Fanhood to Manhood: Shock Therapy for the Recovering Sports Fanatic
by Tommy Knoxville
Price verified 16 hours ago
If we want it bad enough, if we yell loud enough, if we concentrate hard enough, maybe we'll give our boys the edge they need. Regardless, we're all in. Seeing through their eyes, feeling through their muscles, we risk defeat alongside them, and the payoff is an experience bordering on the religious.
The team affirms who we are. Their tradition = our tradition. Their reputation = our reputation. Their record = our record. Let it be known through our clothes, our ringtone, our Facebook posts: we are true fans for life.
Ah, and the games themselves. The anticipation, the triumph, the group euphoria! That's the high we chase. That's the thrill that vindicates our loyalty. That's why we're fans.
However, there's a dark side.
When cheering for a team causes more anxiety than joy, when it affects how we show up for those we love, when it becomes an excuse for destructive behavior (binge spending, binge drinking, binge raging), when our obsession with the team's journey comes at the expense of our own journey - that's when an innocent hobby has turned toxic.
Once upon a time, this was me. My mood, my esteem and my testosterone levels depended on the athletic performance of strangers. (Your testosterone levels, too, says science - see chapter 21.) I'd celebrate when they won and pout when they lost, sometimes for weeks at a time. Immersed in the delusion that their games had something to do with me, some of my highest thrills and deepest satisfaction came through my team. (Sound familiar?)
While I chose this life, I didn't get it by accident. A billion-dollar industry had been quietly partnering with research psychologists to make me watch more, care more, spend more. Whatever it took to boost my "Psychological Commitment to Team" score (yes, that's a thing), to move me up the "Fan Involvement Ladder" (from suspect to customer to raving fan), to ensure I frequently "BIRGed" (Basked In Reflective Glory) and seldom "CORFed" (Cut Off Reflective Failure) - their ...
Genre: Sports & Outdoors
Lending: Not EnabledAdded: Sep 26th, 2020