Super Fandom: An In-depth Look at its Influence on Mental Health
The NFL season is here which brings excitement for many fans. Some fans may consider themselves “super fans”. With this comes many positive aspects as well as negative aspects for “super fans”.
Super Fandom and Positive Mental Health Impacts
For many “super fans” their sports team creates a sense of belonging and community. Fandom can allow people to share their passion and form friendships with like-minded individuals. There is an opportunity for people to showcase their talents for teams they are passionate about through fan art, fan videos, and fan fiction. It can allow individuals to express their creativity and connect to fandom in unique ways.
The Darkside of Being a A Superfan
Super fandom can also lead to toxic behavior, such as online harassment, bullying, and gatekeeping. For some fans this leads to an unhealthy level of obsession, where fans prioritize their fandom over other aspects of their lives. This can negatively impact their relationships, work, and overall well-being. Investing in tickets, fan merchandise, and game day essentials can pose as a financial burden as well. Many super fans can become overwhelmed by the constant demands and expectations of being a dedicated fan. This can result in a loss of interest, exhaustion, and a negative impact on mental health.
Is Alcohol a Problem for US Sports Fans?
Another aspect of fandom that can create negative consequences is drinking alcohol. Alcohol consumption is often associated with socializing and celebrating, and sports events are no exception. It is important to understand the potential risks and consequences of excessive alcohol consumption in the context of sports. Moderate drinking is defined as consuming up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2021). Alcohol impairs judgment, coordination, and balance, increasing the risk of injuries. Impaired decision-making abilities while under the influence of alcohol can lead to reckless behavior and poor judgment, increasing the chances of accidents and injuries.
Excessive alcohol consumption over time can lead to various long-term health consequences. These include liver damage, cardiovascular diseases, increased risk of certain cancers, and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2021). Individuals should be aware of the potential long-term risks associated with heavy drinking. While enjoying a drink during sports events is common, it is essential to understand the potential risks and consequences of excessive alcohol consumption. Moderate drinking is generally considered acceptable, but exceeding these limits can negatively impact athletic performance, increase the risk of injuries, hinder recovery, and lead to long-term health issues. It is crucial for athletes and sports enthusiasts to make informed decisions about alcohol consumption and prioritize their overall well-being.
Overall being a “super fan” during football season can be an exhilarating experience, but it comes with pros and cons. The sense of belonging, excitement, and the bonding opportunities can be incredibly rewarding. However, the emotional rollercoaster, time, financial commitment, and temptations to consume excessive amounts of alcohol are important factors to consider. Ultimately, being a “super fan” is a personal choice, and it is essential to find a balance that allows you to join the experience while taking care of your well-being.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Moderate Drinking. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/faqs.htm#moderateDrinking
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2021). Alcohol’s Effects on the Body. Retrieved from https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/alcohols-effects-body
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