If you’re an Eagles fan, today is a good day. The whole city (and then some) is celebrating the Eagles’ first time in franchise history as Super Bowl Champions. In a few short hours, the team will parade through the streets of Philadelphia with thousands of fans cheering and showing their Eagles pride.
Those thousands of fans didn’t win the Super Bowl themselves – they didn’t put in work day in and day out practicing, lifting, eating right, watching film, competing under pressure… and so on – but they certainly feel like part of the process, and importantly, part of the outcome.
Because being a sports fan has a lot of benefits. Supporting a team:
Helps people feel connected to those around them
Provides meaning as people feel like part of something bigger than themselves
Can increase feelings of self-worth
These benefits draw people in and keep them coming back game after game, season after season, until you’re a lifelong fan.
Many Philly fans are second and third generation fans, following in the footsteps of their Eagle-loving ancestors. This kind of committed fandom transcends merely liking a team – you feel like you’re part of the culture, and that the team is part of yours. You dress the part and speak the part. You develop a personal identification with the team. You find yourself using personal pronouns as you analyze Sunday’s game, saying, “We just couldn’t get it done,” or “Our guys looked great.” All of this demonstrates how steeped in the team’s culture you can feel as a fan.
When you’re in this deep, the lows feel so low. When the team loses, fans feel that loss. It might affect your mood, leaving you feeling disappointed, frustrated, angry, or miserable.
But the bright side is that the highs feel so high. When your team is successful and victorious, you feel successful and victorious. And when your team accomplishes the ultimate victory – bringing home the title of Super Bowl Champs – those vicarious feelings are amplified. This all culminates in the immense feelings of pride, excitement, and sheer joy that Philadelphians are feeling today as they take to the streets to celebrate their city’s team.