It’s immediately after the Pittsburgh Steelers loss to the Seattle Seahawks. We are in the locker room. The Athletic trainer and his Assistant are tasked with following the concussion protocol with all players who were suspected of having a traumatic brain injury.
Trainer: Ok. Who do we have to test for a concussion?
Trainer’s Assistant: First, we have DeAngelo Williams. He had 8 carries for 29 yards and a touchdown.
Trainer: OK DeAngelo, you had uh…I guess a so-so game today. We’re going to ask you a few questions to ensure that you don’t have a concussion.
DeAngelo: Got it.
Trainer: Repeat these words: tree, pocket, rooftop
DeAngelo: Tree, pocket, rooftop
Trainer: Please repeat this number backwards: 63.
Trainer: Tell me the months of the year but in reverse order.
DeAngelo: December, November, October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February, and January.
Trainer: Ok. He’s good.
Training Assistant: Ok. Next we have Ben Roethlisberger. Ben threw for 456 yards today.
Trainer: Damn! That’s a hell of a game son! That’s gotta be some type of record. Man, you’re going to be smoking those clowns from Indianapolis next week.
Big Ben: Yeah, I hope so. My head really hurts and I’m having a lot of blurred vision after that hit I took. I was seeing stars when I was on the ground.
Trainer: Yeah, the Colts’ secondary is soft. You’re going to light them up! Anyway, let’s get on to the test. Repeat this word: ball.
Big Ben: Ball?
Trainer: Wow. Really nice there. Impressive. Ok. Repeat this number backwards: 11.
Big Ben: 11?
Trainer: Jeez! Killing it! Ok last question: what team did you just play against?
Big Ben: Um…
Big Ben: Uh…I’m really having trouble remembering…
Trainer: You know it’s a bird that flies over the water…the Sea…
Big Ben: I’m not sure wh-
Trainer: The Seahawks! You got it! Mark him down as clear. Go get ’em next week.
Training Assistant: Ok, next we have Landry Jones. He had one completion, two interceptions, one being a game-altering pick that led to a Seahawks touchdown.
Trainer: Oh…this guy is still on the team?
Training Assistant: Have a seat there Landry.
Trainer: Huh…ok Mr. Backup. I’m going to ask you a few questions. If you answer correctly, you can play next week. If not, I’m afraid we’ll have to bench you. OK? Where are you right now?
Landry: I’m in the locker room of Century Link Field in Seattle.
Trainer: Repeat this number backwards: 163
Trainer: Ok. How do we solve the race problem in America?
Trainer: Yeah, these are pretty standard questions.
Landry: I don’t know if I can-
Trainer: Listen pal, if you can’t answer it then I’m afraid you can’t play next week. Now, answer the question!
Landry: Well, I guess I’d tackle it a few ways. I think that we need to address the justice system that targets minorities. Get congress to decriminalize non-violent drug offenders. I’d also look at mixed-income housing. Half the reason people don’t get along is because they don’t live with one another. Also we could look at subsidizing low-interest small business loans for minorities so they can build micro-economies in their own communities and avoid the gentrification that is currently forcing them out through rent increases.
Trainer: Is that it?
Landry: I think so.
Trainer: Well, you won’t be tackling anything buddy. You forgot to include a STEM education program in school districts with high concentrations of minority students! You clearly have a concussion.
Trainer: You’re benched! Now get the hell out of here!