I like football. I prefer college but enjoy watching a good game at any level of the sport. Yesterday was no exception. Penn State beat Utah – and the grand finale for the day was the NFL competition between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals. I had just settled in when it happened:
It looked like a normal tackle done thousands upon thousands of times before. The tackler, Damar Hamlin, quickly stood up – and then completely collapsed onto his back. My initial thought was a “concussion” type injury, and we have seen many of them this year. However, It became far more serious immediately.
This past year, I obtained recertification for CPR and the use of the Automatic Defibrillator. As I watched the on-field medical staff working on Hamlin, it became obvious that this was life and death. You don’t normally do 10 minutes of CPR and you have to be very careful to clear attending personnel when initiating a Defibrillator shock. There was no question that significant effort was being expended to bring Hamlin back into the world of the living.
Not surprisingly, players, coaches, and support staff were in shock. Many in tears. Many hugging each other. Many wandering around. There was an ever expanding prayer circle from both sides of the field. Eventually, an ambulance picked up Hamlin and took him to the regional medical center. The game itself was rightly suspended. As of the latest this morning, Hamlin is in critical condition at the hospital.
As many of the announcers said, “This is not normal. Never saw it before.” Some announcers who were past NFL players were almost silent – obviously contemplating their past careers and noting that life is more important than football.
What struck me after an hour of watching all this unfold was how the situation has changed over the past few years. Before the pandemic and the” vaccines”, this terrible situation would have been written off as an unfortunate high impact injury involving cardiac arrest. It may still be written off that way. But what has crept into every conversation involving athletic injury with cardiac arrest is the question “Is the vaxx involved?” followed by would we ever know if it was.
Tens of millions of people saw this happen. More of them are beginning to ask the “vaxx” question. My hope is this had nothing to do with the “vaxx”. However, skepticism continues to grow.
Finally, may God Bless Damar Hamlin and his family. He demonstrated once again how unimportant a game is when life and death are at stake.