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  • Algonquin Books

Fans: How Watching Sports Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Understanding

Larry Olmsted

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Sociology: sport & leisure, Sports & outdoor recreation, Sports psychology

The New York Times bestselling author of Real Food/Fake Food delivers a short, highly entertaining game-changer that uses cutting-edge research into sports fandom to make the sometimes counterintuitive case for why being a fan is good for us individually and is a force for positive change in our society.

The perfect book for everyone cheering from the couch during the Tokyo Olympics Larry Olmsted s writing and research have been called eye-opening (People), impressive (Publishers Weekly, starred review), and enlightening (Kirkus Reviews). Now, the New York Times and Washington Post bestselling author turns his expertise to a subject that has never been fully explored, delivering a highly entertaining game changer that uses brand-new research to show us why being a sports fan is good for us individually and is a force for positive change in society. Fans is a passionate reminder of how games, teams, and the communities dedicated to them are vital to our lives. Citing fascinating new studies on sports fandom, Larry Olmsted makes the case that the more you identify with a sports team, the better your social, psychological, and physical health is; the more meaningful your relationships are; and the more connected and happier you are. Fans maintain better cognitive processing as their gray matter ages; they have better language skills; and college students who follow sports have higher GPAs, better graduation rates, and higher incomes after graduating. And there s more: On a societal level, sports help us heal after tragedies, providing community and hope when we need it most. Fans is the perfect gift for anyone who loves sports or anyone who loves someone who loves sports. Olmsted opens a window into a psychologically compelling world of passion and purpose. Harvey Araton, author of Our Last Season: A Writer, a Fan, a Friendship

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