David J. Phillip/AP

Why do fans continue to root for perennial losers? How and why fans of bad teams strike a balance between the rational and irrational in their rooting interests.

By The SI Staff
November 01, 2015

“This is Your Brain on Sports” is a weekly podcast from Sports Illustrated in which SI executive editor Jon Wertheim and Tufts University psychology professor Sam Sommers explore the intersection of sports and human nature—what the world of sports has to teach us about who we are, what we care about and the forces that shape our behavior.

On this week’s episode, Wertheim and Sommers tackle a question that dominated much of the MLB postseason: Why do fans continue to root for perennial losers? The two discuss how and why fans of bad teams strike a balance between the rational and irrational in their rooting interests, as well as what happens when a team's fortunes turn, leaving its fans to deal with a newfound run of success.

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

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