Doctor I'm in Trouble

Last updated : 14 March 2002 By Tigers Co-operative
There is a rumour circulating among the medical fraternity that there is a new, unidentified phenomenon affecting many thousands of people. GPs have been inundated with patients complaining of the same symptoms.

Patients typically exhibit mood swings, from extreme euphoria one moment to deep depression the next. Many admit to hearing voices which contradict what their other senses are telling them. One medical expert was quoted as saying 'these people seem to be having an inward struggle to cope with strong and divergent emotions often occurring at the same time'.

There is no common agreement among medical experts to account for this phenomenon. However, one expert in the field of psychiatry has noticed that the majority of cases have been found in the Hull area. He has discovered that there is a high correlation between people reporting these symptoms and die-hard Hull City fans. He postulates that the phenomena, which he has named Manic Schizo-Tigeritis, is due to years and years of new starts which have promised much initially but have soon resulted in disappointment and suffering.

In his opinion people suffering this phenomenon have developed an in-built safety mechanism to deal with the regular raising of hopes and the subsequent disappointment. In normal circumstances, people have recognised that their initial expectations were too high and that the players, management and/or board were 'Crap'. Previously these feelings have found expression during matches and in the pub afterwards which has allowed people to vent their feelings and get them out of their system.

He goes on further to say that the reason why these safety mechanisms are not working now is due to the degree of high expectations that people have felt this time. He believes this was due to the arrival of a new Chairman and an expensively assembled team. This came so soon after feelings of deep despair and helplessness experienced when the club nearly went out of business. In essence, the lows have been a lot lower and the expectations a lot higher in too short a space of time. This has left some unable to cope with such a dichotomy.

Most people who suffer some of the symptoms find they quickly pass. Those who continue to suffer from Manic Schizo-Tigeritis tend to be the dyed in the wool, home and away supporter. These have been subjected to repeated regular exposure to roller coaster emotions and have found this season's high octane experience, at least, 'a bridge too far'. Normal coping strategies have proved ineffective dealing with some of the best and worst playing performances for many a year.

Many are still struggling to come to terms with the loss of the 'god like' manager who saw them through the dark days of administration, only to quickly falter with a team of much better players. Venting the spleen against the Chairman and directors, usually a reliable target for disaffection, has not been available as a reliable crutch for die-hard fans. Many are indeed finding the transition to chanting praise for the board, rather than insults, a strange experience and are having difficulty in adapting to this new mindset.

Recent weeks, however, have seen this condition treatable and that the road to recovery is possible. High success rates have been experienced with an effective course of treatment for Manic Schizo-Tigeritis sufferers. The month long treatment programme consists of one to one counselling sessions with ex-sufferers as well as self-help techniques. The programme's aim is to de-sensitise sufferers and help them learn to deal with the highs and lows in a more rational way.

A typical example of treatment is watching two TVs at the same time: one consistently showing extracts of the York, Scunthorpe and Halifax performances while the other shows highlights of the best of this season's City games. Other items of therapy include trips to visit the stadiums of these clubs as well as the new super stadium to note the differences. Attendance to all fans' forums is made compulsory for all sufferers. Access to media and the internet is also restricted and closely supervised until a full recovery has been made. Another technique to be encouraged is the listing down of the good and bad points of previous regimes with comparison then being made to the present one. Only in extreme cases has it been necessary to implement electric shock aversion therapy involving strategically placed electrodes and pictures of previous managers, players and directors as stimuli.

Independent medical assessment of these techniques has led one expert to conclude that 'It really is quite clear that these poor souls are stuck in an state of mind that is due to years of conditioning. It has led to them being highly sensitive and prone to overreaction. This programme provides the jolt that they need to get them back to reality and helps them see that there has never been a better time to be a Hull City supporter.

Footnote: In each of the last three games City have conceded a goal in the last five minutes. This has cost six points. Perhaps the team should be put on a course of viagra then they might be able to keep it up for the full ninety minutes.

Anyone suffering from symptoms of Manic Schizo-Tigeritis may join a self-help group (if you are not already a member) by contacting us, Tigers Anonymous, sorry that should read Tigers Co-operative at P.O. Box 145, Brough HU15 1XP; e-mail; website