A Conversation About Sports Fans: Bestselling Author Larry Olmstead Talks with Dispatch Sports Columnist Rob Oller about FANS!

Tuesday, March 16, 2021 - 7:00pm

Join award-winning journalist and author Larry Olmstead in conversation with popular Columbus Dispatch Sports Columnist Rob Oller to learn about Olmstead’s book, FANS: How Watching Sports Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Understanding, an entertaining treatise that uses cutting-edge research to show us why being a sports fan is good for us. 

Registration is on Eventbrite where you will receive login information and full instructions close to the event. A general admission ticket to access the event is $5; a ticket that includes FANS waives the admission fee and is $28. Registration closes at 5:00 pm on the day of the event.

The Eugene D. Smith Leadership Institute is Gramery’s Community Partner for this program.

There are thousands of books about sports. This book is about sports fans. Citing fascinating new studies on sports fandom, Larry Olmsted makes the case that the more you identify with a sports team, the better your social, psychological, and physical health is; the more meaningful your relationships are; and the more connected and happier you are. Fans maintain better cognitive processing as their gray matter ages; they have better language skills; and college students who follow sports have higher GPAs, better graduation rates, and higher incomes after graduating. And there’s more: On a societal level, sports help us heal after tragedies like 9/11 and the Las Vegas mass shooting, providing community and hope when we need it most. Even now, the greatly altered games during the COVID-19 pandemic provide socially distanced joy. Illustrated with lively drawings throughout, Fans is the perfect gift for anyone who loves sports or anyone who loves someone who loves sports.   

Larry Olmsted is an award-winning journalist who has been a visiting professor at Dartmouth College, where he taught nonfiction writing. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Real Food / Fake Food and Getting into Guinness, a history of the Guinness Book of World Records, a book for which he broke three world records himself while researching. He currently writes online columns for Forbes and USA Today, and he appears regularly on television and radio. Olmsted is an avid fan of American Ninja Warrior and a passionate fan of sports fans.

Rob Oller grew up on the shores of Lake Erie rooting for the Cleveland Browns and Indians. He eventually paired his love for sports with his love/hate relationship with writing to enter journalism as a sports reporter. After graduating from Ohio State with a B.A. in journalism, Rob embarked on a 10-year stay at the Springfield (Ohio) newspaper before joining the Columbus Dispatch in 1995. Over the past 25 years he has covered everything from Putt-Putt tournaments to the Masters, from high school football to the Super Bowl. And from pick-up basketball games to the NBA Finals. Most often you will find him sweating over columns about Ohio State football. He says this about writing: Sometimes it comes naturally and sometimes - to quote Hemingway - "you sit down at the typewriter and open a vein."