JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Following the Jaguars’ season-opening loss to the Washington Commanders, News4JAX has learned a shocking admission from a Jacksonville psychologist, who says some fans have actually been seeking therapy due to the team’s performance.
I couldn’t believe it when Dr. Justin D’Arienzo, a clinical psychologist, told me this. My story Monday started with the idea of speaking with a doctor about how fans can deal with the pain of another loss, but during the interview, D’Arienzo told me that he’s actually treated Jaguars fans who are distraught over the team’s losing record.
“Talking about the Jags is a common topic in my psychotherapy sessions,” D’Arienzo said. “There’s a lot of die-hard season ticket holders, people that have season tickets for years and have given up on the team.”
There are patients who are receiving counseling, and one of the main issues they’re bringing up is the franchise that’s only had two winning seasons in the past 15 years.
“People used to really look forward to football season, going out of town, following the team. And a lot of people don’t feel like they have a team in their city any more,” D’Arienzo said.
In speaking with the average fan, they’ll tell you it’s not impossible to believe.
“They lose a lot. They choke in big moments,” football fan Alex Copeland said. “If you lose a lot, people think you’re gonna lose.”
D’Arienzo says fans need to treat the relationship they have like any relationship; there will be bad times, and you just have to endure if you’re in it for the long haul.
“It is similar to a bad relationship when you’re maybe in the trenches, you’ve gotten on the wrong path and you’ve got to be patient to get back on the path again,” he said.