" I don't know if the phenomenon could be called psychic. Maybe people collectively just want to latch onto something that may give them simple pleasure? "
IMHO it's something to feel good about, as far as the "group psyche" is concerned. And if we feel good, we act good etc , plus good morale works wonders. Now, maybe there are indeed hidden forces (for the good) at work in such events, as some of us would no doubt assert is the case, and if they are working thus, well now - the more the merrier! :)