23.Sep.2014 Basking in Reflective Glory
As many of you know, I have been trying to figure out why I feel so disgusting when watching sports as opposed to playing them. While researching this I came across this article entitled “Basking in Reflective Glory” (Duck fans) written in 1976 and another called “The Psychology of Sports Fans” which describes how they “Cut off Reflective Failure” (Beaver fans).
Both phenomena are equally pathetic. On Twitter, I see Duck fans acting belligerent and proud, as if they themselves are ranked #2, played in the Rose Bowl, they’re shooting for the Heisman, etc. In reality all they have done is sit on a couch and chosen to associate themselves with other people who are out there doing those things. If you remember in the past, I wrote that using words like “we” when describing the Beavers felt wrong. I made a push to write “they”. Well the second article mentions this:
In contrast, “CORFing” means that you “Cut Off Reflected Failure.” Your team was trounced and now you want to distance yourself from them and their disgrace as much as possible. It’s not “we,” who lost, it’s “they.” The last thing a CORFer wants to wear on the day following the team’s loss are hats or shirts with the team’s logo. This is the test of the true vs. fickle fan. It’s the CORFers who are the fickle fans. Their identification with them rises and falls with the box scores. True fans, in contrast, will don jerseys, hats, and almost any item with the team logo no matter how poorly their team performs. True fans may feel dejected, but their heroes remain their heroes, even if somewhat tarnished by defeat.
This also explains why many of us on AB hate the old guard. They are the “true fans” who stick with a group of “heroes”, while we are the “fickle fans” who want to distance from the disgrace. I’d rather be the latter because it’s only approving of and rewarding a high standard. I’d say we are not so much fickle as we have high standards for all things in life. Do you find that true in your day to day life? I do.
Anyway, I was happy to finally understand why I feel disgusting watching sports: it is because I’m not out there doing. On Saturday my girlfriend and I cycled to a local field and threw the football around (she can sling it about 15 yards!). Not a single person watched us, there was no glory, yet it was more rewarding than coming home to watch the Beavers beat SDSU.
The links are posted above, and I suggest everyone read both articles. The one written in 1976 is especially fascinating and excellent. This morning I made fun of some Ducks on Twitter for basking in reflective glory. I am hoping this catches on because it’s really the best insult as it highlights how pathetic this all is.