Yet another person has become a victim of all that is wrong in the health care industry. Jason Campbell, Quarterback of the Washington Redskins found an unwelcome surprise waiting for him in his mailbox today.
“I was shocked; I mean, I didn’t even know there was anything wrong.” Said Campbell.
Oh, but there was something wrong; something terribly, terribly wrong. Jason Campbell’s health insurance…had been canceled.
“They said I had some kind of pre-existing condition that made me ineligible for ‘continued coverage’” said Campbell, still holding the letter he had received, “Something about ‘Insufficient Offensive Linemenitus.’ I didn’t even know I was sick.”
Insufficient Offensive Linemenitus, or IOL, is a breakdown of the protective barrier that allows Quarterbacks to remain healthy and upright during football games.
“It’s a terrible disease and I’m still living with the after effects” said Patrick Ramsey, a onetime IOL sufferer and former Redskins Quarterback.
IOL is a debilitating condition that can seriously affect a Quarterback’s job performance, and most sufferers don’t last very long in their current employment. Symptoms can start off mild; such as bruising, swelling, grass-stains, nervousness and difficulty controlling one’s bowels. More serious sufferers may face ligament damage, broken bones, a marked inability to stand in the pocket with both feet firmly planted (a condition often referred to as ‘happy feet’), and in some cases excessive damage to the brain from repetitive concussions.
“It affected my job performance, certainly,” said Ramsey, “but I’m doing better now. I still flinch whenever I hear the word ‘hut’ or ‘hike.’ My wife asked me the other day if I wanted to ‘hike on down to the Sunglass hut’ with her, and I locked myself in the bathroom for three days. At least I didn’t vomit this time.”
Ramsey is currently recovering from his IOL and is actively seeking employment with another football team, but this disease didn’t just affect his professional life. “Last Christmas, my kids came running in to hug me. I threw my mug of eggnog out of bounds and spent the next five minutes curled into the fetal position yelling ‘Blow the whistle! Blow the whistle!’”
The League has taken some steps to help Quarterbacks suffering from IOL
“We have encouraged the officials to recognize when a Quarterback may be suffering from IOL,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell “We are sensitive to people with disabilities, and the officials need to protect these guys as if they were crippled or retarded, er, sorry, physically or developmentally challenged.”
Commissioner Goodell points to one Tom Brady, the Quarterback of the New England Patriots, as a shining example of workplace sensitivity.
“We messed up and he got hurt last year. We lost him for the whole season,” said Goodell “If you notice this year, we aren’t letting anybody touch him; not even slightly. We have to compensate for our mistake from last year, so if he wants a flag, we are certainly going to give him one.”
When asked about Jason Campbell, Goodell seemed a little less sympathetic.
“Nobody cares about the Redskins,” said Goodell, “Have you seen that little punk running the team? Losing his Quarterback might actually be doing him a favor; he’s no Tom Brady, that’s for sure. Did you know Tom’s married to a super-model? What’s this Campbell kid got that makes you think he deserves special treatment?”
In the meantime, Campbell says he still expects to play.
“What else can I do?” asked Campbell, “I can’t just quit. I guess it’s just gonna be a long season.”