I wasn’t watching the Bengals-Bills football game last night — “Inherit the Wind” was on TCM — but I caught up on the news about Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest on the field in Cincinnati.
I never played football other than the touch games in the backyard with friends. I wasn’t big enough, and I wasn’t interested in getting the shit kicked out of me on a regular basis. I used to watch it on a regular basis on Sundays, and my family even had season tickets to watch the Lions play at Tiger Stadium back in the mid-60’s. I’ve lived in major-league cities — Miami, Minneapolis, and the Denver area — and I used to get excited when “my” teams won. But in the last few years as stories of brain damage and other life-threatening injuries began to emerge, I stopped watching.
As an outsider, I don’t have a say in how the game is played, nor do I have any insight in how to prevent something like what happened last night from happening again. I just hope that Mr. Hamlin has a speedy and uneventful recovery and finds a place in the world off the field where he can live out his life in good health.