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John S.W. Spinda

This study explored first-, second-, and third-person effects related to the outcome of televised National Football League (NFL) games among an online sample of NFL fans (N = 646). Overall findings indicated that first-person and second-person perceptual biases were projected toward comparison groups that were labeled as fans of other NFL teams or as the average person. In addition, support was found for both first and second-person behavioral effects in the form of postgame Basking In Reflected Glory (BIRGing) and Cutting Off Reflected Failure (CORFing) behaviors. However, the strength of NFL fans’ team identification was a more robust predictor of these effects than NFL fans self-reported BIRGing/CORFing behaviors. These findings support the hypothesis that self-enhancement processes (i.e., BIRGing/CORFing) are usurped by self-categorization processes when a social identity is made salient (i.e., NFL team identification). Areas of future research and limitations are also addressed.

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John S.W. Spinda, Daniel L. Wann and Michael Sollitto

In this case study analysis, we explored the motives for playing Strat-O-Matic Baseball (SOMB), a baseball simulation played as a board game or online, from the perspective of the uses-and-gratifications theory. In phase I of the study, SOMB manager narratives (N = 50) were analyzed for motive statements. In phase II, an online survey asked SOMB managers (N = 222) to respond to motive items as well as four measures of Major League Baseball (MLB) and SOMB identification. Overall, eight motives for playing SOMB emerged from the 64-item pool of motive items. These eight motives were nostalgia, knowledge acquisition, social bonding, enjoyment, vicarious achievement, game aesthetics, convenience, and escape. Our findings suggest these motives predicted measures of MLB and SOMB identification in significantly different ways. Theoretical implications, future research, limitations, and discussion questions are presented in this analysis.