Welcome to Sports Fan Fiction, a weekly showcase of fake stories involving the real athletes and decision makers of the Dallas sports scene. Last week: The Dallas Cowboys came back to defeat the New York Giants 31-28, but the talk of the sports world was the acrobatic, one-handed catch of New York receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. Beyond the amazing grab, Beckham, Jr., caught nearly everything thrown to him on his way to finishing with a game high 10 receptions for 146 yards and two touchdowns. After proving that he could catch anything, here is a fictitious account of what happened after the game.
Tuesday 11.25.14 [1:13 am] The Meadowlands Medical Facility was generally quiet at this hour, but nothing was normal about this day. The halls were filled with weary eyed doctors and nurses, frenetically pacing about in search of an answer. Dr. Donald Price, a specialist flown in from Pittsburgh, made his way through the crowd in search of someone to tell him where he was needed.
“Are you the new doctor?!?” a haggard nurse shouted from across the hall. She dashed toward Dr. Price, her Scrabble-patterned scrubs making a whoosh noise with every stride.
“Please to meet you, I’m Dr. Don—”
“Save the pleasantries, we don’t have time for that. He…doesn’t have time,” she interrupted, her eyes tearing up under the weight of her words. She gathered herself, took in a deep breath, and prepared to tell the new doctor the unbelievable news. “Odell Beckham, Jr., has caught Yellow Fever.”
Dr. Price furrowed his brow. “What? No American has contracted Yellow Fever in years, the disease is beaten! It only exists in some smaller areas of South America now, and it’s mandatory that any traveler to those locations be vaccinated. Perhaps it was a misdiagnosis...”
“Heh, another skeptic. Maybe you should hold off questioning our diagnosis until you see Mr. Beckham, Jr., for yourself.”
The nurse ushered Dr. Donald Price toward a door protected by two men dressed in SWAT regalia. She gave a knowing nod, and with it, they opened up the door by turning dual skeleton keys. The door creaked open to reveal a dark room, the only light coming from the glow of the machines by the bed of the New York Giants rookie receiver.
Now directly in front of Odell Beckham, Jr., Dr. Price was finally able to get a good look at just what he had gotten himself into. Jaundice had yellowed Beckham’s eyes and skin to match his trademark bleached hair. The wideout’s 200-pound frame had melted into the medical bed. The stench was unforgettable. Two things were now absolutely true to Dr. Price: This was Yellow Fever, and Odell Beckham, Jr., would not leave this room alive.
“When we first brought him in, the symptoms were more simple. Aching, vomiting, we thought we could treat it with a flu vaccine. But his body caught the small amount of flu in the treatment, so now he has that, too.” The nurse turned toward Dr. Price and asked, “Is there anything we can do?”
Suddenly Odell Beckham, Jr.’s, body started to convulse, quickly followed by a series coughs before he wheezed a pained “Hello?” He fought through the pain and continued, “Is there anyone there? I can’t see anything.”
“Odell, this is Dr. Donald Price, I’m an international disease specialist from Pittsburgh. You seem to have contracted a very rare ailment, and your body simply isn’t responding to any of the treatments.”
“What does that mean?“
“Your body is shutting down piece by piece, and you likely won’t live to see the sunrise today,” he said, deadpan. The nurse was in complete hysterics at this point.
“Well, you’re gonna keep trying, right? Right?“ Beckham begged.
“You don’t have much time left.”
“You are about to die.”
“Come again? Sorry, I didn’t catch that—”
The machines cried a long beep, signifying that Odell Beckham, Jr., was killed by Yellow Fever. Or irony.
David Allison is a 2011 graduate of the Dallas Comedy House conservatory, has been improvising and teaching in the DFW area since 2003.