New on SI: Kirk Cousins Not Worried About Contracting Coronavirus: ‘If I Die, I Die’

Kirk Cousins doesn’t sound too concerned about the possibility of contracting the coronavirus.

Kirk Cousins is taking the Ivan Drago approach

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins doesn’t sound too concerned about the possibility of contracting the coronavirus. 

Speaking on the Ringer podcast 10 Questions With Kyle Brandt, Cousins said his outlook on the deadly disease is, “If I die, I die.”

(The COVID discussion begins

around the 10:30 mark here.)

Brandt asked Cousins to rate his concern about the virus on a scale of 1 to 10, saying, “If 1 is the person who says, ‘Masks are stupid, you’re all a bunch of lemmings’ and 10 is, ‘I’m not leaving my master bathroom for the next 10 years,’ where do you land?”

“I’m not going to call anybody stupid, for the trouble it could get me in. But I’m about a .000001,” Cousins replied.

“I want to respect what other people’s concerns are. For me personally, if you’re just talking no one else can get the virus, what is your concern if you could get it, I would say I’m going to go about my daily life. If I get it, I’m going to ride it out. I’m going to let nature do its course. Survival-of-the-fittest kind of approach. And just say, if it knocks me out, it knocks me out. I’m going to be OK. You know, even if I die. If I die, I die. I kind of have peace about that. 

“That’s really where I fall on it, so my opinion of wearing a mask is really being respectful to other people. It really has nothing to do with my own personal thoughts.”

One thing that continues to boggle mind, six months after the pandemic exploded in the United States, is how many people approach this disease as a life vs. death binary. It’s true that a guy like Cousins is unlikely to die from COVID-19, but what about the longterm heart damage we’re seeing in college football players? Even if you don’t have any long-lasting negative health effects from the virus, getting sick is still no fun. Just ask Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, who said he was hit so hard by the coronavirus that his fever spiked to 104.5 degrees one night and he prayed, “Please don’t take me.”

Approaching things from a pure football perspective should be enough for Cousins to hope he doesn’t get infected. If Cousins tests positive, it’s nearly certain that he’ll be forced to sit out at least one game, leaving the Vikings to start Jake Browning, Sean Mannion or Nate Stanley at quarterback. He could miss even more time if he continues to test positive, or if he was one of the “long-haulers” who have their COVID symptoms linger for months

There’s also the issue of how the NFL would respond to a positive test. The league has been fortunate to avoid any significant outbreaks thus far, but what happens when teams start traveling? Could a batch of positive tests on a particular team lead to games being postponed as we’ve seen in baseball?

The good news is that Cousins doesn’t seem like he’s being a jerk about the disease. He’s not like those wackos you see getting kicked out of a Walmart or a Kroger because they believe the constitution gives them the right not to wear a mask. He did express some concern when he told Brandt that “it became harder to feel comfortable going back to camp” when players weren’t getting adequate information about the league’s health and safety protocols. 

And while he may not be terribly concerned with getting sick, he’s respectful of players who might be more wary. 

“I even think that in the building there’s going to be a dichotomy of people who couldn’t care less about the virus, have no concern about it, have never lost a minute of sleep about it, and then you get people on the other side of the spectrum who every second of every day are consumed with fear about it,” Cousins said earlier in the podcast. “What you don’t know is who’s where on the spectrum when you first go back. When you’re with a smaller group and you know everybody in the group is not as concerned, then is there a way to not freak out when someone sneezes? But the flip side is, if you’re in a huddle and you know one of the guys is deathly concerned about it, you’re going to disrespect him and sneeze in his face. We just have have to factor in our audience and the situation.”

You just hope that his respect for his teammates extends to not engaging in risky behavior that could potentially lead to him getting infected and endangering the rest of the team. 

Don’t insult your fans like this

Here’s a very bad tweet that the Red Sox sent (and deleted after about 45 minutes) on Tuesday. 

For anyone in the dark, the team is referring to the fact that its luxury tax penalties were reset because the season was not canceled before Sept. 1. That means the Sox don’t have to pay the luxury tax in 2020, and will pay the lowest tax the next time they exceed the luxury tax threshold. Isn’t that fun? Aren’t accounting tricks like this why we all own replica slacks of our favorite team’s top bean counters? 

What goes unsaid here, though, is that the Red Sox are below the luxury tax threshold because they traded Mookie Betts and David Price away. The move was universally derided when it was made in February, so why bring it up again? 

The team deleted the post and sent an apology of sorts, but it was too late to save all the embarrassment. 

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