Damar Hamlin

Football Night In America

I went down to my local bar last night to watch the first 30 minutes of the last Monday Night Football game of the year which was between the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills, which would also help decide who will be the top playoff seed in the AFC. The reason I was only going to stay for 30 minutes is that this isn’t a sports bar. It’s a taco bar. Mmm, tacos.

A friend, Chaz, who is from Cincinnati, showed up and suggested we finish watching the game at a sports bar, but I declined because I really wasn’t feeling staying out that late though I found the idea of chicken wings very appealing. We never would have made it.

During the first quarter, Bills safety Damar Hamlin went down with an injury. It quickly went from a typical-football injury to something very serious. I knew there was real trouble from looking at the players’ faces. Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest after taking a hit to his chest while making a tackle. He’s currently in critical but stable condition.

It took the NFL about 35 minutes to decide to postpone the game, but word is that this decision is the result of pressure from the players and coaches of the Bills and Bengals. They weren’t going back out there. Would the NFL have still played the game if the coaches and players hadn’t pressured it to stop?

The conversation at the bar during this was about how a team can collect itself to continue playing this game. Olivia, who was working the bar threw out the idea that the game would be postponed. I thought there was no way the NFL would suspend a game during the first quarter. Chaz, who was once an EMT trainee, wasn’t giving us a positive diagnosis of Hamlin’s condition after we heard he had to receive CPR twice.

When I got back to my apartment and turned the game on, I saw that the teams still had not re-taken the field. The analysts on TV didn’t really know what to say and they seemed lost for words. I would have been the same way. The game was postponed shortly after.

I like football, but maybe I shouldn’t. It’s a very violent game and one I didn’t want my kid to play. I would have been fine with my son playing baseball or tennis, but not football. Football is a game where the object is for grown men to run into each other at full speed. Human bodies were not made to do that. It’s a very violent game. Fortunately, my son was and still is not into sports. He probably doesn’t even know who won last year’s Super Bowl. I can live with that.

A 24-year-old athlete shouldn’t be suffering from cardiac arrest… or multiple concussions in one year.

Our first thoughts should be with Damar Hamlin and his family. We should all be wishing him a full recovery. A lot of us will still watch football when the games resume later this week. A lot of people are wondering if there will be a make-up game, or about their fantasy teams, or about who gets the top seed in the playoffs.

Our last thoughts should be on football…and we shouldn’t be having any thoughts on conspiracy theories, but this is America.

Right-wing MAGAts have already started conspiracy theories blaming the vaccines for Covid 19 for Damar Hamlin suffering a cardiac arrest, like that hit to the center of his chest didn’t have anything to do with it. The same goons who don’t want politics in football are using a young man’s life-threatening injury to push their propaganda and hate.

America isn’t just violent. It’s vile.

Music note: I listened to The Doors.

Facebook Suspension Update: There are 11 days left, so it says, in my Facebook suspension for typing the word “Taliban.” Quannah had a countdown clock for it, but it broke.

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