It was his choice, his bet and now his punishment for being selfish and stubborn. Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley has been told he can’t make his team’s preseason game on Saturday. He had been in close contact with a trainer who tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
Because he is an unvaccinated player, Beasley has been told to stay away from the Bills for at least five days, per NFL protocols. Beasley never liked those terms now or in June, when he announced he would not be getting the shot.
It didn’t make sense, he said upon arriving at training camp, for all vaccinated players to be tested once every two weeks for COVID while unvaccinated players, like Beasley, should be tested. tested daily.
“It’s common sense,” Beasley said, “that if a vaxxed or non-vaxxed player is tested less frequently, the likelihood of a player being taken out for COVID drops dramatically.”
I took and reread this sentence as if it were ancient Sanskrit, in search of clues, of hidden meanings. Maybe a word has been forgotten. Maybe a misplaced modifier (I even forgot what that means). Maybe Beasley was joking. Maybe I need a drink.
I took his “common sense” and applied it to everyday life. If, for example, the CHP arrested fewer people for not wearing seat belts, then we would have fewer seat belt violations. Thinking about it like that, I understand.
Again, we want to be safe; that’s why we wear seat belts or get vaccinated.
What could go wrong if an unvaxxed player like Beasley spends two weeks between tests while swapping sprays caused by the thud of physical contact or a curse addressed to someone who has pointed an elbow on Beasley’s head?
What could go wrong in the caucus, on the sidelines, in the locker room, in the shower? With other anti-vaccines?
Why take a chance? Doctor Beasley has the answer.
“If you (sic) are afraid of me then stay away,” Beasley said on social media in June. “Or get vaccinated… I can die from COVID but I’d rather die alive… I’m not going to take medicine for a leg that isn’t broken.”
Now we have a look at how someone 5-foot-8, 174-pounds got through nine seasons in the NFL. It takes a special mentality to play football against 100-pound heavier men who want to rip his head off. Obviously, Beasley has a special mindset.
Beasley has become an actor in a Greek tragedy, although he may not know that Achilles is much more than a tendon. He was the first 2021 nominee for the Carl Everett Lifetime Achievement Award.
Everett is the former Boston Red Sox outfielder who took what he thought was common sense and turned it around like a pair of sweaty socks.
“God created the sun, the stars, the heavens and the earth,” Everett began in an interview in 2000. “He created Adam and Eve. The Bible never said anything about dinosaurs. You can’t say there were dinosaurs when you’ve never seen them. Someone saw Adam and Eve. No one has ever seen the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Yes, it’s true. I’ve never seen a T-Rex. I once saw the skull of a cow in the Arizona desert, if that counts. At least it looked like a cow’s skull. It could have been a T-Rex.
As for Adam and Eve, however, they’re still on the watch list.
The low bar set by Everett and Beasley does a disservice to all athletes in general and football players in particular. Every athlete who has engaged in a particular sport has faced The Tag.
The Tag is certainly an insult. Sometimes it is spoken. Sometimes it is assumed silently. The Tag is never a compliment.
Being called a Dumb Jock. Being seen as brutally arrogant, easy to insult, not much cognitive awareness. A Dumb Jock has nothing more to offer than a physical skill. It is the stereotype of a stereotype. This can be the prime example to explain someone who is superficial and stupid.
Those two words drove Bob St. Clair mad. St. Clair is the Professional Football Hall of Fame offensive tackle who played for the 49ers and died five years ago. He was 6 feet 9 inches tall and 270 pounds. He had the voice of God, or at least James Earl Jones.
“People are always surprised when they first meet me,” St. Clair once told me, “that I don’t say ‘dems’ and ‘done’. “
St. Clair has spent the last 20 years or so in Santa Rosa and no one has thought to lift two fingers and ask, “How much is that?” He was mayor of Daly City, a board member for San Mateo, an Orange County lobbyist. In Sonoma County, St. Clair owned and sold four liquor stores and worked for Clover Stornetta.
St. Clair was one of the most passionate and articulate athletes I have ever met. He once turned down a playoff bowl game because two of his USF teammates – Burl Toler and Ollie Matson – weren’t allowed to play because they were black. And then it was in 1951, when the protests against racism did not draw huge crowds.
Still, St. Clair admitted to being the victim of a stereotype. How can someone so huge, with a voice that could crack the glass, be just a dumb jock? He never disputed a look or a word that alluded to the smear. He just let his intelligence embarrass the accuser and the hypothesis.
While it is true that a professional athlete can and often ignore the real world and any conversation it contains, it is not because he is intellectually challenged. On the contrary, they must be obsessed with their sport and their momentary existence in it. For example, the average NFL career lasts 3.4 years. Aristotle can come later. Or what a second mortgage means.
When Bill Walsh handed Steve Young the 49ers offensive playbook, Young read it once and memorized it all, including all the check-offs. Young showed not only exceptional memory, but also the ability to call the right plays to attack a defense that could change his lineup from play to play.
So when Cole Beasley opens his mouth and sawdust comes out, no one thinks of Bob St. Clair or Steve Young. A stereotype too often takes a lot of effort to eliminate, like a tattoo. Maybe Beasley can start the process by calling out John Frank’s name.
Frank was a 49ers tight end who played five years and won two Super Bowls with the team. He went to medical school. He became a doctor. He is a certified otolaryngologist. Beasley probably doesn’t know what that means. Neither do I. I had to search. I have become a little more educated. At least that’s what my common sense tells me.
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