Brain on Sports Podcast: Deflategate, persecution complex and fan loyalty

Monday August 17th, 2015

“This is Your Brain on Sports" is a new podcast from Sports Illustrated in which SI executive editor Jon Wertheim and Tufts University psychology professor Sam Sommers look at the hidden side of games, athletes, owners, and officials. In this week’s episode, Wertheim and Sam discuss Deflategate, fan loyalty and the persecution complex. 

The pair dives into the psychology behind the New England Patriots, Tom Brady and the Deflategate scandal, including identity conflicts and persecution complex, or an irrational feeling or fear that one is the objective of collective hostility or bad treatment. Sommers suggests that it's a common belief for people in sports, politics and even everyday life to have the tendency to deny any bias and focus on all that is overcome when completing an accomplishment. In addition, Wertheim and Sommers also discuss the bias on national broadcasts and the role of the outcome in Deflategate, the St. Louis Cardinals hacking case and the Atlanta Falcons fake noise scandal. Is the attention towards Deflategate the best motivation for Bill Belichick and his Patriots?

Listen below or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, and check back every week for a new episode.

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