I'm a huge football fan, and, each year after the Super Bowl, I come away with a sense of loss. Up to that point, between August and January, I likely spent each and every weekend watching at least one NFL game. The void left by no football is non-trivial. I try to salvage something and pathetically watch the Pro-Bowl the following weekend, only to be disappointed by it's total vapidity. (This "priceless pep-talk' by Peyton Manning describes this feeling much better than I just did.)
The post-NFL funk last about a month for me, at the end of which the inevitable March madness comes by to get my spirits up again. As such, February is my least favorite month of the year, and I estimate that my mood and productivity both tank during this time.
I wonder if this holds more generally across the population of football fans. Almost everyone I know feels depressed after the NFL (or college) seasons. Does this have consequences for their health, productivity and happiness, too? How important are these consequences to population health and the economy at large?
I don't think anyone has done a study on this yet. Obviously, establishing causality would be difficult. You'd need some kind of before and after Super Bowl measurement(s) on these various outcomes among NFL fans as well as a control group to difference out general non-NFL trends (like "wow, I'm a bit sick of winter now", etc). But finding a control group would be hard. I'd suggest NBA fans, but they are a little weird.
Cleaner identification is possible by looking fans of opposing teams playing each other in a single-elimination game. For example, an enterprising soul could look at Patriots and Giants fans before and after the Super Bowl. This article uses a similarly themed strategy for soccer matches and finds that Premier League home team losses are associated with increased incidence of death due to acute myocardial infarctions and strokes.
With the Steelers out of the playoffs, my arch enemies the Patriots poised to go undefeated, and eight months of no NFL in front of me, I am poised to have a pretty dumb February.
But what's that? Duke basketball in the top 5? Maybe the funk will be tempered somewhat.