Titled, ‘Football on the Brain: Why Minds Love Sport’ the book explains why football – with a global audience of more than five billion people – is so important to so many by revealing how the human mind provides a perfect host for the immensely powerful beliefs that accompany football fandom.
In the text, Prof Smith also states that football comprises the ideal content for minds that need to believe, with fans clinging to football-related beliefs because, like a catchy song, they resonate in the mind’s natural grooves.
The book further details how minds elevate certain forms of belief to sovereignty, exposing the mechanisms driving football fanaticism. It argues that deep football fandom serves two major functions: as a system of self-maintenance, and as a system of self-transcendence.
Professor Smith explained: “While football beliefs provide entertainment, they also tint our self-concepts, inflame our passions, commandeer our allegiances, twist our opinions, feed our addictions, contrive our meaning, starve our objectivity, and drown our sorrows. Which is why we have football on the brain.”
‘Football on the Brain: Why Minds Love Sport’ is published under an open-access license and is available for anyone to download and distribute. A free downloadable copy is available here: