Wisconsin: Win With Player-Coaches


Dr. Beilema and 11 resident-physicians have been performing surgery for 13 hours. Five times they suffered major setbacks and thought the procedure was hopeless, but during eight other critical moments, they gained a renewed optimism. With only an hour to go, Beilema and the residents huddle around the operating table.

Dr. Beilema: I know this surgery isn’t finished, but I’m leaving.

As he removes his surgical gown, the residents are shocked.

Dr. Phillips: You’re leaving now? But Dr. Beilema, we’re just residents and interns. You’re paid to guide us. What will happen?

Dr. Beilema: Why do I care? I have to move to Arkansas, now.

Dr. Beilema just walks out, leaving the 11 residents behind.

Dr. O’Brien: I can’t finish the surgery, as my hands are too jittery.

Dr. Stave: Since I was hurt earlier this year, I can’t do it either.

Dr. Phillips: You have great hands, Dr. Abbrederis, can you help me close up the patient?

Dr. Borland: Wait a minute! We’re not going to just close him up, and let him die, after all our work!

Dr. Phillips: You’re right! Let’s find that old Dr. Barry. Doctors Ball and White, you run down the hall to the right, and Doctors Abbrederis and Pedersen, go left. See if you can catch Dr. Barry. Bring him to the Operating Room!

As the four break from the huddle, they sprint out of the door, quickly locate Dr. Barry, and usher him in.

Dr. Barry: What the hell is going on in here?

Dr. Phillips: We’ve been in surgery 13 hours. Dr. Beilema walked out on us, with only an hour to go. He thinks we have a lost cause.

Dr. Barry: Oh my god, who opened such a big hole in the patient?

Dr. Phillips: Doctors Frederick and Wagner did that.

Dr. White: Big openings give Dr. Ball and I more room to work.

Dr. Barry: Does anyone know the prognosis?

Dr. Borland: We need to stop a west coast virus called Stanford.

Dr. Taylor: It’s been done twice this year! It can be eradicated!

Dr. Barry: I’ve seen the strain, and yes, I know it can be beaten.

Dr. Phillips: Can you finish the surgery for us, Dr. Barry?

Dr. Barry: No, I don’t even know if I can stay my feet. I’ll watch and give advice from the sidelines, but you’ll have to finish.

Dr. Ball: But you’re a legend! You succeeded in situations like this three times. We read about it. We saw the films!

Dr. Barry: In those cases, I was involved from start to finish. Look, I’ve watched you guys perform. Let me tell you, if you save the situation, you’re the ones who will become the legend, not me.

Dr. Phillips: But can we really make the save ourselves?

Dr. Barry: You know the procedures! You’ve been here all along, not me. Like player-coaches at a sporting event, you can step up. Doctors Phillips, Ball, and Abbrederis can move the surgery forward, while Borland and Taylor just stop the virus from spreading. If the patient dies, blame me. If you succeed, you’ll be remembered as the legendary team that prevailed against all odds.

After a knock at the door, a florist walks in with a box of flowers.

Dr. Barry: Why are you bringing flowers in this room?

Florist: I was told there was going to be a funeral at Wisconsin.

Dr. Phillips: Dr. Barry, let me handle this! We are not quitting!

Florist: But what do I do with these roses?

Dr. Ball: Put them down. We’ll need them on Jan. 1, 2013.

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