Best of SI: Chiefs OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif Moves to Pandemic’s Front Line

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Three days before Super Bowl LIV in February, a reporter asked what I thought about the coronavirus. Crazy, right? Back then, I had read a little and knew what type of virus it was and that there were a few thousands cases in China. I told the reporter as much, but added that I was trying to focus on football going into the biggest game of my life.

After my team triumphed, I went back to the parade in Kansas City, which is totally inconceivable right now. Adding a million people in the streets? Piled up on top of each other? Drinking and cheering in subzero temps? It’s so wild to even think back to then, this time two months ago that feels like another lifetime. 

I went back to Montreal after the celebration. Life was chaotic then, but in a different way. I had two hectic weeks of appearances, including my own parade in Montreal, where like 4,000 people showed up in the snow to cheer me on. To see that community of Chiefs fans north of the border was touching for me.

I hold a doctorate in medicine. I don’t have a specialty yet, and I haven’t done the residency portion of the program. And while I don’t watch many games on television, I do know how big of an industry sport is. When the NBA halted its operation and so did the NHL, it really hit me. I remembered the reporter from the Super Bowl and her question.

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