While I understand how some people could find an inspiring message within this news item about a high school football coach who coached the entirety of a 53-0 loss without realizing he had suffered a heart attack in the middle of the game, it fills me not with hope but with horror.
Daryl Hayes, the head coach of St. John’s Catholic Prep, felt a little funny around halftime of his team’s shutout defeat against Concordia Prep this past Saturday. He began to experience numbness in his left side, but didn’t stop coaching. The extent of his concern was when he texted his wife, Kelly, at halftime for some mints. From the Frederick News-Post:
“The only clue that I had, looking back, is at the half he texted me and said, ‘Do you have any mints?'” Kelly said. “And I actually thought it was for a queasy player. But it was for him. He just thought it was indigestion.”
Oh, come on.
Hayes, who was walking around slowly after the 53-0 loss, somehow conducted a postgame interview with a reporter before the school’s athletic director forced the coach to go to the hospital. It was there that doctors discovered a blood clot blocking 99 percent of one of Hayes’s arteries.
“I didn’t know,” said Vikings assistant coach Kevin O’Rourke. “We’re on the headphones, we’re talking, we’re coaching football. He never stopped.
“In fact, I remarked to another coach last night after the game that he seemed the calmest he had ever been coaching,” O’Rourke said. “He’s quite animated, he’s passionate. You know, he’s a football coach.”
What the fuck, man! There is no high school football game that is worth this, especially a 53-0 loss. If your coach is going to have a heart attack, you’d better make it at least a two-possession game. Those players might be kids, but they’ll surely understand that Coach needs a little break.
Hayes was in the ICU throughout the weekend and was released from the hospital on Monday. Because of a schedule shortened by the pandemic, that might have been the final game of the season for St. John’s. It absolutely should be the final game of the season for Daryl.