Last Monday, the 24 hour news cycle was focused on Damar Hamlin, the NFL football player who suffered cardiac arrest during a game. The game was suspended, then cancelled. This young man’s life was in peril. Football was secondary to life.

For two days it was in the news and updates on his condition were regular. Outpouring of prayers and support came from everywhere. There was considerable money donated to his charity work. Football was secondary to life.

As his condition improved he was face-timing his teammates, talking with his doctors, and holding hands with his loved ones. Football was still secondary to life.

But, throughout the week, machinations were a buzz. Cancel or not? Seedings for the playoffs. Coin tosses. Neutral sites. Who does it favor? Who does it hurt? All of the bickering began in earnest and football was secondary no longer.

Less than a week ago, life became more important than football, at least for a moment. But hey, unlike football, life doesn’t last forever.

I watched football this weekend, but I watched them differently.

James McGuire


(2) comments


Excellent letter! It makes you think about how precious life is but it also makes you think about how enthralled we are with sports. Sports are a form of entertainment and diversion, a place where we can express our love for competition and sportsmanship. The NFL is BIG BUSINESS! It has a tremendous marketing department that makes the game bigger than life and is worth BILLIONS of dollars. For a moment, sports was put in perspective in relation to life. Greed and money, will prevail and we will go back to worshiping a GAME. We can't help ourselves now. Another serious injury will occur, we will give it lip service, then ask these modern day Gladiators to return to the field for our entertainment. Return they will, the MONEY is just too good to pass up.


Perhaps everyone will start watching football differently. Last night, a former player for Denver was interviewed regarding the book he wrote detailing injuries he called "horrific." He no longer plays his life-long favorite sport after realizing how close to death he had come a number of times. A reviewer of his book said the book should be required reading for high school athletes. It all comes down to how long the impact from the latest injury will cause people to realize the dangers involved with this very dangerous sport. Not long I'm guessing.

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