Sports fans are a group of followers with passion, interest, love, and enthusiasm for the sporting activity of their choice. Another word for them is FANDOM.
According to Wikipedia, a fandom is a subculture composed of fans characterized by a feeling of empathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest. And beyond being there to cheer their teams or athletes at a live match or event, fans have become religious.
“Indeed, psychologists claim that sport has many of the same effects on spectators as religion does. Here is Daniel Wann, a leading sports psychologist at Murray State University, and his co-authors: ‘The similarities between sport fandom and organized religion are striking. Consider the vocabulary associated with both: faith, devotion, worship, ritual, dedication, sacrifice, commitment, spirit, prayer, suffering, festival, and celebration.
“It may seem odd, to equate religion with sports entertainment but it must be understood that prior to mass communications, religious ceremonies were a source of entertainment for ordinary people who rarely attended a theater or traveled to a sporting event. Sports and religion may get categorized separately but their intersection is striking.” (https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_924601?guccounter=1).
Whether this is a valid argument or not is up for a contest. Also, we have seen instances of fans sponsoring a team. An example is the German Bundesliga club FC Union Berlin where they once claimed to have donated their “blood” to the team.
But what really are the benefits of being a fan? “The deeper your fandom and love for your team, the more invested you’re going to be emotionally and physically. Plus, being a dedicated sports fan actually has some positive benefits for your health.
1. It builds camaraderie with friends when you cheer for the same team or play on a team together.
2. It can inspire athleticism by inspiring you to exercise or work out to be like your favorite player.
3. It provides entertainment and stress relief through cheering and socializing.
4. It builds traditions and connections through your hometown, state, school, or alma mater.
Watching sports reduces depression among people who are interested in sports, whether their team is winning or not. Being a superfan not only helps with relieving stress and depression, but it also acts as a self-esteem booster.
This feeling is called reflected glory and it’s the positive effect you feel from your team winning. It allows you to experience success which you wouldn’t have had if you were not a fan. (https://www.ahealthiermichigan.org/2017/09/22/benefits-of-fandom-how-being-a-sports-fan-improves-your-health/). But away from the health and social benefits of being a sports fan, there has been an expanding means of rewarding passion. It is about sports betting and lottery.
But being able to draw a line between staking a bet out of your passion for the game and surviving on betting is important. The essence of fandom mustn’t be sacrificed on the platform of unrealistic gains. The last, not the least, fans also get considered for free tickets. The benefits are there. Ready to become a fan?