Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Review: The Secret Lives of Sports Fans

The Secret Lives of Sports FansThe Secret Lives of Sports Fans by Eric Simons
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Although there are some interesting parts of this book, overall, I was disappointed. In many ways, the book felt like it was really a long form magazine article (like the Atlantic or the like) that got stretched into book. The flow of the book is mainly a series of anecdotes punctuated by interviews with scientists and other relevant experts. In themselves these were each usually interesting or informative, but they don’t hang together as a whole in a satisfying way. And there is no non-fiction equivalent of a denouement for the various strands of theories and ideas about fandom that Simons presents in the book.

That said, there are some worthwhile discussions of fan identity, how fans relate to each other, and how fandom intersects with other parts of our lives. And Simons and his interviewees do provide some useful social science and evolutionary biology that is relevant for thinking about fandom.

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