Posted: May 27, 2021
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You can tell Fans: How Watching Sports Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Understanding was probably written as a gift for Dad, or at least a gift for men, for people, who love sports. But I think Larry Olmsted's case for sports enthusiasm (obsession) leading to better overall social, psychological, and physical health would be an even better gift for women, for people, for namely my wife, She-Ra: Princess of Power, who think passion for a game, a team, an athlete is about as far away from healthy as you can get.

And also obnoxious. All-consuming. Annoying. Choke-holding her attempts to host dinner parties and plan vacations.

Fans author Olmsted uses case studies on sports fandom to develop his thesis that this addiction is good for us, both individually and as "a force for positive change in society." Research indicates sports fans maintain better cognitive processing as they age [probably for stats and the plays the coach should have called] and have increased language skills [especially for words that start with "F"].

College kids into sports have higher GPAs [so they don't get kicked out and lose their cheap student tickets to the games], better graduation rates [braggin' rights of calling themselves alums], and higher incomes post-graduation [gotta become a donor and get that scoreboard named after them!]

Fans goes even further, to a societal level, suggesting sports provide hope and healing for communities dealing with the effects of tragedies.

Fans: How Watching Sports Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Understanding sounds like a Hail Mary...and a game-changer if it's true.

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