Aside from screaming themselves hoarse while watching TV, sports fans arguably don't do anything to help "their" team win that big game -- but scientists say they still enjoy a huge self-esteem boost for days after.
A study by Ohio State University (OSU) reported that the "high" sports fans get from cheering on their team to victory can linger as much as two days after the on-field victory.
What's more, hanging out with fellow fans can cushion the emotional toll a big loss can cause, researchers found.
"Just feeling connected to others while watching the game helped sustain self-esteem," says the study's co-author Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, professor of communication at OSU, in a statement.
"So for fans of the winning team, the social aspect of sharing the victory with each other led to a self-esteem boost. For fans of the losing team, sharing the pain may have protected them from losing self-esteem."
The professor adds, "Those who didn't watch at all experienced a self-esteem drop -- they felt completely left out."
The researchers didn't have to go far to find test subjects: They quizzed 174 students from OSU and Michigan State before and after Michigan's football team edged out OSU's 17-14 in a dramatic field goal finish.
The study based on the 2015 match-up was published in the journal Communication and Sport.