I think Christopher Power is the kind of doctor I'd like to have in an emergency.
For one thing, the 40-year-old is an emergency room doctor, so there's that. But there's also the fact that he is an NFL fan in Cullman, Ala., who, after moving away from Denver and his beloved Broncos, was so desperate to stick with his favorite sport that he adopted the Falcons because they were the closest NFL team to his new home.
"I thought for sure one of my two teams would make it to the Super Bowl when the playoffs began," he wrote me last week. "I even took the week off."
Power's wife, who is also a huge football fan, has suffered four strokes because of a blood-clotting disorder. She had been putting in Adrian Peterson-like effort at physical therapy to be able to go to New Orleans if the Broncos or Falcons had advanced. She even decided not to go see Alabama in the national title game on the chance the Falcons would make it. She was ready; sadly, the teams were not. So, there's the fact that the two of them seem, at least via the personal emails Chris and I traded, like fine folks (or I'm being "Kekua'd," which is OK, because it makes for a very nice story).
However, it's not the fact that he's an ER doc or that he's a football fan or that his wife is courageous that makes me think he'd be the kind of doctor I'd want to have in an emergency. It's because Power sent me his suggestions for the annual Get-Your-Prop-Up-in-Vegas contest from the ER, between emergencies: a chest pain and an obstetric situation, to be precise. And they were pretty good, too. One of them asked: "Will the QBR of the winning QB be more or less than the average jersey number of those who sacked him?" Another: "Will the AVG age of those who score TD be higher or lower than those who either recovered fumbles or intercepted passes in the game?"
They were among the more than 400 submissions I had this year. And while neither of Power's ideas won, I did admire his persistence. When I asked him via email whether he had been thinking of these while saving someone's life, he promised he hadn't and then sent in one more that came to him at work that night: "The age of the Super Bowl MVP when Ray Lewis was a rookie." Gosh, that one was pretty good, too. I'm not sure why Orleans bookmaker Bob Scucci, the final judge of the contest, didn't like the good doctor.
The truth is, competition was stiff this year.