Punishing Brady, Redeeming Brady: A Fantasy Theme Analysis Of Memes From The 2015 Deflategate Controversy

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dr.. Gregory Perreault, Associate Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/

Abstract: This research explores the memes from the 2015 Deflategate controversy shared via Twitter. Through the lens of Symbolic Convergence Theory (SCT), and its associated method of Fantasy Theme Analysis, these memes illustrate four distinct fantasies that led to their creation: a fantasy related to mistrust of corporate powers, a fantasy relishing in the punishment of one of the NFL’s top football stars, a fantasy conceiving of Quarterback Tom Brady as an underdog hero, and a fantasy that conceives of Brady as a redeemed innocent. Most memes had a negative connotation rooted in the disposition theory of sports spectatorship, given that the “rules of the game” had been violated, regardless of the source, and this affects the vital, perceived “fairness” of the game. Overall, the memes showcase concern over the perceived heavy-handed enforcement by the NFL commissioner.

Additional Information

Gregory Perreault & Patrick Ferrucci (2019). Punishing Brady, redeeming Brady: a fantasy theme analysis of memes from the 2015 Deflategate controversy, Atlantic Journal of Communication, 27:3, 153-168, DOI: 10.1080/15456870.2019.1610761. Publisher version of record available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15456870.2019.1610761
Language: English
Date: 2019
Deflategate, memes, perception, Symbolic Convergence Theory (SCT), Fantasy Theme Analysis, Tom Brady, New England Patriots, National Football League (NFL), Super Bowl

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