Lesson #294: The Psychology of Sports Desperation

I got home from a baseball game last night in time to catch the end of the Red Wings/Blackhawks Game 7. Though I am not a fan of either team (and the Red Wings will be moving into the same division as my team next season), I was cheering for the Red Wings because I support any continued opportunity to watch Pavel Datsyuk be amazing.* Unfortunately, I was on the wrong side of the cheering section, but it was a pretty intense final few minutes.**

Anyway, this reminded me of an article I read years ago about how fans of losing teams are actually happier overall than fans of teams that are perennial winners. The examples they used were the Pirates and the Yankees. While I was looking around for this article (which I couldn’t find), I came across a more recent article about how fans find games more entertaining and get more enjoyment from them if there’s a dash of desperation involved for their team.***

*I mean this in the literal sense, not in the over-used North American crutch adjective sense. Anyone who can dangle a puck so hard that it lands someone of Logan Couture’s calibre on his backside is okay by me.**** Also, as an aside, Glenn Healy’s recent declaration that Datsyuk doesn’t have “all the God-blessed talent in the world” is truly hilarious. This is a man whose last name has been made into an adjective. And, as the Puck Daddy post linked above notes, “The man is a wizard. There are wizards, I imagine, who see him do what he does and think, “Damn, that’s some next-level crap.”

**Not unlike the final few minutes of my team’s game 7, only without the epic collapse. *sigh*

***They do not find it enjoyable when their team somehow blows a 4-1 lead with ten minutes to go in game 7.

****I reserve all right to completely change my opinion of this ability when it’s someone from my team who gets caught out come the 2013-14 season.

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