Hockey Team Causing Psychological Illness in Fans


A rash of mental illness has recently washed over areas of North America and Europe. The greatest concentration of the outbreak centers around the city of Calgary, Alberta with some other isolated pockets throughout Canada, the United States, Sweden and Finland.

It seems fans of the Calgary Flames, a team of the National Hockey League, are showing signs of a various psychological disturbances. Apparently healthy individuals with no prior history of pathology are now suffering from maladies ranging from tourettes syndrome, depression and alcoholism.

"I’ve never had any problems like this before" said Ryan Sherwood, a young Oil executive and Flames fan from Calgary.

"My family doesn’t even have a history of tourettes or anything. I mean, I had never even heard of it before the season began. I’m okay when I’m at work and stuff but when I start watching the Flames power play, it…I…just can’t seem to help myself. I mean, for Godsake move the puck around! Don’t just f***** stand there! Get some shots for **** sake! Damn it! Hell! F***! F***!…" said the young man, before collapsing into a shuddering heap of rage and expletives.

Mike Helfer, a 30-something lifelong Flames fan, described his recent slide into alcohol dependence.

"I used to have a beer or two while watching the games. But now…but now I can’t get through without at least a six pack."

He paused, clutching at a wrinkled, vomit stained Flames jersey.

"I…I mix in the hard stuff now most of the time too. Jack Daniels. Maybe some vodka. Maybe both. Zima. Grain alcohol when I have it. The last game…the, the loss to, uh, Ottawa, I went through everything I had in the house before the third period even started.

"I ended up downing the rest of the scope I had under the bathroom sink. Just to blot out the memories, you know? The pain."

According to the obligatory opinion of some expert we had to dig up for the purpose of this article, drug dependence can be common in those with psychological problems.

"People suffering from depression and anxiety tend to self medicate with alcohol and other narcotics, be it crack, meth or modelling glue. Butt chugging is a new, popular way to imbibe booze according to credulous reporters in the United States apparently, so the authorities should watch out for that here too given the way the Flames are playing." said the stuffy, insufferable head shrinker we interviewed.

"Depression and anxiety are the two emotional disturbances in particular that seem to be cropping up in Flames fans throughout Calgary and elsewhere. Post traumatic stress disorder, a condition previously called ‘shell shock’, has also become alarmingly common amongst this demographic. Symptoms include panic attacks, sleeplessness, an inability to look at the NHL standings, and a heightened affective response to the words "rebuild", "trade Iginla" and "young guns".

I suppose I’m fortunate to be a Vancouver Canuck fan." Dr. Smug chuckled to himself while polishing a pair of those stupid, circular rimmed glasses.

Consequences for the outbreak are spreading from the personal sphere into the social arena. Work absenteeism has increased some 25% in Calgary since the start of October as fans stay home to sleep off hang-overs, fashion nooses from "Shean Donovan" jerseys, fabricate effigies of former general manager Darryl Sutter and argue endlessly with other traumatized fans on the internet. If the current trend continues indefinitely, economists say it may cost the Canadian economy an outrageous amount of money that is mostly a baseless, made up figure.

No one is sure what it will take to stem the tide of mental illness amongst Flames faithful, let alone reverse it. When approached for this article, current general manager Jay Feaster moaned "Look, I don’t know. I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know. Just leave me alone, okay?"

As adverse effects continue to build and spread, it becomes clearer and clearer that someone needs to think of the children.

"At some point we are likely to see the afflicted fans descend into compulsive, anxiety soothing rituals such as repeating the same claim over and over again to their friends at water coolers or in blog article comment strings. We may perhaps see some regress back to happier times, like that fluke cup run they had a few years ago. 

"If things go on much longer, I would imagine some sort of anarchy will erupt. Dogs and cats living together. Real biblical stuff. I guess maybe Flames fans should just take solace in the fact that most of the other Canadian teams stink too. Aside from Vancouver, of course." Finished the smarmy psychiatrist, before finally being punched in the face.    

  • icedawg_42

    Thank you for punching that smarmy Canuck fan in the face. Now if you’ll excuse me I’ve got to finish up with this 12 pack of beer before my lunch hour is over. F(!#() SH!@* GO#$()*##()@#()NV W@2)@&$IOEFU@$(IJP##%&*(#*()&~!!!!! Holy Sh!t..where’s the Tylenol;

  • RexLibris

    That is totally me watching the game in my basement as my wife and cat are hiding up stairs. “Move the F’n puck you slow, lazy, f’n overpaid, SHOOT THE F’n PUCK!!” F!! How many times can you hit the post!?!? F!


  • mayhemsince1977


    You didn’t need to punch the Nucks’ fan though. You could have just mentioned the name Cam Neely (the trade that just keeps haunting them).

    On second thought, this just brought up images of future Leafs GM Dion Phaneuf beating us in game 7 to win the cup.

    Where’s my blankie?

  • Derzie

    Since when is Van good? Last I checked all of us Canadians have a lock on the basement. How can that be? It’s gotta be complacent owners. Full seats = no problem. In the US, empty seats means improve the product. We need some of that.

  • Hello! My name is Kevin R & I got a F@#NNN problem. I used to be just a casual wine drinker now my wife has been pointing out all the empty wine bottles on a weekly basis. She said I have funded 2 girls from the community soccor team for their costs of a team trip from the empty bottle fund raisers alone. I blame the F#@&nn Co@#@&%knn dog. With the look I got, I realized I couldnt sell that one so I blamed that little rat ba#@%&ard kid next door.
    I find the Advil extra strength gels are more effective pain relief after ward. I wake up in the middle of the night with such a dry mouth from the wine, it wakes me up & go downstairs to drink water & watch late night Hockeycentral.
    Ahh! I feel better already getting this off my chest. Thanks guys! Now I’m off to Willow Park Wines & Spirits to pick up the 2 cases of Amarone I ordered.

  • Good work KW. I’m a little disturbed that you shared my Scope and Zima dependence with the whole world, but I suppose it had to come out sometime. If only the Flames could give me a thin ray of hope, then I wouldn’t have to descend to this level. Maybe they should take the $1,500,000 that they are saving from Hagman’s salary and kick in for a “Flames Fan Rehab Centre”.

    • The Zima dependence is something to be lauded since it hasn’t existed since about 2008. Either you found and are hoarding crates of the stuff or you discovered a way to distill it in your bathtub. Either way, kudos.

  • RexLibris

    Terrific article. Mind if I show some of my Oiler friends? πŸ˜‰

    You know, by the end of the 2009-2010 season I managed to work out a very nice little “recipe” for some forget-me-juice that you might like.

    Lord knows it helped me.

    At least you’re not in Columbus.

      • RexLibris

        I used to say that if I ever developed a heart condition I’d have to stop watching the Oilers.

        It probably feels the same way for Flames fans this year.

        I wouldn’t suggest posting this across the Nations. While Edmonton fans might take the opportunity to come here and give as good as they’ve got over the last two years, I’m pretty sure you don’t want any Leafs or Canucks fans adding their profound observations.

        • Vintage Flame

          I wouldn’t suggest posting this across the Nations. While Edmonton fans might take the opportunity to come here and give as good as they’ve got over the last two years, I’m pretty sure you don’t want any Leafs or Canucks fans adding their profound observations.

          “Profound” is not a word I would ever use to describe Canucks fans…

        • Vintage Flame

          Hey buddy, after tonight I guess we can share a blue rodeo song “We are lost together”.
          Remember the days when coming to Alberta was a pit hole & guaranteed 2 losses to visiting teams? Those days seem so long ago.

          • RexLibris

            Yeah, like I said, I think we’re in for an anchor-race. But we’ve got a big advantage over you guys in getting to the bottom of the standings: A. We’ve been there before and B. we lost two D-men before the game even started last night and another two went down during the game. They are going to have to call up Colton Teubert and Taylor Chorney today just to keep the roster functional while they go out for four games on the road.

            If the Flames were to lose two d-men in their top-four and two forwards in their top-nine who knows, they might actually improve by bringing in some kids excited about getting a shot.

            It kind of feels like the 90s again, where Alberta is quickly becoming the free-space on the bingo card.

          • RexLibris

            Yeah, whats the deal with injuries up there? I hear Omark is down now too. So much for that trade chip. Even more baffling to me was after such a great start, why wasnt ST pulling the trigger on a deal, lots of young forward trade bait to pull in a decent Dman. I know Parjaarvi has a great future but I think you guys can afford to part with him & get something decent from the likes of Ottawa. & if Franson is avail for Gagner & a 2nd, even though thats an overpayment, I’d pull the trigger on that deal. You guys put a Franson & a Runblad or Cowan on that blueline & I think Oilers are sniffing playoffs. Unless of course that unbelievable injury thing.

  • Vintage Flame

    Haha.. Great stuff Kent!

    Nice to have some levity brought in, something to laugh at!

    Now if you don’t mind, I’m about to go home mix about 8 different hard alcohols, make some homemade absinth, and go Canuck fan hunting

    Some motha-f@#king basement dwelling Canuck piece oh s#!t is going to get smacked.

    Tis the season to be Jolly?



    Funny stuff Kent and so true. I usually slam the rest of my beer after a crappy powerplay to ease the pain, and needless to say I go through a lot of beers. Things have gotten stale on the team and we need to make a significant trades… Bouque and Moss are expendable in my books!


    Just read Carter wants out of Columbus. Que the rumors of Flames giving up the farm and ranch for him. I don’t want him, too injury prone, and seems to cry an awful lot. I think he would do better in the eastern conference.

  • RexLibris

    I don’t know the details of Omark, so we’ll see.

    As for doing a trade, well I think Tambellini was giving them 20 games to see what was really needed and what could be spared in a trade. Right now Paajarvi wouldn’t have enough value to put Tambellini in a position of strength in a trade. And moving Gagner and a 2nd for Franson is risky because that second could be as high as #32 overall. Those are the picks that we need as much as 1st rounders for the rebuild. And Franson is still early in his career. It makes more sense to wait for Gagner to improve his game and see if Burke loses some of his positional high-ground for a trade. Keep in mind, Tambellini wants to see improvement this year, a step forward, and moving pieces to try and acquire a top-4 d-man right now would mean paying a premium for what amounts to a depth defender. Not a good idea for this team.

    This team is in year 2 of a 6 year plan. Year 6 is to get to the Cup finals and try to win it. Year 2 is to show that players selected and playing are progressing and appear to have the tools to build around. Players like Paajarvi won’t get moved until year 4 or 5 if it seems necessary or prudent. Omark still has some trade value, what I see as more likely is that they move Hemsky at the deadline, have Omark move up to his spot and give him the opportunity to impress and then move him at the draft or in the summer. He’s a player who trades on reputation and that’s where a good GM capitalizes on his value with others.

    The injury bug here is getting to move past the realm of even being funny. If forwards start going down like Hemsky or Eberle or Hall we’re going to start sacrificing livestock in front of Rexall.

  • Captain Ron

    I used to walk briskly into the Dome with my Iggy jersey on, chest puffed up and head held high full of anticipation with what would unfold over the next 3 hours. Now I’m walking slowly into the building, not telling anyone where I’m going to be for the evening, shoulders hunched over, head tilted forward and dreading the misery before me. Thank God for heroin beers. Everyone makes sure their in bed now before I get home. Even the dog.

    Too bad I missed this one yesterday while it was hot. Travelling right now and staying just outside of Winnipeg for a few days. Caught the Jets/Caps game on the tube last night and I can say it was a lot of fun to watch compared to our mess at the Dome.

    An absolutely hilarious read that I really enjoyed Kent. One of your best pieces of work to date.

    Staying sober right now, at least till I get back home.