We are currently in a pitched battle in the United States with shit-eating stupidity and those of us not currently in need of a tumbler full of Listerine are barely holding our own. According to the CDC, (as of this writing) 58.1 percent of Americans 12 or older have been fully vaccinated.
The rest are huffing goat laxative and spraying Tilex Mold & Mildew straight into their retinas or whatever some moron on Parler is telling them to do.
It’s a weird time for those who don’t believe in Darwin as they are getting a solid dose of his theories in ICUs and ERs all over the country. If they could catch their breath, they’d be shouting “Freedom,” or at least mouth it from around their intubation tubes.
It is that context, amidst a global pandemic now oddly attacking pretty much only the unvaccinated, that the NFL is facing its own internal struggle against grown men, some of them very important members of championship contenders, as they try to get all their players and personnel protected so the 2021-22 NFL season can go off without a hitch.
There Will Be No Postponements or Games Rescheduled
Last year, 10 NFL games were postponed or moved around the schedule due to COVID-19 outbreaks around the league. It’s not happening this season, and the NFL made it clear that if a team can’t play due to an outbreak among unvaccinated players, they’ll forfeit their game.
That means no game checks for anybody and when it comes to playoff seeding, taking a loss that you didn’t even earn on the field isn’t good for anyone. If this rule had been in place last year, there’s a good chance the Baltimore Ravens don’t make the playoffs at all.
That means no historic first playoff win for Lamar Jackson over the Tennessee Titans or his historically embarrassing performance in a loss to the Buffalo Bills where the Ravens netted all of three points a week later. It would have been a real tragedy.
As of August 26, the NFL says that 93% of its players are vaccinated, which is great. Whether it was for the good of their fellow man, their teams’ championship hopes or just the annoyance of the league’s COVID-19 protocols, who can say? I’m guessing it was the annoyance part, but we’ll take the win.
The problem now is that leftover 7% that are trying to f#$k it up for everybody. Because while every team’s punter, long snapper and backup centers are vaccinated, starting quarterbacks and some star players are deciding that they’ll go ahead and risk it.
They’re forgoing the vaccine, shouting HIPAA into the nearest available microphone like it’s the culmination of a rap battle, all while probably deep throating some camel de-wormer when no one’s looking.
Why Aren't NFL Quarterbacks Getting Vaccinated?
Monday, we found out that Carson Wentz, a man whose own bones betray him at the slightest feathery touch, feels his immune system is more than up for the task of battling off a virus that’s killed more than 600,000 Americans when the Indianapolis Colts placed him on the COVID-19 Reserve list due to a high-risk close contact.
You’d think that Wentz, trying to resurrect his flailing career in Indy after getting dumped for an expired Hardee’s Thickburger coupon and a handful of magic beans by the Philadelphia Eagles, would be a little more conscientious about his game availability. That he’d, you know, care enough about playing, enough about his team’s playoff chances, to get a vaccine that’s been proven safe by the 200 million or so of his fellow U.S. citizens that have already taken it. Nope.
Same for Cam Newton, who was in a pitched battle with rookie Mac Jones to earn the starting quarterback spot for the New England Patriots. Newton already had COVID once, last year, so he knows how much time it would cost him to catch it again. Does he care? Not at all.
But Bill Belichick did and on Tuesday asked Cam to take all his sombreros, balaclavas, fedoras, fezes, buckets, visors, panamas, derbys, newsboys, berets and cloches and exit the building. Will Cam get signed by another NFL team? Not unless he gets the shot..
Kirk Cousins says he’ll do anything to keep from getting COVID. Live inside a giant Tupperware container, wrap himself in bubble wrap and drape his body in the finest lavender velvet. Everything except the one thing we all know might actually keep him from catching it.
Hey, speaking of catching it? That’s what Lamar Jackson is best at. He might be 1-3 in the playoffs, but Jackson is 2-0 in coming down with coronavirus. He is quickly becoming the Tom Brady of acquiring COVID-19.
And that’s not even counting guys like Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills and Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys who hide behind HIPAA regulations to not state the obvious. But they are doing their damndest to let their teams down when it matters the most.
Super Bowl Champions Will Be Vaccinated
You can’t play for a title if you’re in the ICU. You can’t throw or catch a touchdown from a hospital bed. The NFL has made it tough on unvaccinated players, because those assholes are making it tough on everyone else. Their selfish and stupid choices are impacting their teams.
When wide receivers Isaiah McKenzie and Cole Beasley got fined for dick-nosing through the Buffalo Bills’ facility recently, they both took to Twitter.
McKenzie shared his $14,650 fine letter from the NFL. Beasley replied back that he was also hit, tweeting, “I was in close contact with (a) fully vaxxed trainer who tested positive and still got sent home. So what’s the point of the mask anyway?”
Considering that Beasley is unvaccinated and was around someone who tested positive and didn’t catch it, I’d say the point of the mask was that it works, dumbass. We’ve known masks work in combating the spread of airborne germs for the past 100 years or so, regardless of what our uncles on Facebook say.
McKenzie, a former fifth round pick who hovers around the edge of the Bills roster, responded to his fine by getting vaccinated. Beasley, of course, has not.
Let’s see how many games each man suits up for this season. Which one hurts his team by not being available when it matters the most.
Let’s see how many teams are cost a chance to play for a championship because some moron listened to Rob Schneider instead of Anthony Fauci.
Because it’s going to happen.
Adam Greene is @TheFirstMan on Twitter.