In economic theory there's a notion called deadweight loss, or market inefficiency, which impacts a consumer when the value of an item's utility is less than the price paid for it. What does that have to do with Brett Favre? According to Stephen Dubner, one of the co-authors of Freakonomics, people who bought Brett Favre Jets jerseys earlier this football season are likely experiencing deadweight loss now, as Favre failed to get the Jets into the playoffs.
So how do all those people who paid $80 for Favre Jets jerseys feel today? Do they wish they’d spent their money elsewhere? How much would they pay for the same jersey today? Did they derive $80 worth of pleasure from it up to this point — i.e., was the thrill of the first two-thirds of the season worth the pain of the last third?