Anxiety of sports fans. It’s true, and anecdotally, many Cowboys fans struggle with it.
There’s a Cowboys fan who legitimately needs medical attention.
— Bitches Love Sports Podcast (@BtchesLuvSports) January 9, 2023
I had a blast getting to know the Dallas Cowboys fandom through live events, networking, remote interactions, social media, and my personal favorite, Twitter Spaces. But as the playoffs approach, the language among fans is changing. Words like “nervous” and “scary”, as well as “unbelievable…” and “untrustworthy…” are becoming more common.
Sounds absolutely miserable to many fans. Some sound like they’re not fans at all.
But don’t worry, Cowboys Nation, I’m here to help. I’m going to help you define and identify what you’re going through. Then I’ll explain how and why you can regain confidence in this team to enjoy the postseason.
What are fans worried about?
The American Psychological Association Defines Anxiety “Anxiety characterized by physical changes such as tension, worrying thoughts, and elevated blood pressure…anxiety is a future-oriented, long-acting response with a broad focus on pervasive threats.”
Fan anxiety, also known as sports-watching anxiety, is exactly what it sounds like—anxiety associated with sports fanaticism. Fan anxiety is directly related to the team they support and the degree to which their identity is tied to being a fan or spectator of that team.
1998 survey results He supported the hypothesis that fans experience “increased cognitive and physical anxiety” leading up to important matches.
Most recently, a 2016 survey We have shown that team characteristics and player performance influence emotions and thereby the behavioral intentions of fans. In other words, the quality of a team’s performance, whether they win or lose, can ultimately influence their likelihood of saying good things about the team, buying merchandise, and attending/watching games. I have.
Another recent development extends the concept of sports marketing. In 1976, the concepts of BIRGing (bathing in reflected glory) and CORFing (blocking out reflected failure) revolutionized the general understanding of sports consumer behavior.
Four decades later, another study supports these notions, reinforcing the idea that team performance can actually affect fan self-esteem. A new term appeared just a month ago. COFFing is a way for fans to defuse feelings of insecurity and potential damage to their own self-esteem. It’s when fans preemptively distance themselves from the team or anticipate failure to prevent their own disappointment.
If the Cowboys are a good team, why worry?
As explained above, team characteristics and player performance can play into fan anxiety. This means that if fans see something that makes them uneasy, despite wins, losses, stats, or accolades, it can lead to feelings of uncertainty and anxiety.
For many Cowboys fans, the issue of offensive secondary and turnovers has left them unsure of what kind of performance to expect during a game.
There’s also the fact that many fans place a special emphasis on winning the Super Bowl. Only one team can win the Super Bowl per season. Also, there are usually decades between championship wins for a given franchise. If it’s based on stuff, that in itself can lead to fan anxiety.
The problem with that kind of anxiety is that worried fans may perceive a player’s performance to be worse than it really is. Even if they were winning, a few bad plays could lead to the team’s entire unit being written off as “garbage”.
How can I regain confidence in the Dallas Cowboys?
If you’re a damn Cowboys fan, at this point, it might feel justified. Recognizing that your perspective is distorted doesn’t mean you have to be ready to change it. Stay away from the space for now. you are ruining our experience.
If you want to put that anxiety aside and enjoy the postseason, especially the next game against the Buccaneers, you can do just a few steps.
accept the reality of the situation
The Cowboys are a 12-5 team and have made the type of mistakes that could get them home after Monday night. Be real. What happened to the Packers when Aaron Rodgers hit the winning shot for the Packers against the Lions but an interception robbed them of the opportunity — it’s what some fans think happens to the Cowboys I am afraid that
Conversely, the Buccaneers are an 8-9 team, led by a quarterback known for excellent game management and wins on drives with low remaining time. He is also known for appearing in and winning more Super Bowls than any other quarterback.
There is uncertainty surrounding both teams here. It’s hard to predict which team will emerge as the best version of themselves and what that means for the outcome of the game. It’s more normal.
look like this
Instead of thinking of the 12-5 and 8-9 records as a huge disparity between these two teams, think of them as small possession differences. In four of the Bucks’ losses this season, he scored 6 or less. His four wins for the Cowboys this season have been decided by his six points or less.
These teams may have identical records when the results differ by just four possessions of football. 8 possessions could overturn the record.
When the NFL announced its new postseason overtime rule, the first sentence they included was “The game of the NFL is competitive and unpredictable.” And 34 games in 2021 were decided in the finals, 21 of which went into extra time.
The unpredictable nature of the NFL game is something the league feels is so dicey, and is fundamental to how it handles the most important moments in the most important games of the year.
So if you feel anxious, don’t look at it as a team blow, but as a normal part of the game. It’s not unreasonable or uncommon for even the best NFL teams to face opponents who could beat them.
decide what to focus on
The uncertainty built into the NFL game means that most of the time there is no way to know for sure if a team will win or lose. Even when an assumption is well-founded, it could be wrong due to the unpredictable nature of the game.
When it comes to the Cowboys facing the Bucks, we can focus on the fact that Tom Brady is undefeated against the Cowboys. Or you can focus on the fact that the Cowboys have a key defensive player coming back from injury. Ball’s compared to what we’ve seen in the past few weeks.
You can either focus on Dak’s interception or the fact that Dak usually has enough ability to lead scoring drives to counter these types of mistakes. You can focus on the blue jersey, the team’s history on the grass, or the curse of Jimmie Johnson (the conspiracy theories are endless).
4) There’s nothing more Dak Prescott can do than get there and win to guarantee his fans a Super Bowl win. [1/2]
— Bitches Love Sports Podcast (@BtchesLuvSports) December 30, 2022
Knowledge of games and statistics may help you focus, but it’s not enough to guarantee 100% results. Believing in your team is just that. belief. It ends up being more an act of faith than an achievement of study.
reinforce the facts
As you may have noticed, I am not pulling a lot of numbers or rankings for this article. This is mainly because, as explained above, for every stat that says one thing, there is another stat that can point you in the other direction.
However, once you decide what you want to believe, it is important to reinforce it as much as possible if you want to assuage fan anxiety. It explains why we tend to speak to The reverse is also true. Saying good things can help relieve anxiety.
Until Monday night, a few quick facts to haunt anxious fans.
- On paper, the Cowboys are the more talented team. This is true whether you look at statistics, subjective rankings such as PFF, or player praise.
- The most important rule in the game of soccer is that the team with the most points at the end of the game wins the game. The Cowboys average 9.1 more points per game than the Buccaneers.
- The Buccaneers tend to allow teams to score close to their average points per game. However, the Cowboys tend to keep their opponents below average.
- The Cowboys are a separate team from Week 1. They are better, more cohesive, more disciplined, and even have new additions who have made game-changing contributions.
- Regardless of who’s on the other side of the field, when the Cowboys show up at their best, they’re hard to beat. He described it as “calm” and “an eye-opener.” They also said they were more confined than ever this week. take their word for it.
enjoy the ride
I have said several times that nothing lends 100% confidence or certainty to the idea that the Cowboys will win Monday night.
Fans who look calm, confident, and happy right now don’t know what worried fans don’t know. They have already decided what to believe, who to stand for, and how to stand for them.
All conversations related to adverse outcomes are withheld after the game. In the meantime, they enjoy the fact that the team they love and support will once again give them the gift of an extended season.