I was telling Eric the other night that I start a new post by adding an item from this day in Dodgers history. Sometimes it sparks an idea for the post. Today’s historical item has churned up some disgusting feelings in my gut.
I am a pretty even tempered person, but there are certain things that really push my buttons. Man’s inhumanity to man is one of them. I have very little tolerance for bullies and for people who are extremely rude and violent to others. I guess I am not alone, considering the popularity of that theme in just about every movie about high school and vigilante movies like Billy Jack, Falling Down and just about any movie starring Charles Bronson.
Why would a guy throw coffee in the face of a fan of the opposing team? Some psychologists have made a study that indicates when individuals identify and form a strong connection with a local team, it is related to their psychological health. “The more they identify with the team, the higher their self-esteem, the higher their vigor or energy, the lower their fatigue, confusion, depression, and alienation.” says Daniel L. Wann, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Murray State University in Kentucky. Dedicated supporters are proud of their allegiance, but sometimes team spirit can be carried too far. “If you’re all gung-ho for your team and anything goes in terms of people who are your rivals, that’s when violence can happen,” explains Edward Hirt, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Indiana University.
The vast majority of fans take games in stride, but for a small number, spectating may not be a healthy pastime. Some team worshipers could benefit from gaining the perspective that it’s only a game. Sports can become disruptive to interpersonal relationships and, for some fans, an excuse to act violently. We do not have to look back that far to see how a couple of thugs thought they could feel better about themselves by beating Bryan Stow to within an inch of his life.
Much more on fandom topics is available at http://www.findingdulcinea.com/news/sports/Psychologists-Tackle-Fandom.html
This Day in Dodgers History
September 19, 2000 – A Dodger fan, in addition to other court-ordered restrictions, has been banned from attending home games in Los Angeles for 18 months. The irate patron threw coffee in the face of a Mets fan who was cheering a grand slam hit by New York’s catcher Todd Pratt.