Look, I feel bad about it.
Until this weekend, we were a 14-5 football team—football family—charging towards the Super Bowl. But run over one quarterback and now that's over, everyone’s vilifying me, it’s not my fault, and my life’s a mess.
Here’s the version of events I remember, according to my lawyer: Smack! BUMP BUMP BUMP. Then I blacked out from stress.
In the tape, you see our receiver’s hurt, coach waves, and I drive my Taylor-Dunn Personnel Carrier over with pure intentions. I don’t notice the quarterback because he’s kneeling, below my sightline—his choice, not mine. Then he goes under the cart.
We say luck’s always a factor in football. I guess his luck got used up completing 21/22 with four TDs in the first 38 minutes of the game. Our color commentator said it best, right before he threw up: “Things were finally going well for this team, and now– Bad luck, this is by far the most graphic injury I’ve ever seen on a field. I’m nauseous, how about you, Joe?”
Bad luck is not my fault.
Sure, it’s frustrating that our first winning season since 2014 ends like this. But football goes on. I only get one chance to be an NFL golf cart driver. Sideline access, brief heroics, a staff-only Gatorade cooler filled with vodka after every touchdown. My career is over.
There are five guys on our offense whose only job is to protect the quarterback. Don’t take their failure out on me.
Now I’ll never again experience the joy of taking the field before thousands of adoring fans. Unlike our rookie-of-the-year quarterback, who has a chance at full recovery if the doctors can reattach his right arm. At least I had plenty of the free vodka before I drove the cart out.
Here’s the part that gooses me: when you hear about cars hitting people and then backing over them again, you say you’d never do something so stupid, right? That’s why I refused all the pleas to back up. I wasn’t going to run him over twice. This was not “attempted murder.”
Turns out, you are supposed to reverse if your wheel is on someone’s clavicle. Which the offensive linemen could’ve said with words, instead of flipping the personnel carrier over. I couldn’t see the quarterback was still underneath the cart because he was underneath the cart. Not my fault for not having X-ray vision.
Other reasons this sucks for me, which you probably didn’t realize while you were so busy holding vigils for a guy who’s not even in critical condition anymore:
- Lawsuits: The top speed on the Taylor-Dunn is supposed to be 10 MPH. I was clocked at 14. That sounds like a lawsuit, according to my lawyer. Now I have to sue Taylor-Dunn. What a headache.
- Trauma: If you think getting run over is bad, try being the one doing the running over. I still hear his bones crunch. At least he got to be unconscious.
- Ableist Bullying: One in twelve men are colorblind, including me. It’s medically impossible for me to distinguish the green turf from our red uniforms. Sure, this means I—and one in twelve men—was not further upset by the leftover bloodstain. But that’s little consolation when everyone reverts to ableist slurs and retweeting the local Bishop’s statement that only demons don’t see color.
- Financial Regrets: The optics displease me, but for my PTSD treatment and legal costs, I had to accept the $179,000 GoFundMe raised primarily by die-hard fans of our playoff rival. Our own team offered me no financial assistance for incapacitating a 23-year-old that, I note, we have the money to pay $568,000 a game.
Remember, Steve Young won a Super Bowl as a left-hander. Unless you irrationally believe there was something special about our quarterback’s right arm, there’s nothing indicating he can’t learn to throw just as well with his left. And if his left shoulder doesn’t heal, there are positions that don’t require arms at all, like kicker.
All this to say: I am sorry. I feel as torn-up as the tangled mess of exposed tendons you briefly witnessed before the broadcast cut away. But on top of everything, you didn’t have to ruin my good name. I could barely convince them to hire me as a zoo train operator.