The contemporary history of world’s best game spans more than 100 years.
This history could be traced to as far back as 1863 when Football Association of England was formed which later became the first sport’s governing body.
The game of football has developed over time and has got many supporters whose lives revolve around football.
In many countries, football has ingrained itself into the national culture and parts of life may revolve around it. Many countries now have daily football magazines.
Football players, especially those that play in the top level of the game, have become role models for people in all corners of the world.
Attendance at football matches has consistently grown on the daily basis as people develop the passion for this game of Association.
But, the avid football fans have been affected in so many ways: Intellectually, Medically, Psychologically, Financially and otherwise.
Dangers Of Being An Avid Football Fan
Football some people would say is God’s gift to humanity, the health problems that often affect athletes are well-known, but what about the zealous followers who watch them play?
Asides from risks associated with dashed hopes and happy dances, the outcome of big games as research have shown has taken tons of emotional effects on the avid football fans.
Many people have built strong emotional attachments to football.
During the Africa Cup of nations (AFCON) 2013, when Nigeria played Burkina Faso in the finals, a 65year old retired banker, Felix Bassey slumped at his residence in Akute area of Lagos State, Nigeria.
News has it that before he was rushed to Eko hospital at Ikeja he already gave up the ghost. He was said to have died of a heart ailment. Although Nigeria won the match, Mr. Bassey was not around to witness the victory.
Because of the connection between emotions and cardiac health, heart-related deaths can rise or fall in a region depending on how the local teams fare.
The number of sudden deaths tends to be on the rise mostly 8 days or more after a big game. Doctors have advised that those who are deeply attached to football need not give up…
But avid football fans should be aware of stressful emotional situations and should avoid getting too worked up in the period following a big loss. This will help to reduce the post-game heart attack risk.
High Rise Of Stress Hormones
Studies have shown that during a big game, world cup, league championships, etc the avid football fan whose team will play usually has elevated levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress and testosterone.
The people who are known to suffer from such problem are the fans and not the players themselves partly because they have no actual control over the outcome of the game.
Overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones can disrupt processes in your body system.
Another study, also deduced that there is an increase in testosterone after a win is noted and this can lead to increased libido and more energy – not necessarily a bad thing.
When your team/club loses, often time depression may follow. Sports psychologists say that “loss is one of the most psychologically disappointing experiences a person can have,” and for some, the symptoms can be very painful.
An avid football fan tends to experience loss, despair, irritability, anger and lack of focus at work; all these are common symptoms of depression.
Depression also has an effect on the eating habits of avid football fans, following the moment of loss.
This is abundantly evident in the way some men shy away from friends and family after a loss. This goes on for days and weeks sometimes until there’s another victory to cheer them up.
Research has shown that people eat better, follow their diet, go to the gym, etc, when their team wins but will not be motivated to do any of that when it loses, especially if they lost unexpectedly, by a narrow margin, or against a team of equal strength. That disgusting feeling can make one have loss of appetite or even eat junk food.
If you are concerned about healthy eating after a defeat: Psychologists say you should write down what is really important in your life, by so doing you have completely eliminated the effects of the defeat.
Researchers have discovered that there is more increase in auto-related deaths in cities where they have more avid football fans.
Following a win by their teams/clubs especially when they win by a close margin, the fans would delve into drunk driving which eventually causes more road accidents.
In Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana and some other African Countries, this has been a trend for expressing their joy over the victory of their team/club. Bikes and taxis are used for celebratory show-off skills, and such celebrations usually cause fatalities and death sometimes to these die hard fans.
Another study has shown that the more competitive the game, the more auto deaths occur. Using a scale of one to five, for each point the game increased on the scale, there’d be an average of 21.2 percent increase in the traffic deaths and a whopping 133 percent increase from one to five.
For every four close games, there is an additional death near the game location; this could be attributed to the increase in testosterone.
Easily Moved by After Game Adverts
Adverts seen after the end of a big game can have a stronger impact on the avid football fan. Some people whose teams lost are engulfed in anger which can lead to a ravaging end. Whereas when some peoples’ team win, the reverse would be the case.
Games with high excitement levels result in a transfer of that emotion to the ads – particularly to ads that were shown at the end of the game that also has a lot of energy and excitement built in them.
Fans who were excited after the end a big game tend to rate ads more favorably than the ads watched after a game where their team lost or a boring game.
This isn’t much of a health risk, as long as the viewer can fight off the temptation of ads promoting excessive beer and junk foods.
Despite the risks, it doesn’t mean sports should be off-limits. Studies found out that an attachment to a team can protect people from depression and do wonders for fostering feelings of self-worth and belonging.
Just try to not freak out too much, always remember to drive safely and don’t drown your sorrow in chips and chili-cheese fries.