The Unique Neurology of the Sports Fan’s Brain


But what of the losers? It turns out they have clever strategies for feeling good, too. The first stage of coping with a loss is often CORFing—Cutting Off Reflected Failure. Here Cialdini’s research revealed that pronoun choice was highly subjective. BIRGers will say, “We crushed them,” while CORFers invariably distance themselves from the failure: “They blew it.” Losers may then continue with a suite of mnemonically-termed coping mechanisms, including: BIRFing—Basking In Reflected Failure, the underdog mentality; CORSing— Cutting Off Reflected Success, as in the nostalgic fan who rejects success gained through deceit (i.e. doping) and opines for the more pure glory of times past; and COFFing—Cutting Off Future Failure, a strategy of not getting too excited when a team with a historically poor record starts to do well (lest their success prove to be short-lived).

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Brian J. Barth – Nautilus

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