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Identity Fusion – Fan Loyalty Made Stronger by Defeats

Are you a diehard supporter of the Buffalo Bills or the Sabres? Have you spent the better part of your life having your dreams of a Super Bowl or Stanley Cup crushed time and time again? Do you come back each and every year, supporting these teams, despite the pain and the agony of defeat? Have you ever wondered why your bond is so strong with these teams, despite their tendency to underperform?

A team of UK scientists has conducted a study demonstrating that fans of losing teams bond with their teams in similar ways that fans of winning teams do. There’s even a term for it – Identity Fusion. Apparently it all comes down to the intensity of the emotional experience that drives fans to support teams. The stronger the emotion that one feels, the more he or she will rally behind the team.

When it comes to sports, Buffalo is one of the most emotional cities in the world. That explains our deep rooted bonds and steadfast loyalty to our teams. It turns out that our collective anger, disgust and disappointment in the face of defeat are the emotional bonds that continue to fuel our devotion to our teams.

You can read all about this phenomenon in the Daily Mail. And the next time someone asks you why you still remain loyal to The Bills or Sabres, just scream at them “Identity Fusion!” That should shut them up. Then you can continue to cry into your beer in peace, before getting really to rally for the next game.

Lead image: kakisky

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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