Talking fandom: love, loyalty, and a sense of belonging

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Talking fandom: love, loyalty, and a sense of belonging

In the latest episode we discuss ideas of loyalty and fandom – with respect to both teams and individual athletes – and dissect various strands of ‘belonging’ to an imagined community.

Buy Cricket Beyond the Bazaar (recently republished by 81allout)

India (hardback) | India (paperback, e-copy)

Australia (hardback, paperback, e-copy)

USA (hardback, paperback, e-copy)

UK (hardback, paperback, e-copy)

Canada (hardback, paperback, e-copy)

For the rest – please check your country-specific Amazon pages.

Talking Points:

  • The changing nature of fandom in the information age
  • The schizophrenic nature of fandom in the franchise age
  • Do you cheer for Kohli when he plays for India and wish for him to fail for RCB?
  • The idea of imagined communities and the spread of nationalism
  • Why does bandwagoning have a bad reputation?
  • Supporting a team versus an individual – and how the first appears more noble
  • The sacred space of fandom – watching as a community v watching alone
  • The live experience v the TV experience – and the vast difference between them
  • The loss of hope in 2000 – when Azhar and Cronje were embroiled in scandal


Siddhartha Vaidyanathan (@sidvee)

Rohit Naimpally (

Deepauk Murugesan (@complicateur)

Ashoka (@ABVan)



  • That special whistle: the phenomeon called CSK – 81allout podcast
  • The ins and outs of Fantasy Cricket – 81allout podcast
  • Reviving War Minus the Shooting – 81allout podcast with Osman Samiuddin
  • Imagined Communities – Benedict Anderson – Amazon
  • Rules for Being a True Fan – Bill Simmons – ESPN Page 2
  • We cheer for clothes – Jerry Seinfeld – YouTube
  • Is sporting fandom a set of rituals or a relationship – Ahmer Naqvi – ESPNcricinfo
  • Confessions of a bandwagon fan – David Sax – The New Yorker
  • The legacy of Michael Jordan in China – Andrew Gao –
  • Will you watch the World Cup – Siddhartha Vaidyanathan – sidveeblogs


Lead image from here.

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