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A Harrowing Week 17 in the NFL

Photo by Jean-Daniel Francoeur on Pexels.com

The past week in NFL play has been unprecedented. The on-field collapse of Bills’ Safety, Damar Hamlin, last Monday night (1/2/2023) made most spectators both attending and watching the broadcast hold their breath. The Bills were playing the Bengals at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati. The sudden fall to the ground occurred after Damar stood up from making a tackle on an opposing player. CPR was initially administered by athletic trainer Denny Kellington on the field as reported while fans watched the game. It was reported later that Damar wasn’t breathing and had a heart attack on the field of play. The life-saving measures done by the personnel on the field that night were phenomenal. It’s said Damar Hamlin’s heart stopped twice before he was transported by ambulance to the hospital. Still, the days that followed had his loved ones, teammates, the NFL, fans, and many around the country praying and hoping for a positive outcome for Damar. Reports of the former Pitt University player having a subsequent heart attack in the hospital were concerning to everyone in the days that followed his collapse. The University of Cincinnati Medical Center staff is being praised for the excellent care given to the young athlete with roots in this blogger’s hometown. As I write this piece, Damar is said to be speaking, posting on social media, and communicating well. I’d imagine there wasn’t a dry eye at the team meeting when Damar appeared over FaceTime on January 6th. The Buffalo Bills organization reported Damar was able to speak to his teammates and coaches that day. The game between the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots today, 1/8/23, was dedicated to the Damar. With the win by the Bills over the Patriots, the New England team is eliminated from the playoffs. The win gives the Bills the number 2 seed in the AFC. The game from 1/2/23 between the Bills and the Bengals has now been canceled by the NFL with no changes to week 18.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the decision to suspend the game the night of the incident when Damar collapsed on the field. Personally, as I watched the live broadcast, I had an issue that night. I don’t know why it took a little of an hour after the collapse of Damar and the pause of the game for the decision to be made to end the game. I understand the need to call the League office, and/or other higher-ups. However, it seems things could’ve been handled timelier. I have no doubt that rules and protocol either have been made since the incident or will be drafted – should a situation like this ever occur again (hopefully not).  

It was amazing to see how the entire NFL community and its fans came together to root for the recovery of Damar Hamlin. The Bills’ Safety’s charity that benefits kids in his former Pittsburgh neighborhood has received millions in donations since Damar’s injury.

Good Luck with your recovery, Damar Hamlin. You’ve got a lot of people pulling for you.

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