Are you tired of the swine’s flu yet? Yes? THAT IS TOO BAD BECAUSE SWINE’S FLU IS NOT TIRED OF YOU. Despite it being a relatively mild disease in terms of the severity of symptoms, the sheer ass-kicking efficiency of the H1N1 virus to spread itself among a large population has college campuses and athletic programs cowering in fear. Hell, it’s the only thing that kept Tennessee within 10 points of Florida, whether Lane Kiffin wants to admit it or not.
So while the direst warnings - you know, that betting lines would be delayed - haven’t come to fruition, campuses are still fighting the inexorable spread of the virus in their own way. For Ohio State and coach Jim Tressel, it’s adopting The Way of Howie Mandel, eschewing all hand-to-hand contact. Problem solved.
From the CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER:
Jim Tressel said, “S’happening,” today […] in reference to the “elbow bumps,” actually more like forearm bumps, that the Ohio State training staff is recommending Ohio State football players employ in place of handshakes as the Buckeyes hope to prevent passing the flu through the team.
OSU punter Jon Thoma was sick for Saturday’s game against Toledo, but Tressel didn’t know if that had been identified as a strain of H1N1 flu. There are no other reports of sick Ohio State players at the moment.
On one hand, you’re never going to get a situation where an administrator sees a threat and doesn’t do everything within reason to combat it. Not only is that reckless, it’s also begging for a negligence lawsuit if, say, somebody were to be permanently harmed or killed by the virus.
On the other, though, this seems a little silly, doesn’t it? The flu isn’t running rampant on campus (yet), only the punter’s sick (and nobody likes special teams players enough to touch them to begin with), and we’re already screaming in horror if people shake hands? What kind of guy would micromanage his teams with that kind of maniacal…
…oh. Point taken.