Team Mom

The Bucs have had a rotten season so far. Since Week One they have lost 3 games, one quarterback, and also a spleen.

In case you haven’t heard, starting QB Chris Simms was rushed to the hospital following yesterday’s game for an emergency splendectomy. (That’s an operation where they take your spleen out.)

Not to worry, Bucs fans–this is not an unprecedented event. One of the best hockey players in the world, Peter Forsberg, has been running around without a spleen since 2001 and he’s doing just fine. Like Simms, he had a spleen injury that was not immediately obvious. And, like Simms, he ended up in the middle of emergency surgery faster than you can say “out for the season.”

This article out of the New York Daily News raises the question on everyone’s mind: how soon, and how much, did the Bucs training staff know about his injury? It was obvious to his teammates and many of the fans that the guy was not running on all cylinders by the time the fourth quarter rolled around. And if we all felt a little uneasy then it begs the question, Why didn’t anyone in the Bucs organization know that something was seriously wrong?

Somebody did. My mother. The entire game, all we heard was, “Oh, that poor boy. Get him out of there. That poor little boy. He’s sick! Sit him down!”

“Ma,” I said, “he’s sorta busy right now.”

“HE IS REALLY HURT,” she insisted, and by the end of the game, she practically had her eyes covered in fear as she informed anyone who would listen that he did not have cramps, dehydration, or exhaustion…he was in imminent danger and why were they letting him play?

The Bucs’ coaching staff might not have known, the fans didn’t guess, and the injury might not have been obvious to Simms himself, but mothers can sense it. The Force is with them. Had my mother been in that stadium, Simms would have been in the hospital and listening to a lecture on drinking enough water long before halftime rolled around.

That is why I’m proposing that the Bucs coaching staff hire a team mom, just like the ones you see in those soup commercials. Other teams would make fun of them, yes, but can you imagine the money they’d save on training staff and medical diagnostic bills?

UPDATE: I was being really really sarcastic yesterday–that my mother knows more than the Bucs staff and all–and while I am in a better mood now, this story still makes them look kinda bad. To quote Michael Clayton: “In the huddle, he was gasping for air…He’d call part of the [pass] routes, then gasp for air and finish it. … Everybody was saying: ‘Chris, are you OK?'” His coach is swearing that there were no symptoms of a spleen injury, although he did have bruised ribs, but are the Bucs really so shallow that there were no second-string QBs to finish the day when your starter can’t breathe? If he’s that beat up, even if he DOES want to play, I question whether it’s even good football strategy. The next stop is a Superdome-amped New Orleans Saints team that rolled over Vick and the Falcons last night…fun fun fun…

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