Yes. It's happened. I am starting to feel a
little sick. Better now than in September or June I guess. But,
since this is a Monday and there is a column due, I figured that I would work
through this the way we expect most of our athletes to do it.
I'm no Dave "Killer" Carlson from Slap Shot.
At least not Killer from the start of the movie. Remember at the
beginning? Jim Carr has Dave up in the radio booth with him and during a
lull in the action there is the following exchange:
Jim: With us in the press box is injured Chiefs defenseman,
Dave Carlson. Dave, is it tough sitting here watching your team lose like
Dave: Definitely, Jim.
Jim: You injured your knee in a game.
Jim: No? I thought you had.
Dave: No, I have a cold. You know, the runny nose and
the sore throat. I went out in that storm there last week to start my car.
I didn't have my jacket on. I think it's settled in my kidneys.
Jim: We got action in the Presidents' goal.
Great movie. Especially when you're sick.
Plus, if Amanda
Whurlitzer can fight through a cold to pitch for the Bears, I can write a
What are some of the greatest performances by athletes
while fighting a head cold or the flu?
Well, there's Michael Jordan in Game Five of the 1997 NBA
Finals against Utah. The Game is appropriately called, "The
On Tuesday, Jordan woke up nauseated and sweating
profusely. He hardly had the strength to sit up in bed and was diagnosed with a
stomach virus or food
poisoning. The Bulls trainers told Jordan that there was no way he could
play the next day. The Jazz had just won two in a row to tie the series, and
Chicago needed their leader in this crucial swing game. In the NBA Finals best
of seven games format, that Game 5 was critical, since the winner would be just
one game away from the NBA Title. Against all odds, Jordan rose from bed at 3:00
p.m., just in time for the 6:00 tip-off at the Delta
Jordan was visibly weak and pale as he stepped onto the
court for Game Five. At first, he displayed no energy whatsoever, and John
Stockton, along with reigning MVP Karl
Malone, quickly led the Jazz to a 16-point lead. But in the second quarter,
Jordan started to sink shots despite lacking his usual explosive speed and
hardly being able to concentrate.
[Jordan scored] 15 points in the fourth quarter. With
less than a minute to go he was at the free throw line; he made the first but
missed the second. Toni Kukoc tapped the offensive rebound to Jordan, who would
swish a three-point shot to put the Bulls up by three points with less than a
minute left. Chicago then withstood a late Utah push and held on for a narrow
victory when John Stockton missed the first of two free throws in front of the
stunned crowd with an exhausted sweat-soaked Jordan briefly throwing two fists
into the air as the buzzer sounded. Jordan talking to the media after the game
quoted "we wanted it real bad."
Jordan finished the game with 38 points, seven
rebounds, five assists, three steals and one block.
I don't think I'm that bad and I don't think this is that
Most of the baseball stories I've heard or read about for
guys fighting through illnesses and having tremendous performances have more to
do with the self-inflicted types of illnesses -- like Babe Ruth eating too
many hotdogs or the strange trip of Dock
Ellis before his no-hitter. And I am guessing that Bobby
Rayburn had a little cold after playing that game in a torrential
downpour. But, that didn't hit until a few days later.
Now, if you'll excuse me. I'm going to have some
orange juice and go to bed.
Need More Mehring? Try the Rattler
Previous Mehring Mondays:
It's A Fantasy
Ryan Franklin, All Star
Appleton's Other Hall of Famers
It Hasn't Happened...Yet!
Get on the Bus
The End...For Now
It's a Common Question
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.