The Psychology of the Sports Fan 

For those of us who are passionate about our sports teams, it’s clear why our love runs so deep; watching our team win (or lose) builds community in a way that not much else can. Where else can you connect with thousands or even millions of other people right beside you or right around the world for a shared experience? Where else can you foster an instant connection with someone with the recognition of a jersey or a logo?  
In this age of remote working and online interactions, the desire to belong has increased, and sharing the trials and tribulations of your favourite sports team can feel like an entertaining and engaging way to join a group. Particularly in large cities, where so many come from so many diverse backgrounds, getting behind the same sports team can be a unifying force and an opportunity to connect with so many diverse people in the same places and spaces; it can be a powerful and painless way to create community.  
Sports fans also recognize the value of being highly linked to their favourite team: their challenges, obstacles, injuries, and bad calls in the pursuit of success can serve as a guide and inspiration for our own lives as well as goals. It's good for our mental health to also have a place to express some strong emotions freely and feel supported. Nothing beats the exhilaration of a last-minute-come-from-behind win or the catharsis of sobbing for a painful defeat and to be able to let it go surrounded by those who get exactly what you are feeling.  While fandom can turn fanatical and seem frenzied, the sports fan can show us how community can be built, loyalty and resilience can be cultivated, and the true power of hope.  
The Psychology of The Sports Fan

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