Disclaimer: Nothing mentioned in the article is real. All names, institutions, scenarios, and patients are made up. Please do not attempt to call or research this institution because it does not exist. The symptoms, issues, problems, and diagnoses do not exist, and there isn’t a Dr. MJ Baller, to the best of my knowledge anyway. Special thanks to DirecTV marketing for their "Displaced Fan Syndrome" creation.
Welcome to "Fans Anonymous," a place where fanhood prevails, even during those really crummy seasons when your team is simply playing awful, can’t seem to buy a W (welcome Detroit Lions’ fans), are cheating their way through the league (A-Rod or Manny fan, anyone?), doesn’t exist, or if you’re suffering from Displaced Fan Syndrome (brought to you by DirecTV and appropriately acronym-ed DFS).
If you, or anyone close to you, know of someone suffering from any of the aforementioned problems, “Fans Anonymous” (FA) is here to help.
We here at FA believe getting scorned for diligently cheering for a team that, let’s face it, isn’t going to be playing past the regular season (or getting made fun of for liking a team that you, let’s face it, have no business being a fan of), is completely uncalled for and have built this institution with principles of inclusion, and live by the motto of those famous musketeers, “all for one, and one for all.”
I’d like to introduce Mark, one of our veterans here at FA. He’s been a Cleveland Browns fan for 24 years, and has yet to see his team win a Super Bowl.
“It’s been tough,” Mark said, when asked what it was like being a fan of a hopeless team. “You want to wear your jersey out in public, but you can’t. If you do, people look at you like there is something wrong. It's not like Cleveland is known for sports.”
We hear you Mark. Alice, a 68-year-old woman, is a Seattle Super Sonics fan and understands Mark’s pain.
“You live in Seattle, and you think, ‘Wow, this is wonderful.’ And then, in a matter of a year, you find out that you spent thousands of dollars on Sonics merchandise for nothing,” Alice said. “And it’s not like you can sell it on e-Bay. Who wants merchandise from a nonexistent team?”
Alice has been coming here since the team was relocated to Oklahoma City, where they were renamed Thunder. A fan since the birth of the Sonics in 1966, Alice has no idea what to do.
Dr. M.J. Baller, a doctor specializing in the treatment of fanhood issues, says he has never seen anyone suffer from such a loss.
“It breaks my heart to see Alice,” he said. "I mean, I’m a doctor. A real good-looking, rich doctor. But I can’t create miracles. I can’t bring back a team that’s dead.”
Alice has had mild breakthroughs since the original interview, but progresses slowly, nonetheless.
Meet Preston, a 15-year-old boy out in Miami whose recent release from the institution is a success story.
“I remember being up at night, watching the game and thinking, ‘They have to win,’” the young boy said of the 2007-2008 atrocious Miami Heat season. “We had it all. They brought Shaq [O’Neal] in and won a championship. And a few years later, we’re having this devastating season.”
Preston has since been released, after Dwyane Wade became a contender for the MVP award and successfully brought his team back to the playoffs.
“It’s been so long since Preston has been this happy,” said Preston’s mother, Jane. “He plays with kids his age, is out in the sun, and is wearing his Heat jersey again.”
Kevin, a San Diego, California resident is one of our many patients suffering from DFS. He’s been a fan of the New York Yankees for seven years now.
“It’s hard,” he said, when asked about his long distance relationship. “You can only watch your team on TV.”
“Kevin’s story is an interesting one, but not rare,” said Dr. Baller. “His parents noticed that he would go away for days at a time, staying over at his friends. So apparently, his parents phoned his friend’s house one day and found out that Kevin’s friend had been missing for a few days as well.”
“It was a shock. We had no idea Kevin had been traveling to New York,” said his father, who didn’t want his real name to be released. “He would come home from school and say he wanted to buy some Yankees memorabilia. We would give him the money to buy his stuff, not realizing he was using the money to fly across the coast."
“The signs of DFS were all there,” said Dr. Baller. “In these cases, usually the patient asks for money. They go missing for days at a time and are sleep deprived from the jet lag.”
“We had always supported Kevin, because we knew he was upset that he lived in California, but we had no idea it was DFS,” said his mother, holding back tears. "He would sleep a lot, but I just thought he was tired from his dance classes."
Dr. Baller began his clinic in 2000 and since then his businessI mean, institution has blossomed. Records indicate that DFS is a prevalent disease and Dr. Baller is one of the best specialists in the nation.
Dr. Baller received his Ph.D from Full Of It University, in Nowhere, Neverland. He currently resides on an island with his ferocious dog (a poodle), Psycho.
“Our goal is to get these fans to where they need to be, for recovery,” said Dr. Baller. “We listen, we care. Sometimes, these fans just need to be heard. We've seen a lot of progress, especially in Detroit Lions' fans. We've seen it all. And if we haven't, we'll go through it together. We're here to help.”
For those of you interested in venting, Dr. Baller will be holding a partyer, press conference this Saturday.
For more information about the conference, please call 1-800-LOST-FAN.
So, hi folks. I’m Yvette. And I have DFS. I deal with my DFS by writing on Bleacher Report. What’s your story?