1. Knowledge of countries
Research by Dr. Ilan Tamir of Wingate, Israel’s Sports Institute, showed that kids who like football recognize countries’ names and flags 80% better than kids who don’t enjoy the sport. I think most football fans will agree that they recognize Mali’s flag and know that American Samoa is located in the South Pacific Ocean because of football computer games or World Cup qualifiers.
2. Football against Alzheimer
Martin Greig from the Alzheimer Scotland Football Reminiscence Project has said to FourFourTwo magazine: “Older men with dementia really come alive and become very engaged when they pass around old football memorabilia and photographs”. It’s called “reminiscence therapy”, and for men at least – it works better when they try to
conjure up football memories. According to Greig: “The wife of one man who goes to these meetings says: ‘every
fortnight I drop off a confused old man, and two hours later I pick up my husband’.” Football is embroidered so much in our lives, it is basically holding our memories together. We, football fans, sometimes remember general events by remembering what football seasons they occurred in.
3. Sense of community
The community is an essential element of human evolution which is missing from our modern way of life, and it is one of the main products of football. It’s about meeting the same people every week and sharing the same experiences with them. The concept of community is an important matter, and not just in football. The suits from Wall Street will try to convince us that greed and individuality are good for you, but scientific researches had been proving again and again that good community life will lead an individual to enjoy better health, and have a longer, more joyful life.
4. Good pressure
Eustress is the excitement you get from worrying about whether your team will win, and then watching it happen. It’s sort of a positive pressure, one that is missing from our daily lives, which usually make us worry about things that are completely disconnected from our natural instincts. Things that are far from getting our mandatory rush of adrenaline to the head. Football gives us stress that is healthy, or gives one a feeling of fulfillment and other positive feelings. Win or lose. It’s important to feel that stress - unrelated to our boring day to day stress.
World Cup legend Geoff Hurst once said “Football is a game of tomorrows.”. It means that there is always a brighter future. Does your team suck? Well, in the summer the club will bring in a new coach, a few good players, this kid in the academy is the next Leo Messi… Well, you catch my drift: Football fans are optimists by nature. This should be seen as great news: Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found that optimists live longer, healthier lives than pessimists.
So don’t worry, your team will probably turn it around.