Fantasy vs. Reality: Exploring the BIRGing and CORFing Behavior of Fantasy Football Participants

Brendan Dwyer
Rebecca M. Achen
and Joshua M. Lupinek

Basking in reflected glory (BIRGing) and cutting off reflected failure (CORFing) behaviors have been exhibited by sport spectators and measured by marketing researchers for decades. It has been established that these highly personal, yet socially focused reactions to team outcomes are fundamental components of the sport fan experience. The current study sought to extend this line of research by comparing fantasy footballrelated BIRGing and CORFing behavior to traditional NFL team-related behavior. An experience sampling method was utilized, and a sample of fantasy football participants was systematically surveyed four times throughout the first 14 weeks of the 2014 NFL season. The results of the current study suggest that the socialpsychological reactions witnessed in traditional team fandom were replicated through fantasy participation. However, sub-dimensional differences were also uncovered between the forms of NFL fandom. These may speak to the distinctiveness of the activities particularly related to the social significance of fantasy football participation.