It's serious. Bacteria resistant to antibiotics, new strains of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) are hitting our favorite athletes.
Tom Brady (right), Peyton Manning and Kellen Winslow are just some of the stars laid low.
MRSA is getting nastier because there are now multiple strains of it, and because football is a game where cuts are common. So-called community MRSA is caught in the locker room, then mixes with the nastier type in a hospital when you go in for treatment.
Treatment is very much part of the game. Surgery is common in a collision sport, with knees bent at impossible angles and arms ripped from their sockets.
The combination of bad infection treatment and a tough it out attitude can be deadly. Add the fact some teams can have as many as 100 athletes, and small wonder "football players have become the poster children for MRSA infections."
There are things you can do to reduce the risk. Simple nose swabs can cut the infection rate 50%. Treating simple cuts more seriously will also help. New treatments, new drugs may be on the way.
But you can also cut your risk by choosing a different sport. Smaller teams have fewer paths to infection. Games with less contact leave you less prone to injuries requiring surgery.
Tennis, anyone?[poll id=28]