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Old Faces, New Places

“You’re joking, right?”

”I wish I were. I’m the ‘Niners fan, not you. Now, give me your arm.”

Sara’s on her morning shift. Of all the nurses here, she’s my favorite. When you’ve been in this hospital for as long as I have, you appreciate someone you can really talk with. And anyone who loves football as much as I do is okay in my book. Even a 49ers fan.

”Your blood pressure’s good,” says Sara. “Did you order your lunch yet?”

“Not yet,” I reply. “So why did they do it? Why did San Fran trade DeForest Buckner to Indianapolis?”

”Because they stoooo-pid!” she says with a laugh. “Nah. They probably too cheap to pay him. DeForest got da big bucks now in Indy.”

Sara turns to leave, but I stop her. It’s only been two days since I woke up from my coma. Everyone in the hospital and all the anchors on the TV news are talking about “coronavirus this” and “Covid-19 that.”

I went to sleep for a month and the entire world turned upside-down. Still, I had to know.

”Sara, tell me. What else happened in NFL free agency?”

She sighs as she applies hand sanitizer to her hands. “Well, Marcus Mariota went to the Raiders.”

Really? Where did Derek Carr go?

”Oh, he’s still there,” she says. “Nick Foles went to Chicago.”

Wow. The Bears gave up on Trubisky?”

”No. He’s still there, too. Oh, and Houston traded DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals.”

Whoa. What did Arizona give up for him? Two first-round draft picks? Kyler Murray?

”The Cards gave ‘em David Johnson.”

No way.

”David. Freakin’. Johnson,” she said, shaking her head. “Crazy, yeah?”

“The whole world’s gone insane,” I say. “What else?”

”Wat you tink me, Sportscentah?” says Sara, winking. “I gotta make my rounds, but I’ll be back. Go order lunch.”

”Sara, please,” I beg her. “From one NFL fan to another, please fill me in. You got me so curious.”

She sighs again. “Okay, real quick. I’ll give you da Reader’s Digest version…”

Sara takes a deep breath.

”Phillip Rivers went to Indianapolis. Stefon Diggs stay in Buffalo. Teddy Bridgewater went to Carolina. Darius Slay is in Philly. Jimmy Graham went to Chicago. Melvin Gordon went to Denver. Gerald McCoy went to Dallas. Kamu Grugier-Hill and Byron Jones now stay in Miami. Vic Beasley went to Tennessee. Emanuel Sanders hooked up with New Orleans. Cory Littleton went to Las Vegas. Eric Ebron went to Pittsburgh. And da New York Jets nevah do notting.”

”Wow, that’s a lot,” I say. “But what about New England?”

Sara clears her throat. “Ummm, what?”

”The Patriots,” I tell her. “That’s my team. Wow, with all these players moving around, I think the Patriots have a good chance of making the Super Bowl again. Continuity is a recipe for success. In Tom Brady I trust!”

Sara’s mouth is open, but nothing comes out.


She winces. “Uhhh, yeah. About that…”

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