Not Everything Sucks: Damar Hamlin Edition

I wrote about Damar Hamlin’s life threatening on field heart attack a mere eight days ago. Thanks to a rapid response during the game, Damar’s recovery is off to a remarkable start.

He was awake and tweeting by the time his team took the field in Buffalo last Sunday:

As you can see from the featured image, Buffalo is a cold and frigid place with a warm and fuzzy fan base. They attended the game not only to root against the Patriots but to let Damar Hamlin know how much they cared. No ice people jokes from me today.

I stand by my contention that Saints fans are the best in the NFL, but Bills fans are way up the list, The city suffered mightily during the recent arctic blast but they love their team and Damar Hamlin. Proof positive that not everything sucks.

Damar was moved from a hospital in Cincy to Buffalo General Hospital the other day. Hopefully, he’ll be able to go home soon. He’s in for a long recovery but he’s alive, alert, and ready to go. Again, proof positive that not everything sucks.

Things have changed in the hyper macho world of professional football. I rarely quote Axios, but this too didn’t suck:

“Americans saw pro football players weep openly on the field and during news conferences last week — a window into a deep culture shift by one of the nation’s most macho and barbaric sports.

Why it matters: The reaction of NFL players and coaches to Damar Hamlin’s collapse shows athletes’ reluctance to grapple with mental health has subsided in recent years.

Catch up quick: The league publicly offered mental health support to players in the hours after Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest and was resuscitated on the field during last week’s “Monday Night Football” game.

  • Those resources, which the NFL says are always available, include behavioral health clinicians retained by every team and access to professional counselors via a 24/7 hotline.

The big picture: The response by the league, players and coaches didn’t happen in a vacuum, Dallas Cowboys sports psychologist Yolanda Bruce Brooks tells Axios.

  • Bringing mental health resources to organizations across the NFL was the result of years of work and collective bargaining.
  • That sea change, as Brooks calls it, was also helped by athletes like Michael Phelps and Kevin Love, who’ve made it their mission to squash the stigma associated with mental health.”

My predecessor as publisher and much-missed colleague Athenae started the Not Everything Sucks feature during the dark days of the Trump regime. I haven’t done one since writing about the posthumous Plessy pardon a year ago, but I pledge to do it more often. It’s a tradition worth continuing.

Finally, hearing Damar’s last name evoked a childhood memory:

The real Hamelin is a town in Germany. The Brits pronounce it ham-luhn but us Yanks pronounce it ham-muh-luhn. I’m going with the Brits. Let’s call the whole thing off.

I remember the movie being broadcast on teevee during the holidays every year. I didn’t remember that it had such a good cast. It’s a reminder that not everything sucks and that everything reminds me of old movies.

Greetings and felicitations to the Pied Piper of Buffalo: Damar Hamlin. Get well soon, sir.

The last word goes not to Van Johnson but to Jethro Tull:

2 thoughts on “Not Everything Sucks: Damar Hamlin Edition

  1. I’m from Buffalo. Maybe NOLA has the best fans in the league but I beg to differ. Go to any airport in the USA & you’ll see folks in Bills gear, anytime of the year. LOTS OF FOLKS. This is not true of the Saints. I’m not dissing the Saint, I’m just pointing this out. GO BILLS! & as Damar says, show some love today, it won’t cost you anything.

    1. The Bills are the hot current underdogs. Saints gear was all over the place during their 2009 Super Bowl run. Having said that, stand by your team.

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