If you have ever wanted to play in the NFL, start working out now…
No this isn’t some fucking review of the Kurt Warner movie – an underdog tale of “pray and play and someday Jesus will make your football dreams come true”…
It’s much worse than that. It’s the fucking Covid. Unlike Jesus, this virus is no bullshit. The NFL is going to have to “adjust.”
We have seen it already with third stringers and forgotten draft picks. Anybody see Craig Reynolds help the Lions run over the Cardinals? Or try to figure out who Malik Turner was when he was catching touchdowns for Dallas?
But that was so last month and 2021. In 2022, playing football is something almost anyone can do.
Let’s do math like an anti-vaxxer counting any illness after a shot as “the proof.”
In November ’21, 50 players were out for one game with Covid. In the last week of December, it was 241.
That’s a 382-percent growth rate. Project that into next season and 1200 players will be out the first week of the season. That’s 70-percent of the active players.
That’s right, by this Roganesk prognostication (and don’t you dare check it or challenge these assumptions or the next podcast is about you) the entire league of 1700 players will need to be replaced by week 2. And that will happen every week until the Super Bowl in 2023. With an 18-game schedule, that means the NFL will need at least 30,000 fresh bodies to finish the season.
Sure, the NFL might move a few games a few days (if all the quarterbacks are out) but they can’t delay forever. If we have learned anything from 2021, we learned fans don’t give a shit about who is on the field – or even about their own health.
They will pack mask-less stadiums and pay hundreds of dollars in parking and beer service just to see and hear somebody (anybody) get hit.
There are a few caveats – there has to be at least one or two “name” players on the field. A quarterback here, a wide receiver there. Everybody else is just a body in a helmet.
Replacements have to look a little like athletes. They can’t be old or obviously fat or extremely slow. If you want to play, start working out – a little. I saw 10 guys at my gym yesterday who could fake it for one Sunday.
Don’t worry about speed, coordination, or athletic ability. Your new peer group will be just as slow, uncoordinated, and stupid as you. Just stay onside, and act like you know what the fuck you are doing.
Of course, the NFL is going to have to make some changes to adjust to this new reality.
First, contracts. In 2022 players are supposed to get $825k for playing at least one game. We are going to need more than 30,000 players – that’s more than $24 billion in salary. Even the NFL can’t pay that kind of cash. I’m guessing they will pay about $8k per game per player — that’s more like $240 million (about 3 percent of the NFL’s $9 billion in revenue). Good enough for dreamers.
Second, uniforms. Too many names. Like Notre Dame, all the newbs just get a number. Do something to make yourself famous. Maybe we will write your name on the back of the jersey next week. But don’t get the Covid or your dreams are over.
Third, insurance. None for you. This is play at your own risk. Don’t worry, there’s usually 250 concussions per year. Of course, you might blow out an ACL or MCL, another 250 injuries per year.
That adds up to about a third of the league, but replacement ball will be like Omicron, we won’t bother to track and trace. We’ll just stack the ambulances up outside and add 3 more “injury tents” on the sideline.
Don’t worry, we won’t show any of that shit on TV. If somebody gets hurt, we will just cut to commercial and act like there was a timeout or one of those fucking “official reviews” that lead to nowhere.
Let the word go out to all 20-somethings roiding themselves up at the gym for no reason. Next year, your drug use can finally pay off.
Just take your $8k, your NFL game film and be happy your NFL dreams could come true.
Covid’s new normal for the NFL. Woohoo 2022.