Believing in one’s team

FEEL THE GAME - Bobby Motus (The Freeman) - April 16, 2021 - 12:00am

Support to one’s chosen team ranges from the rabid to the passive and emotions are expressed in several forms. Rabid or diehard fans continue to cheer and support their teams thru winning and losing seasons. It is called fan loyalty even if the team performs badly year after year.

Passive fans, also known as bandwagon fans or fair-weather fans, always shift their support to whichever team has a winning season and are usually the loudest and the silliest.

In a study on fan loyalty, psychologists attributed these factors on what makes a person either a loyal fan or a bandwagoner:

Entertainment value – whether a fan is delighted or had enjoyed watching the team is what motivates him or her to be loyal.  A loyal fan base also entertains a community, thus strengthening fan support.

Authenticity – psychologists describe it as the “acceptance of the game as real and meaningful”.

Fan bonding – is when fans personally connect and interact with players and team.

Team history and tradition – fans get motivated from the history and tradition of the team.

Group affiliation – fans get a personal sense of authenticity for their support of a team when they’re with a group of fans who also support the same team, a feeling of community thru regular meet-ups.

Some people, maybe because a team or an athlete is so popular and successful, undermine their performance and the allegiance of their fans.  Resentment?  Envy?  They may not win all the time but thru the years, they had established themselves as a force in the sport.   And fans’ loyal support is what makes them get going thru good times or bad times.

Football (soccer) has the biggest fan base in the world and is the most popular and has the most popular athletes, played by more than 20 million people in 140 countries.  Tennis on the other hand is the most popular individual sport played by 60 million men and women around the world

Things may not look good for some teams and athletes, but fans cannot be faulted for believing in their teams.  It is never a delusion or a fallacious idea.  What is misleading is considering yourself a professional player by missing both free throws by shooting first with your left and then your right hand.  This is clearly a fallacy.



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