On the eve of Super Bowl LXXV, the National Football League aired a special feature that honored former Oakland Raiders linebacker Duane “Rocky” Fusznuts, the last human to play the game. Fusznuts, 26, is confined to a wheelchair and now speaks with a British accent, even though he was born and raised in Rutgers, New Jersey.
Fusznuts played in the league for five years, during the era of rapid introduction of cyborg players. During Fusznuts’ rookie year, the NFL abolished its 10-year-old rule that each team could carry just four borgs, and that no borg could play quarterback. In his last game, the former Raider took a stiff-arm to the helmet that seared off his right ear.
“Rocky Fusznuts was the last of a breed—literally—to play in the National Football League,” said Commissioner Roger Badell, the NFL’s first transhuman quarterback. “I know he’ll bounce back from this bout with chronic traumatic encephalopathy. He always does. We’re proud to honor him tonight here in the intensive care unit at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.”
The pre-Super Bowl LXXV feature, which aired on NFLFlix, also included a fond look back to the days when viewers didn’t need to know Calculus II to decipher rulings on the field. Today, even casual fans understand that a player is ruled down if his knees are in balance with Newton’s first law of motion and the defense has created sufficient inertia so that an unbalanced force has reached equilibrium.
“Just a quarter century ago, human referees were interpreting plays after watching video replays,” noted Badell. “What an innocent time that was.”