Self Help Now: A community blog

Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers advice for maintaining your mental health.

The Super Bowl as a Psychological Service

Written by Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade, Community blogger | Feb 3, 2014 8:57 PM

I ran into a friend and mentioned a little open house on Super Bowl afternoon. He referred to it as the "Stupid Bowl."  I had scheduled this little gathering for Ground Hog's Day, not even realizing at that time that it would be Super Bowl Day. So, I made sure the TV was on in case there was some Super Bowl talk in the afternoon (there was). There was so much hype and excitement among most people about the game and, unlike that particular friend, throngs of people gathered in NYC last weekend (which I noticed because I was there) to get tickets and make wagers, very happy to be part of the big national party. Why not have an excuse to be happy and have fun?

People ignored the battered heads and bodies involved in this game and focused on the colors, the mascots, the cheering and running and camraderie, not to mention the money from selling stuff and commercials. Then, what happened? All in all, it turned out to be a big blowout, humiliating for one team and almost too easy and ego-building for the other. It's supposed to be a fairly even match, and it usually is.

What's all this have to do with psychology? The camraderie, the national conversation of happiness, rather than poverty, war, illness, tragedy, abuse, guns, and crime. Whether it's American football, basketball, world soccer , tennis, or Olympic sports, we can focus on something more innocent, just for fun (though it's also the business of entertainment) and bond with each other about our teams and their competitions. There's something healthy in that. Ok?

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