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As for Beck, he dislocated his throwing shoulder in the first game of his sophomore year at BYU and basically toughed it out the entire season — but only because they shot him up with painkillers every Saturday. Otherwise, he said, he wouldn’t have been able to raise his arm. (Five weeks later, he threw 67 passes against UNLV to set a school and Mountain West Conference record.)

“You have to be mentally tough as a quarterback,” he said, “and I think playing with pain is one of the things you have to do. All quarterbacks want to play through everything they can. It’s the medical staff that’s going to tell you you can’t. And even then sometimes you tell ‘em to shove it and to try to play anyway.”

The NFL, by the way, sent out a memo Wednesday reminding clubs of the “Supplemental Note to Rule 4 (Game Timing), Section 5, Article 4, on Page 19 of the Official Playing Rules,” which essentially says: Make-believe misery has no place on the playing field and demeans the game. If players don’t cease and desist, the memo added, the league office might hand out fines and suspensions, take away draft choices or even send the guilty parties to bed without their supper.

If that doesn’t eliminate this pox on pro football, nothing will. (Wink, wink.)