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Typical Dysfunctional Fans Have More Problems Than Just Bad Temper

Sept. 16, 2004

Dr. Kirk Wakefield, chair of the Marketing department at Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business, says that fans like the ones that stirred up the crowd at the recent A's-Rangers game may not deserve a chair in the face, but they knew it was coming. Dysfunctional fans like these live for the sort of occasions when they can confront opposing fans -- and even better -- opposing players. These are the kind of people who willingly admit that their behavior may get them escorted from the game some day. And, Wakefield's studies show, these people can't go to a game without drinking alcohol. So, it was no surprise that in a rivalry match like this one, these fans purposely purchased seats next to the bullpen to abuse the Rangers' players. Research shows that the typical dysfunctional fan has more personal issues than just a bad temper at the ballpark.

Wakefield's research on this topic will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Leisure Research.

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