The Broncos could stomp their feet. They could throw a tantrum. They could do it through backchannels, surreptitiously letting it be known that they. Are. Not. Happy.
Yet here they are, waiting to play a game that has been delayed a full week, with their bye week up in smoke, and their coach is saying all the right things.
"I know a lot of people have had their lives interrupted in a very negative way," Fangio said Friday after it became clear the Patriots had another player placed on the COVID reserve list.
"Whether it be through the illness itself, losing their job, taking a pay cut, which I know some of you had to go through that in the offseason, which I was sad to see. Nobody deserves that.
"Some small businesses — people who have worked their whole lives to establish a business — are really struggling right now. I know some small business owners from all over the country and they are struggling.
"Luckily here in the NFL, so far as players and coaches, we haven’t missed any paychecks. We’re just going to keep fighting through and consider ourselves lucky. Yes, we’ve been inconvenienced and there are a lot of protocols to follow. Some of them can be a little overbearing at times, but they’re necessary. I think in the big picture we’ve been lucky."
When the Patriots-Broncos game was initially pushed back, Fangio said he almost appreciated the adversity in a way. It would let him know who the "whiners" were.
One of his running backs Melvin Gordon -- who was arrested earlier this week for an alleged DUI -- took to social media last weekend and let it be known he was not thrilled. There were others who must have been similarly miffed.
But just as Bill Belichick has been lauded for his handling of his team's rash of positive COVID cases, Fangio should be credited with striking a picture-perfect tone as the leader of a team that has been put in a bind they didn't get themselves into.
The Patriots-Broncos game remains on for Sunday afternoon. But it sounds like even if it's moved again, Fangio won't be pitching a fit.
Fangio's daughter, Cassie, is a nurse at a military hospital and had COVID earlier this year, he told Peter King in this week's Football Morning in America. So perspective may be simpler for Fangio to find than it is for others. But in a season when flexibility -- for all involved -- will be paramount, Fangio has been stoic, focused on that which he can control.
“I’m just thankful that she has fully recovered from that,” Fangio told King. “So, you know, that’s why I don’t get worked up about this stuff. Plus, this virus has caused a lot of heartache and pain for our country in the amount of sicknesses, in the amount of deaths, what it’s done to our economy, and what’s it’s done to people’s livelihoods, people’s businesses.
“If we have a game postponed and be inconvenienced that way, it’s miniscule compared to the bigger issue.”