The COVID-19 pandemic is changing everything about the way sports conduct business.
That goes so far as to include the licking, the spitting, and the snot that comes with human beings.
In a detailed (perhaps overly detailed depending on when you ate) look at the problems with expectorations in sports by Greg Wyshynski of ESPN.com, Saints quarterback Drew Brees underscored how hard it was going to be for quarterbacks to be hygienic.
“The whole point is to help give your hands a little tackiness so you get better grip on the ball,” Brees said. “I’ve actually been thinking about it a lot lately as I’ve started throwing again. Trying to avoid it, but it has been so habitual for so long. You don’t realize how much you touch your face and lick your fingers until COVID hit.”
Brees has traditionally licked his fingers before every snap, a habit that will be hard to break.
Former NFL tackle Ryan Harris said he didn’t need a pandemic to be skeeved out by some of the things that happen on football fields.
“It’s so gross, even when there isn’t COVID,” Harris said. “And just look where he puts his hands the play before, the play after, and the play he’s running when he licks his fingers. Do the math. Honestly, there are a lot of every-day, don’t-give-it-a-second-thought things people are going to have to give a second thought about.”
As teams gather this week for training camps, those kind of things have been given second thoughts by the teams trying to keep spaces as clean as possible, despite the best efforts of a bunch of nasty football players.