Psychologist Stages Intervention for Fan in Abusive Relationship with Detroit Lions
DETROIT, MICHIGAN – Dr. Simon Westerbrook, a clinical psychologist in metro-Detroit, was recently asked by the family of a Detroit Lions fan to
to stage an intervention between the fan and his football team, the Detroit Lions.
According to Dr. Westerbrook, the situation between the fan and the Lions showed all the indicators of an abusive relationship.
"The Lions had become very controlling," explained the doctor. "Every Sunday during the fall, Bob was expected to attend or watch all the games
– even pre-season. Thus, every Sunday, the Lions were effectively isolating Bob from his family and friends."
"And every year, he couldn't even attend his family's traditional Thanksgiving dinner."
"If he couldn't use all his tickets, the Lions tried to force him to sell the extras through their official website, so they could keep tabs
on what he was doing. If he sold too many, the Lions got mad."
"Once, when he mentioned he might cancel his season tickets, the Lions responded that they'd take away his seniority."
Bob's wife noted that Bob often made excuses for the Lions, saying, "It's not their fault", or "They just had bad luck", or
"The refs blew that call because the league wants Dallas in the playoffs".
And every year he'd say, "Next year they'll be good!"
Bob's friends said that any time they'd ask him about his bad relationship, he would rationalize, saying things like, "Finding another team
would be hard", or "It's normal for teams to have ups and downs", or "They'll be better next year".
He'd also say he wanted to stick with the Lions so he would have good seats when they made it into the playoffs.
At times, he'd reminisce about the past: "Remember Barry Sanders? Remember Herman Moore? It can be like that again."
Occasionally the Lions would ‘throw him a bone‘ by winning a single game that no one predicted, expecting that this would make up for the
50+ year history of poor play.
However, Bob had recently started feeling hopeless, and often muttered that he didn't deserve a better team.
When Bob finally realized that over the last 50+ years, the fans and the city had built more brand new stadiums for the Lions than the Lions
have delivered playoff game victories, he hit bottom.
He finally saw how one-sided this relationship was, and was ready for an intervention.
The intervention was staged for a Sunday evening, so the sting of another Lion's debacle was fresh on Bob's mind.
"Once Bob was at our clinic, we started the therapy by repeatedly showing him a clip from ‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’, where Lucy kept
promising she'd let Charlie Brown kick the football, but then always pulled it away at the last second. Bob soon realized that with 50+
years of repeatedly giving the hollow promise that they'd be good next season, this was what the Lions were doing to him."
"Next we pointed out that abuse is often a cycle, and not only was he setting a bad example for his young son by putting up with a perennial
losing football team, but every time the Lions would fumble he was also teaching him a lot of anti-social vocabulary."
"Finally we showed him videos of the various football teams actually winning the Super Bowl, so he'd see what a healthy fan-team relationship
Hopefully, in a couple of weeks, Bob should be ready to leave the clinic. By then the Lions should be mathematically eliminated from playoff
contention, so hopefully Bob can develop a relationship with another team – one that might actually win a play-off game.
- The Satirized Evening Post
September 9, 2019
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