After going through her extensive shoe box of family records, Mom says there’s no evidence that I’ve ever had a vaccination for the mumps.
“Your sister had them on both sides in 1969, and your brother had them on one side in 1969,” she added in her text. “I do recall taking you all to the doctor for a gamma globulin to boost against infection.”
If my memory is correct, Gamma Globulin was a nickname that Kings owner Jack Kent Cooke once tried to force on goalie Denis DeJordy before giving up and trading him to Montreal for Rogie Vachon in the early ‘70s.
Long before the Not-So-Great NHL Mumps Outbreak of 2014.
So far, no one at the Centers for Disease Control or The Gary Bettman Triage for Health, Education and Warfare has any good guesses as to what’s causing a puck-driven pandemic. More disconcerting is why there isn’t any kind of local or government action to warn patrons who attend games that they could be walking into a Staples Center Chernobyl if they’ve lax on their annual booster shots.
Is there another doctor in the house who isn’t named Doc Rivers?
WebMD.com doesn’t offer much about how to avoid a nasty case of salmonella from mishandling a duck (or any other kind of foul-smelling fowl).
The Association of Zoo & Aquariums’ listing on zoonotic diseases – stuff transmitted from wild or domestic critters to humans or vice versa – will only warn that things like measles, smallpox, influenza, HIV, diphtheria, West Nile virus, tuberculosis and Lyme disease are in play. Still, it’s not the kind of stuff you’d expect to informally exchange with a mild-mannered penguin, coyote, panther, shark or any other backwoods predator.
So why, then, are all of these NHL-related beasts getting mumpy on us?
At last count, there were 16 players on five teams that had to be quarantined in some way because of this thing that has made the superstars like Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby look like Ricky Gervais on skates.
Maybe it didn’t really start in the locker room of Anaheim’s Less-Than-Mighty Ducks, but that was the first team to identify it with players Corey Perry, Francois Beauchemin, Clayton Stoner and Emerson Etem a month ago. Yet, when St. Louis and Minnesota visited Staples Center in mid-October, they had players, within days, who came down with infections that had symptoms looking a lot like the mumps, but it was never clearly stated as such.
Somehow, the Kings have avoided it like the plague. Or they’re just getting away with listing players as having another “upper body injury” on their official daily ailment list.
From a hockey players’ perspective, the mumps are for chumps. They get back on the ice just a period after having a torn-off ear sewn back onto their head. A bacterial infection isn’t anything worse than having a dentist reconfigure the roof line of their upper cusp.
But not all of us have Gordie Howe’s immune system. Especially the journalistic types required to exchange sniffles in a land of toxic jocks. Our industry’s basic health care plan isn’t much better than what you’d find for part-time Walmart greeter.
And not everyone has a mom to call for medical cross-checking emergencies.
(Mine, by the way, just offered to send ahead my files so that I could see for myself just what deficiencies I’m facing for the next half-century due to the expiration dates on whatever scientific advancements were achieved during the Kennedy administration.)
It’s not like water polo players are more susceptible to polio. Golfers don’t have more cases of strokes. Jockeys may deal with a greater number of charley horses, but that’s another issue.
And how is it that HBO hasn’t done an expose on why those in the world of Competitive Eating haven’t led the nation in Type-9 diabetes?
So why hockey and the mumps have forged this relationship, the NHL’s epidemiologist on call has no clue. Even after checking the replay in the Toronto X-ray video room.
“I have no reason to believe that teams aren’t doing everything in their control to minimize this,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told USA Today this week.
Anytime an official uses a double-negative to describe a dire situation, he’s not really positive what’s going on. You don’t treat everything by spraying Windex on it.
And if you are the Kings, you add Dr. Oz to the payroll to consult on how to keep Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter and Jonathan Quick in quick-freeze isolation chambers between games.
Otherwise, the league risks having another player with a swelled-up cheeks mumble through another comical interview that turns into a video-gone-viral, right?
== On the NBA list of average minutes played per game, Kobe Bryant is 16th, at 35.4 – a number that nearly matches his age – and that’s only about four short of the leader, Chicago hotshot Jimmy Butler.
In that time, Bryant has managed to be No. 1 in shots attempted per game (22.1), but he’s 120th in field-goal percentage (37.7).
It should be no surprise, then, that on the most important graphic — the plus/minus rankings, which indicates how many points are scored (or aren’t) when a player is on the court — Bryant is last at No. 436 with a minus-236 total so far after 26 games, with a -9.2 points a game.
So by that logic, why would coach Byron Scott continue to allow Bryant to be out there with all that unproductive output if the results are just three victories for every 10 Lakers games played?
If we’re reading between the stat lines here, do the Lakers even need to articulate to the paying customers that all they’re doing is funding a process of conscious losing – albeit in some kind of entertaining fashion – while allowing players like Bryant’s breakfast buddy Rajon Rondo to recuse themselves to Dallas instead of baiting them into assisting the league’s most storied franchise return to some semblance of non-embarrassment?
== Forget the influx of Cuban players to the U.S. and Major League Baseball if relations between the countries are “normalized” in the near future. Have you noticed the more normal relationship that the NBA front office seems to have these days with Mavs owner Mark Cuban?
We may have read something about that in a Sony-hacked email.
== After all the moves at the recent MLB winter meetings, the odds for winning the World Series greatly improved for the Red Sox (from 22/1 to 9/1), Cubs (50/1 to 12/1), White Sox (40/1 to 28/1), Marlins (50/1 to 33/1) and Padres (66/1 to 40/1).
But the Dodgers remained at the 15/2 favorite on Bovada.lv, before and after.
Is Vegas under reacting?
== You really want to see Pacquiao vs. Mayweather, all these years later? Or can we just hit up Redbox and rent the De Niro-Stallone movie “Grudge Match” to see how this plays out?
== The Chargers say they aren’t so ready to leave San Diego for L.A. by next season, and those who see what the Rams are doing guess it’s highly doubtful that their game Sunday against the N.Y. Giants at the Edward Jones Dome will be their final home contest in St. Louis.
Wouldn’t the Raiders see this as the perfect opportunity to go raiding the L.A. refrigerator again?
== In order to land the 2024 Summer Olympics — aka, the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad — all L.A. officials can do at this point after making a formal pitch to the USOC is wait to see whether it has won the American bid over Boston, Washington D.C. and San Francisco.
The next step would be to go into a bidding contest against a group that will likely include Rome, Melbourne, Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen, Kiev, Budapest, Casablanca and Istanbul for IOC approval. And it all is supposed to be finalized by September, 2017.
Is that ample time for Angelenos to sell their estates and move to Temecula?