This past Monday evening I was watching Monday Night Football involving the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals. I saw something I had never seen on a football field in the 65 years since I’ve been watching the pro game.
I had watched Monday Night Football since its inception and at times it was even quite comedic with Alex Karras, the ex-professional lineman rendering some wonderful one-liners. What I saw was 180° from listening to the occasionally comedic Karras broadcast.
A 24 year-old excellent safety playing for the Buffalo Bills, Damar Hamlin, tackled the Bengals’ receiver and stood up. At that point he fell like a floppy doll and hit the turf. His heart stopped and required CPR.There is no question that was the saddest moment I have ever seen on a football field.
On Thursday, he was in critical condition and communicated in writing as his breathing tube precluded speaking. Hopefully he will completely recover between his hospitalization and rehab.
It seems that something has to be done that can be more effective at minimizing severe injuries on a football field. To me great teams aren’t necessarily violent. I am hopeful creative thinkers and quality research can provide the answers to the serious injuries experienced in American, professional football.