“I would say it’s a dramatic irony,” Woods said in a telephone interview on Friday. “Each person’s decision must be respected, but he did not respect my decision. The rule for me was that if you exclude yourself, you won’t be part of the team. Now he wants to withdraw from the vaccine. Does he want to be part of the team?
One of the most enduring legacies of the pandemic is a tool of division, whether through closures, masks, vaccines or warrants. The line between personal freedom and the public good leaves as little room for common ground as a razor’s edge.
And so, after Rolovich admitted in a video press conference on Saturday afternoon that it had been “unbelievably stressful” over the past few months, it was perhaps not surprising that at least the one of the Cougars – 83% of whom had been vaccinated as of September 10 – described the situation in terms of us versus them.
“The guys covering us, they’re trying to dig a hole in our Cougar football team,” Laura quarterback Jayden said. “I thought you were supposed to be supporting us, and you’re here trying to get rid of our leader.” “
He added: “There is probably friction outside of our team. We don’t pay attention to this stuff. It’s you guys. This is your guys’ point of view. You don’t come early in the morning to train and sacrifice yourself with us.
Before the game, de Laura took a break from her warm-up to pay a quick visit to Jack Thompson, nicknamed the Throwin ‘Samoan, who is revered as the first in the program’s long line of remarkable quarterbacks. A few minutes earlier, Thompson, in a man of letters jacket, had kissed Rolovich and wished him good luck.
But even Thompson struggled to make sense of the situation.
“I am in conflict,” he said. “Nick is a friend and a damn good coach. And I gave him my advice. But I love my school, and no one is bigger than the school.
“I’m just praying that the right thing will happen,” he continued, aware that like everyone else – except maybe Rolovich – he has no idea how it’s going to turn out.