As Belichick, Kraft, and Goodell continue their time-consuming trek across America to convince Tom Brady to return to the NFL, the rest of the world is focused on the coronavirus.
As they cruise through Idaho on their way to Seattle, there are hardly any cars on the road in the United States.
And because all sports everywhere have been canceled indefinitely, the three men start to talk about what the virus could mean to them, whether it makes sense to chase Brady given the NFL and XFL seasons are probably toast.
Kraft says: “I’ve been reading on my phone all about this thing called ‘social distancing,’ Bill. It seems like you would know a thing or two about what this concept is all about.”
Belichick: “Perfecting the art of social distancing”
“Of course,” said Belichick. “I’ve been perfecting the art of social distancing my whole life. The key is to never be too close to anyone physically – or emotionally for that matter. You stay far apart from people at all times. You don’t give off any warm vibes. When you cut guys, you need to make sure you’re behind your desk and the player is at least 20 feet away so you can rudely shout at him “hey, dude, you’re cut, get out of my office.’ Never get close. Never touch. Never be nice. Be anti-social. Don’t talk to people at parties.
“If you can avoid it, don’t go to parties,” he adds. “Don’t go to large gatherings. Don’t go to small gatherings. Don’t go anywhere where there are people unless you absolutely have to.”
“Damn, Bill,” said Kraft. “Is that why when you have met me in my office you have sat so far away from me and acted rudely and like you would rather be anywhere else in the world?”
“Yep. That’s been me being my social distancing sly self.”
Kraft: “Is that why you never attend the bigwig parties I throw for the Patriots biggest donors?”
Belichick: “I can’t stand those events. I keep my social distance from them.”
Goodell asks: “Is that why you wear that cut-off ugly sweatshirt when I’ve told you repeatedly that NFL coaches should dress more formally than that?”
Passive-aggressive social distancing
“Yep, Rog. That’s my passive-aggressive form of social distancing. There are many different types of social distancing and I excel at all of them. There is the ‘I don’t like you and don’t want to be around you’ social distancing. There’s the “I don’t respect you and don’t have time for you’ social distancing. There’s the ‘you’re cut so get out of office’ my social distancing’. I’ve got an arsenal of social distancing tools and skills as my disposal and use them in various ways depending on the situation and how much I dislike the person I am social distancing with.”
Kraft and Goodell think this over. It occurs to them they’re riding in a car to pick up a football player with a guy who excels at social distancing, while the coronavirus spreads across the United States when all football everywhere has been shut down potentially forever.
The whole drive is making less and less sense to them.
“What are we doing?” asked Kraft. “Football is over. All sports have ended. The XFL and NFL are irrelevant. That means we’re going to go out of business. That means we won’t be able to afford our big mansions anymore.”
“You’re right, Bob,” said Goodell. “This is serious stuff. And it’s also senseless. I say we turn around and all go home.”
“And do what, practice our social distancing skills?” said Kraft. “That’s all anybody’s doing. It’s a worldwide social distancing extravaganza. What kind of way is that to live is that? We might as well keep driving. At least out on the road we can practice our social distancing skills with each other. So, for instance, when we go to McDonalds, let’s each sit at different tables.”
Social distancing at McDonald’s
“Great idea,” said Belichick. “And when we order our food let’s stand in different lines and stay 20 feet from the cashier. And when we sit at tables, each of us will have to make sure we’re 30 feet from anyone else. It will be some serious social distancing, and I’m always up for that. If I need some of your ketchup, Roger, I will yell across the restaurant ‘Hey Roger, give me some of your ketchup’.”
“But then what, Bill?” asks Kraft.
“When we get to Brady in Seattle, we can rock our social distancing skills with him. We will go to the field where he’s working out with Antonio Brown. We will stand at least 20 feet away from him.”
“But the idea is to win him over, to convince him to come back to the Patriots,” said Kraft.
Belichick: “Don’t you get it, Bob? The new normal is social distancing 24/7, not Tom Brady or the NFL or the XFL. Football doesn’t matter anymore. All that matters is that people don’t get near each other ever again.”
The three men wolf down piles of Big Macs and large fries. Then they return to the car.
Kraft gets seat full of trash and germs
“We need to continue this social distancing in the car,” said Belichick. “I’ll keep driving. Robbie, you get in the back seat. And Roger, you get in the way back seat.”
“That back seat has tons up McDonald’s trash in it,” said Kraft. “There are germs all over that trash and that seat. I might get the coronavirus if I sit there.”
“Perfect,” said Belichick. “Then we could keep doing our social distancing with each other indefinitely.”
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