Anyone who’s casually followed sports in the past week has seen Andy Reid’s fogged-up face shield, which he debuted during the NFL’s opening game on Thursday Night Football against the Texans. Before the game even started, Reid’s face shield, which he wore instead of a face mask to comply with COVID protocol, became so comically fogged up that everyone from Kim Kardashian to Kim Jong Un took shots at the Chiefs’ meaty monarch on Twitter.
In response to the fog fiasco, Chiefs equipment manager Heath Cliffbar engineered a new drone-based solution to help keep Reid in the game. Reid will wear the same shield as last week, but with drone assistance to keep things clean and clear. The drone option was considered the team’s last resort after several simpler options proved ineffective during the week-long testing process.
The team’s first idea was to use a defogging product popular among hockey players, but the extreme heat of Reid’s garlicky breath melted the defogging spray, creating ‘more fog than a phone booth hooker’ according to the Chiefs puffy patriarch.
The initial drone prototype was a normal drone equipped with a window-washer extension to regularly fly down and wipe Reid’s visor when needed, but the restrictive nature of the shield still prevented in-game snacking. When a feeding apparatus was added to deploy pork into Reid’s mouth during the wiping process, the crumb-covered coach ended up devouring three whole drones by Thursday.
The last drone modification saw the feeding apparatus replaced by a tube that pumps liquefied ribs into Reid’s mouth while the wiper extension clears his view of the playing field.
Cliffbar explained that Coach Reid’s instincts kicked in when he felt the straw touch his lips and he knew not to eat it. “Muscle memory is a powerful thing,” Cliffbar said, “so if you’ve mastered the milkshake, your history of cooperation with a straw can overpower the carnal urge to just eat it.”
Although the team successfully tested the new method in practice on Friday and Saturday, Reid can’t wait to use it during a game. “There’s only one thing more unpredictable than COVID-19,” Reid bellowed, “and that’s me when I’m hungry.”
The Chiefs will take on the Chargers in Los Angeles Sunday afternoon, where the Kansas City training staff has blended up 16 lbs of bone-in ribs to hold their bulbous boss over between lunch and dinner.
“Coach Reid’s history of poor clock management in clutch moments can probably be attributed to his hunger near the end of games,” Cliffbar explained. “Due to his health, nutritional habits, and general lifestyle, an hour without meat for Andy Reid is like an hour without being the center of attention for J.J. Watt.”