One player walked up. The medical professional stuck a cotton tip into his nose. Way down deep.
Swab out. Nasty.
Next player steps up. In goes the swab, probing around among all the hairy strands.
Ninety-eight more players followed to do the same thing.
This nostril drama filled the opening scene of last night’s “Hard Knocks,” a documentary about the San Diego Chargers’ upcoming football season.
Theatrically, it was riveting watching these coronavirus tests, one after the other. Such drama. No football practices or helmet bashing was needed. Just testing. And more testing. And more testing.
When all this was done, the players packed into a meeting room. A guest speaker, Dr. Anthony Filchy, was there to tell them all about the coronavirus, social distancing, the importance of wearing masks, and it is highly likely that every one of them will catch the virus if they play football this season.
“I’d say every one of you will catch the virus if you play this season,” said Filchy. “Therefore, from a pure medical standpoint I don’t think you should do this. But I understand that there are more important things to consider here such as the fact that there are billions of dollars of TV advertising revenue at stake and you guys make millions of dollars each.”
A player raised his hand.
“Hey Filch,” the player said. “I heard you were a good high school basketball player. President Trump did you a solid by mentioning that during one of his White House coronavirus campaign rallies. How did you go from being a high school hooper to the world’s expert in infectious diseases? Doesn’t seem like a typical career path.”
“Well once I figured out I wasn’t quick or athletic enough to player college basketball, I starting planning another career. In high school I started studying bacterias, viruses, and germs in and found them fascinating. In my basement I had a lab with all sorts of germs floating around on petri dishes and inside portable refrigerators.”
The Hard Knocks producer, who was standing in the room, interrupted this conversation.
“Hey let’s knock this off, cut, cut cut,” he said. “Hard Knocks is supposed to be about a pro football preparing for the upcoming football season. We’ve veered off course. Nobody cares about Dr. Filchy’s high school basketball career. Just because the president said he was a good hooper doesn’t mean he was. I mean, look at the guy, does he look like he could have been a good basketball player? I’m not buying that.”
Filch seemed offended.
“I went to the high school of Hard Knocks,” he said. “I had to fight my way around the basketball court and in the classroom. That’s what got me where I am today, speaking to 100 NFL players about the dubious decision to play football during a global pandemic with a highly contagious disease. I worked hard to get where I am.”
“Cut it, Filch,” said the producer. “We need to get some football action in. People don’t want to watch a show about virus testing and how tough it was for you to get where you are. They want to see football players playing football.”
The meeting adjourns.
In the next scene, the players are seen outside on the field shoulder pads and masks but not helmets. The team doctor is describing the pros and cons of hydroxychloroquine.
One player asks: “If we take this pill before practice, will it make us hallucinate? Will we not feel anything when we hit each others’ shoulder pads?”
“It’s a pill to help prevent you from getting the coronavirus, and if you get the disease it will make the disease go away,” said the doctor. “Some think it can also make you run faster and lift more weights. It’s sort of like a steroid.”
“But I thought using steroids is against the NFL’s drug policy,” the player asked.
“That’s true, but these are unusual times and this is an abnormal year,” said the doctor. “The NFL is making an exception this year and allowing all players to pop as many hydroxychloroquine pills as they want.
“It’s in the spirit of leniency and giving people support through these tough times, sort of like when the government gave out $4 trillion to American people across our fruited plain. We need to be sensitive to what people need in these tough times. So pop all the hydroxychloroquine pills you want. It will be interesting to see if he helps you play better or messes you up completely.”
To be continued…
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