Why Are We So Obsessed With Football?
Well, you might have heard there’s a little NFC Championship game on Sunday. If your household is anything like mine, you have listened to your fair share of predictions from radio and TV sports pundits. While my daughter could not care less, my husband, my son, and I have been donning our Eagles gear all week in anticipation of the game.
So what is the fascination with football in America? Yes, it is fast-paced and exciting, but there is actually science behind why many Americans can't peel themselves away from the action on the gridiron.
University of Pennsylvania psychology professor Martin Seligman says pleasure and gratification are fundamentals of happiness. Watching our team may actually produce feel-good chemicals in our brains. Psychologist David McClelland notes that affiliation to something is a basic need. Being part of a fan base brings people together. When my son and husband go to a game, people they never met or will ever see again high-five each other in the stands. In my unscientific study, when I wear my Eagles sweatshirt I will most likely hear someone say, "GO BIRDS!"
Finally, the accomplishments of a team can feel a lot like our own personal accomplishments think about how we talk about our teams..."WE are having a great season, WE are winning this game today." None of us will be suiting up in uniform and putting on a helmet, yet WE are somehow a part of the team.
So, if someone tries to distract you from the action on Sunday, you can simply tell them that watching the game is a biological necessity.