From Analysis to Aggression: The nature of fan emotion, cognition and behavior in Internet sports communities
At the intersection of passionate college football fans and their use of the World Wide Web as an ultimate means of free speech and expression is a phenomenon transforming media and sport seamlessly within our society. What began organically as yet another application of this new technology by a select few has morphed into an economic and cultural development – part revelation and part revolution – utilized by the masses. Fueling this “expression express” is the insatiable appetite for information and need for identity among those that have galvanized their collective aﬃnity for their favorite teams into Fan-Based Internet Sports Communities (FBISCs) (Benigni, Porter, & Wood, 2009). In addition to multi-million dollar budgets and state-of-the-art facilities, now we can add “football forums” to the list of attributes of today’s big-time football factories as well. The World Wide Web has unarguably empowered fans as a noisy Greek chorus in the weekly drama that is college football. And that chorus can be deafening when college football fans make their way online to seek information or give an opinion. This study will examine these communities and the fans that populate them through a season-long content analysis and an online fan survey.