For years I've been a believer that being a sports fan is not a particularly healthy activity for several reasons:
1) It is a substitute for actually playing a sport or exercising.
2) Commentary is full of war analogies as descriptors. This desensitizes fans to the gruesome nature of real war.
3) The term "pass-time" is often used to describe what a fan is doing. Literally passing or wasting time.
4) It is one of the few times in life when it is socially acceptable to eat the unhealthiest foods and drink the unhealthiest drinks.... during the day.
5) Gambling. Anyone who has been touched by it knows the devastation it can cause.
Today the Atlantic has an article titled, "Why Being an Obsessed Soccer Fan Can Make You Really, Really Happy"
A few quick quotes from the article:
-(T)he more passionate your fandom, the more positive the impact is on your psychological health.
-(F)ans of a local team can feel part of something grander than the self.
-"It is an unavoidable, immemorial, hardwired instinct. Since modern life has knocked the family and tribe from their central positions, the nation has become the only viable vessel for this impulse. To deny this craving is to deny human nature and human dignity."