In August 1987, in the midst of one of the darkest periods in English soccer history, a countercultural movement sprung into existence in the stadium of the Manchester City Football Club when a man named Frank Newton brought a five-foot inflatable banana to a game for a laugh. Laughs being rare in the stands at that time, other fans embraced the idea of inflatable bananas and a trend bloomed. Vendors started selling them. Newton himself soon switched to a six-foot inflatable crocodile, according to a definitive account at the Manchester City fan newsletter MCIVTA. Other fans hoisted inflatable sharks, airplanes, and wading pools.
There are also theories of pride, such as the one advanced by psychologists Lisa Williams and David DeSteno, that suggest that pride is just externally validated self-esteem, which is to say, when you know you’ve done a good job and you know that others know you’ve done a good job, you become more prideful. Williams and DeSteno suggest that this explains the evolutionary origins of pride: it’s there to help you persist in dull tasks with delayed payoffs. Winning on national television means that Mets fans, again, regardless of the duration of their fandom, should also feel pride.
Read the whole story: Scientific AmericanMore of our Members in the Media >