THE VOTES are all in and the medical sports writers have just selected the Most Valuable Pro-Football Doctor of the Year. The winner is Dr. Bubba Klaus, who averaged 180 yards a game running on and off the field tending to injured players.
Klaus, a first-round draft choice from Johns Hopkins Medical School, was selected for the award not only for his scrambling, and third-down stitching procedures, but also for his emergency knee operations during timeouts, which made it possible for a running back to return to the game for the next play.
His coach, Torga Stindberg, told reporters at the awards ceremonies: "Our medical scouts had been watching Bubba ever since he was an intern. He only weighed 150 pounds, which is pretty light for a football doctor, but he had the hands of a 270-pound plastic surgeon. He was overlooked by every other team in the league, and we picked him up for the price of two over-the-hill paramedics."
Asked what made Bubba such a great running doctor, Coach Strindberg replied, "He has no fear. As soon as he sees a player stretched out on the field, he'll leap off the bench and crash through the entire defensive line to get to him.
"And in an entire season, he's only fumbled his black bag three times. He also likes to block, which is rare for a doctor. I've seen him knock over three referees just to get to a wide receiver who had a cramp in his thigh. But it's not just his speed and strength that make him a great football doctor. Bubba also has brains. When he sees that our defensive unit is pooped, he'll hold up a game for five minutes pretending one of our players has a cracked rib. Most doctors want to get their people off the field as fast as possible, but Bubba always sizes up the situation, and he'll instruct our injured man to stay on his back until everyone gets his second wind."
A reporter said, "Howard Cosell on a Monday night game indicated Bubba is overrated as a football doctor, and wouldn't be able to hold a candle to some of the great orthopedic men with the old Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins. What do you have to say to that?" "Howard doesn't know the difference between an orthopedist and a pediatrician. "He's had it in for Bubba ever since Howard came to him once complaining about hoarseness, and Bubba put his throat in a cast."
When receiving the trophy from NFL Commissioner, Pete Rozelle, Dr. Klaus said, "I am honored to be named Pro-Football Doctor of the Year, but this award should be shared with many people, mostly the players of the teams who opposed us this season. Had it not been for their dirty tackling and vicious blocking, not to mention their roughing of our quarterbacks and kickers, I might never have gotten on the field at all.
"To those players on the opposition teams whose personal fouls against our boys made it possible for me to get into all the games -- I say 'thank you' from the bottom of my heart."