Considering caring about yesterday’s football game, Ilya Somin compares it to caring about fictional characters in books or films:
…vicarious identification with fictional characters is fun. Occasionally, it even has some educational value. The same, of course, goes for vicarious identification with sports teams. It’s fun to root for your team and hate its rivals, even if your initial reasons for identifying with Team A rather than Team B are essentially arbitrary (usually that you grew up in City A rather than City B).
Not everyone enjoys vicarious identification, of course. And among those who do, some prefer to satisfy their craving by means other than rooting for sports teams. But vicarious identification is a common and deeply rooted emotion — one that probably has biological roots. And it’s not really that surprising that it leads some people to root for sports teams in much the same way as it leads others to identify with fictional characters.
It is not a terribly long post, if you want to see how your views of Thrall and Elizabeth Bennet are essentially comparable — and if you write WoW/Pride and Prejudice crossover fan fiction, bonus! It links to preceding posts of the “who cares which team wins?” sort. I grew up in metro Detroit, so while my Facebook feed had some few comments on the game itself, it really lit up when the Chrysler/Eminem commercial came on. Hometown pride is much the same thing.