Fairfield University event to explore "The Anatomy of Sports Fans"


Image: Pierre BognonWhy do fans lose control over their emotions when their teams win? What leads some to become lifelong fans of a particular team or athlete?  

Pierre D. Bognon, author of the book, "The Anatomy of Sports Fans: Reflections on Fans and Fanatics," will answer these questions and more at a reading and book signing at the Fairfield University Bookstore, 1499 Post Road, on Wednesday, March 28 at 7 p.m. Free and open to the public, the event is sponsored by Fairfield University's Center for Faith and Public Life.

Bognon's interest in sports started at an early age since his father was a member of the French Soccer Referee Federation, and continued as he became intrigued by the serious passion expressed by sports fans both within his family and by his acquaintances.  Bognon, who retired in 2002 from his position as chief financial officer of Marsh & McLennan Europe, wanted to explore whether it is indeed acceptable to be so passionate. He also wanted to connect the behavior of those people he dealt with over the years in the world of finance and of politics with the world of sports fans.

There is an abundance of academic research on the topic but books and research dwell on deviant behaviors and tend to reduce the world of fans to the delinquent actions of a minority of "soccer hooligans."  Little is available on what leads people to become lifelong passionate fans, Bognon said.

"The Anatomy of Sports Fans" gives its due to the sociology of fandom but explores the psychology of fans - how and why one becomes a fan, the role played by the emotions created by sport competitions and the passion of fans. In the process, the author draws a parallel between the search for identity and belonging that drives sport fans and fanatics in general. The book was self-published and is distributed by Amazon.com.

A French citizen, Bognon graduated as a Fulbright scholar with an M.A. in economics from The Wharton School. He is currently at work on a book exploring the early centuries of France.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 16, 2012

Vol. 44, No. 233