The Path of Teamwork: Out of the Darkness . . .

Studying sports fanaticism for my memoir taught me a lot about fanaticism across the whole American landscape, especially considering my research took place during the 2016 presidential election cycle. Just like being part of a football team’s fan base, when you’re part of any “tribe,” you belong with passion. For extreme sports fans, that passion captures our identity and guides our thinking. One way that shows up? We become firmly biased about the opponent. Growing up a D.C. Redskins fan, I celebrated Dallas’ failures just as much as our own victories. Still do.

At its most extreme, whether in sports or in life, being a highly identified fan(atic) — yes, a scientific phrase — can be a hard grip to break. But next-level teamwork requires just that. Bigger and more important playing fields await us as teammates once we sacrifice a little fanaticism.

So with thanks to The Giraffe Project for introducing these courageous teammates, have a look at how powerful the growth from fanaticism to teamwork can be. Beautiful, inspiring and courageous. Well done, Ladies and Gentlemen!

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