Sometimes being a fan hurts and sometimes it can cause people to do things that seem strange, irrational, or unreasonable. So why do fans of even the most disappointing teams keep coming back season after season? Why do we act in a way that causes our loved ones to cover their face in shame? Why are we fans?
Knowing I wasn’t the only one asking this question, I decided to find out. I needed help, so I made the trip from New York City to Murray, Kentucky to speak with Daniel Wann -- a man who has spent the last 25 years trying to answer that question as a Professor of Psychology at Murray State. Wann has an extensive list of academic papers on the psychology of sports fans, and I knew if anyone could help clarify why fans act the way they do, it would be him. From family members to social well-being to death salience, we discuss the inner workings that make fans ... fans.