December 9, 2022
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How Philly’s sports wins can help boost fans’ mental health

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The early success of the Eagles and Flyers seasons, coupled with the Phillies and Union’s playoff runs, have lifted the spirits of many across the Philadelphia area.

Studies have shown that the connections sports fans have with their teams can add to their self-esteem and provide a positive outlook for their surroundings. However, this can backfire.

During stretches of bad seasons, a fan’s relationship with their favorite team can impact one’s ability to work and sleep, and in extreme cases could push someone into a depression.

Eagles fan Steve Madley has been a season ticket holder for 15 years. Ahead of Sunday’s Eagles game against the Dallas Cowboys, he said he’s seen plenty of ups and downs over the years but part of the fun of being Eagles fan is rolling with the punches.

“I think you could tell Monday morning if the Eagles win or not, if you go into Wawa and everyone’s a little bit nicer, you can tell,” Madley said. “Everyone’s in a good mood because they won. If they lost, people aren’t as nice, right? It’s just a matter of… we live and die with our sports teams. Whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, I don’t know, but it’s important to us. We care.”

Sports can also provide an escape for some — as was the case for another Eagles tailgater, Nathan Mann.

Before Sunday’s game, he told his friend he was in a better mood and noticed how the city seemed “nicer” following the Phillies win against the Braves in the NLDS on Saturday.

“I would say in general, when things are going well in the city, like with sports, it does bring a happier mood,” Mann said. “We do have a lot of gun violence and other issues in the city, so at least with the sports it brings a brighter side to Philadelphia.”

This week, the Phillies play the San Diego Padres in their first NLCS playoff appearance since 2010. The Philadelphia Union also hosts FC Cincinnati at Subaru Park Thursday at 8 p.m. in an MLS Cup Playoff match.

On Oct. 18, the 76ers will tip off their season against the defending Eastern Conference Champions, the Boston Celtics. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. and will be shown on TNT.

Read more from our partners, WHYY.







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