A new study by Ohio State University found that fans experience a boost in self-esteem after watching their team win. More specifically, college football fans enjoyed improved self-esteem following a team victory for at least two full days afterwards. But, what about fans on the losing side? Luckily, fans of a losing team don’t necessarily experience a drop in their self-esteem, but their moods are often dampened.
Another crucial finding from the study was that both winning and losing fans alike benefit from watching games in a group setting, surrounded by friends. Being around other people softens the blow of a tough loss, but also boosts happiness and self-esteem in the event of an epic victory. “Just feeling connected to others while watching the game helped sustain self-esteem,” says the study co-author. “You want to be in this with other people. Winning or losing, it is better to be a fan with your friends.”