Fanaticism in sports is passionate devotion to the team. Fan is keenly aware of the successes and failures of his club. If victory is stormy joy, then loss is uncontrolled aggression. The tribune for admirers is, in fact, a platform for self-expression, where there are no worries and rules – only freedom. After all, if in ordinary life a person suddenly goes out into the street with a flag in his hands and starts screaming, it will not end in anything good. But for ardent admirers, this behavior is quite understandable, so at the match they come off to the fullest and express their emotions openly.
As in any mass activity, there are unrestrained admirers in sports, admirers who do not miss a single match, and just admirers of a particular sport, enjoying its beauty, aesthetics and indescribable emotions. But they have something in common: the degree of commitment, self-identification with this or that team, the desire to follow it, to know each player, their history, the desire to be as close as possible to their favorite club.
And here you can outline a certain range of “activity” that defines an admirer and a fanatic: for a fan, a sports competition, especially one in which a favorite team or athlete participates, is interest, new emotions, passion, even if it takes up most of life. For a fanatic, this is life itself!
Why do fans become addicted to sports?
That’s what makes the hearts of ardent sports fans beat faster.
Emotional release. Scientists say that those who watch sports experience the same hormonal surges as the players themselves. In 2014, when Brazil was hosting the World Cup, researchers studied the saliva of Brazilian fans before and after the final match. And here’s what they found out: in the fans of the losing team, the level of the hormone cortisol in the body increased sharply.
Free paraphernalia with the symbols of your favorite team. Sports are truly addictive. What brings crazy emotions, we do again and again. It happens because of a sharp release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that affects the feeling of pleasure, forms attachment and gives satisfaction.
Level of hormones. In addition to dopamine, other “happiness” hormones are also released: endorphin, serotonin, norepinephrine. This biochemical combo is partly what creates addiction. Fans are strongly connected to their favorite team when it gives them paraphernalia with its symbols. The Toronto NBA basketball club, for example, periodically presents T-shirts and scarves to its admirers. A trifle, but nice, and most importantly – free. In this case, the fans begin to identify with the team even more and feel a sense of belonging to the crowd of admirers.