Responsible Super Bowl Fandom

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Effects of Superbowl on Your Mental Health



For those of you not in the know, the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl of 2015. Just as an FYI, I had to look up who the Patriots played for, how to spell Super Bowl and I gave up trying to find the correct Roman numeral for this year’s Super Bowl. I like watching it, but as you’ve probably guessed, Football is not my thing. However, I find the psychology behind the Super Bowl fascinating. Two teams, winning two divisions, get together and try to win a single game and this is supposed to be the end-all be-all decision on the best team of the season. Because it is a single game (as opposed to many, such as with baseball), there is a lot of stress and anticipation for this single game. Fans feel emotionally invested and can become focused on this, at the exclusion of a lot of other priorities in their lives. Per the article, “Some fans, especially when it comes to their involvement in fantasy sports, can be very distracted and emotionally unavailable,” said Farah Hussain Baig, LCSW psychotherapist and owner at InnerVoice Psychotherapy & Consultation in Chicago.

How do we prioritize when we are met with the culmination of our passion or fandom? The answer is, often we don’t. I’ll be honest, my mini-passion is Zelda. And I have no doubt that when the new one comes out this year, I will set aside 4 days and will be playing the game until I have defeated Ganon.

So, how can I, as a responsible therapist, admit and endorse this idea?? Well, I know it’s coming. I know the release date. I know that during, I will be frustrated and anxious to get back to playing, and for me, that’s part of the fun. So I prepare. I will schedule my time, I will have everything set up. My husband will be on Daddy-duty (and in exchange, I will be on Mommy-duty for his bit of fun). I will schedule it around my job so I have the time available. I will do all the grocery shopping ahead of time, pay all the bills and I will make sure that my higher priorities are taken care of to devote my time to my mini-passion.

Several of my friends lived for the game today, to the exclusion of all else. Some handled it better than others, and after watching, I realized that those who prepared were better able to enjoy as they had no other responsibilities to think about. They were also the ones who were able to enjoy the game, regardless of who won (although, there was massive disappointment all around during the last fumble… but who wouldn’t be disappointed with that interception?).

Practicing responsible fandom- it’s the way to keep your hobby or passion strong in the healthiest manner possible.