Basking in Reflected Glory or Cutting Off Reflected Failure?

Despite the oddsmakers, sportswriters, and teams, real fans will have some explaining to do after Super Bowl #47.

An essay in Psychology Today once described sports fanaticism as “BIRGing.” That’s short for “Basking in Reflected Glory,” a phenomenon that manifests itself in good humor the day after a victory.

Fans have no effect on a game’s outcome, and in most cases, they’ve never met the players, but they happily take ownership of success to the extent that they change speech patterns. After a victory, they say we won the game.

Frank Gore of the SF 49ers

Frank Gore of the SF 49ers

The opposite of BIRGing is “CORFing,” when fans distance themselves from their team’s defeats by Cutting Off Reflected Failure. You may have heard something like this after a loss to the St. Louis Rams: “How could they lose that game?”

If you say this makes fans fickle, history says you’re right. There was no rush to buy 49ers merchandise two years ago when the team’s record was 6-10. But that’s water under the bridge. All that matters now is the 49ers are our team, playing for our community, and will make us proud by defeating the Ravens on Sunday

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Posted on January 31, 2013, in Humor, Spirit, Sport and Recreation and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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