Here’s an interesting article. Matt Horner, of hockey blog Five Minutes for fighting, dissects the psychology behind fans referring to their team as “we” and “us.” Using experimental data from a 1974 study, he goes on to show that people are more likely to refer to their team as “we” after a victory, and “they” after a defeat, which might explain the phenomenon of the “bandwagon” every year when a team is doing well in the Stanley Cup finals.
Horner has a reason for this: “People want to be judged positively by others,” he writes, “and they often try to associate themselves with something positive, like a successful sports team. This is especially true when they already feel bad about themselves. By piggybacking on the success of their team they can feel a sense of belonging and enjoy the warm feelings associated with being a part of something successful. It doesn’t matter that they didn’t actually participate in that success. The important thing is that they feel connected to it.”
Check out the article here.