Andrew Hawkins was prepping for a Wild Card game, but he caught the flu before. Hawkins thought he was going to have Jordanesque flu-game performance, but he had a completely different outcome:
— Cincinnati 💔 (@CincyProblems) May 18, 2020
Well, at least you tried Hawkins. Michael Jordan was on a completely different level when it came to basketball, and not even a flu could stop him.
What Was Michael Jordan’s ‘Flu Game’?
Jordan’s flu game came during his second last season with the Chicago Bulls. Jordan’s Bulls were competing in the 1997 Finals against the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City. As the series was tied 2-2, the Bulls and Jazz entered Game 5 with a lot on the line as the winner would take a solid 3-2 lead.
However, before the game, reports came out that Jordan’s status for game was unclear. Apparently, the Bulls legend had been puking, having headaches, and was extremely fatigued throughout the day. Ultimately, Jordan came out and scored 38 points and hit a shot that iced the game.
Not even the ‘flu’ could stop this man. However, after the game was over, there were a lot of stories going around what actually happened. For one, the very fact that Michael Jordan actually had a flu was called into question as those around him believed it was a case of food poisoning.
Jordan had ordered a pizza from a nearby restaurant the previous night, and his symptoms started after he ate the pizza. Nobody else on the Bulls team touched the pizza, and nobody else got sick, so clearly the pizza does stand out as the culprit:
Here’s what Jordan’s trainer, Tim Grover, had to say about it all:
“Yes, 100 percent poisoned for (‘the flu game’)…So we order a pizza, they come to deliver it, five guys come to deliver this pizza. And I’m just … I take the pizza, and I tell them, I said, ‘I got a bad feeling about this.’ I said, ‘I just got a bad feeling about this.’ Out of everybody in the room, he was the only one that ate.”
“Nobody else … then 2 o’clock in the morning, I get a call to my room. I come to the room, he’s curled up, he’s curled up in the fetal position. We’re looking at him. We’re finding the team physician at that time. And immediately I said, ‘It’s food poisoning.’ Guaranteed. Not the flu.”
The fact that Jordan was dealing with all this while competing in an NBA level basketball game during the Finals only adds on to his legend as the GOAT.
Andrew Hawkins Career in the NFL
While Hawkins certainly wished he could channel his inner-Jordan against the Houston Texans during Wild Card Weekend, he fell very short.
Hawkins had a very short NFL career, playing for only six seasons from 2011-16. His first three years, including his ‘flu game’, came with the Cincinnati Bengals while his final three seasons were with the Cleveland Browns.
Hawkins was an undrafted free agent when he signed with the then St. Louis Rams, but he was waived shortly after. The Bengals picked him up, and Hawkins never quite broke out. His highest receiving total with the Bengals came in 2012. He hauled in 51 catches for 533 yards that year.
However, Hawkins looked promising, and so when he signed with the Cleveland Browns, he had some expectations. In his first season with Cleveland, he didn’t disappoint. Hawkins caught a career high 63 passes for a career high 824 yards in 2014 Those totals led the Browns in receiving in 2014.
Hawkins never went further. Injuries and other factors never kept him in the game for long, and he was out of the league two years later. So, perhaps, that’s why it was so absurd to have thought that Hawkins could have brought out his inner Michael Jordan. Nevertheless, it’s a funny story to look back on.
Many athletes believe they can be the best, no matter the circumstances. Hawkins was simply doing the same, pushing himself to work harder even when he wasn’t at 100%.