one of the broadcasters for the Sabres, was sitting between the benches where there was a break in the glass. He normally sits there while broadcasting the games.

At one point in the 3rd period, the puck soared off the ice and hit Ray just above his glasses.

Don’t worry, though – he took the puck to the face like a champ. After all, he’s Rob Ray. He knows what it’s like to play professional hockey, and at one point after the incident, he proclaimed “It felt good!” 

But why did Rob Ray handle the puck to the face so well?

Well, it may have to do with his hair…at least a little bit. 

Research over the last few years has shown that people with red hair “perceive pain differently than others.” The National Institutes of Health published their findings from multiple studies that “suggest their general pain tolerance may be higher.”

While Rob Ray may have a different hairdo now, he used to have natural red hair, wouldn’t you say?

If you have red hair, you carry the variant of the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) gene, which “controls the production of melanin, the pigment that gives skin, hair, and eyes their color.”

Researchers conducted several experiments using red-haired mice that carry the same variant in order to determine how this variant was linked to having a higher pain tolerance, and they found that these red-haired mice show higher tolerance to pain.

You can read more about that study here and how they arrived at that conclusion. 

This mutation has also been proven to be linked to the reason why red-haired people tend to sunburn easier

Rob Ray is thankfully ok, and he continued the broadcast after receiving medical attention. 

But it does make you wonder…did his genes play a role in his quick recovery?

The Sabres won the game against Arizona with a final score of 5-2. 

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