Fred Faour: NFL makes right call in postponing Bills-Bengals

Mandatory Credit: Photo by John Sommers II/UPI/Shutterstock (13692394d) Buffalo Bills players surround their teammate Damar Hamlin (3) after he was injured making a tackled against the Cincinnati Bengalsduring the first half of play at Paycor Stadium on Monday, January 2, 2023 in Louisville, Kentucky. Bengals Bills, Cincinnati, Ohio, United States – 02 Jan 2023

Fred Faour: NFL makes right call in postponing Bills-Bengals

Sports and entertainment can give us so much joy. But occasionally, real life interrupts. And we are reminded how devastating it is to see what we did on Monday night when Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field and was administered CPR before being taken away in an ambulance. Hamlin was transported to University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

The Bills announced in a statement early Tuesday morning that Hamlin had suffered cardiac arrest following the hit with his heartbeat restored on the field. The team further stated that Hamlin is “sedated and listed in critical condition.”


The NFL rightfully made the call to postpone the game. Asking players to continue after seeing that would have been too much.

It was supposed to be so much different. A much-hyped contest between two Super Bowl contenders, the highlight of a huge day of football.

In an instant, all that ended. The game became meaningless. Anyone who saw the injury was impacted. Imagine what it would have been like being on the field and seeing that.

It was gut-wrenching. Players on both sides in tears. How do you continue with a game after that?

It brought back bad memories – Hank Gathers, superstar basketball player for Loyola Marymount, collapsed and died on the basketball court in 1990. Or Dale Earnhardt’s crash at Daytona in 2001. Those were sickening. This felt the same. The reaction from both the players and the medical staff on the field made us think the worst.

As important as this game was – the No. 1 seed in the AFC was on the line – the NFL had to stop it. As much as we love sports, no one wants to see this. The people watching, the players, the fans, all they could think about was Hamlin. His family. The idea of his mother riding with him in the ambulance with his life on the line? Heartbreaking.

Yes, we have seen serious incidents before. But to see someone getting CPR on the field? It was shocking.

Life and death is more important than a game. That’s what we should take from this. That, and how both teams came together in their grief.

We all hope Hamlin can recover, but it’s hard not to expect the worst, given the scene on the field on Monday night and the statement from the Bills on Tuesday morning. That would be horrible. On a night when we were supposed to be treated to a great game between two of the best teams, we got a terrible reminder of how precious life is.

There will be other times to appreciate sports, and the amazing skill it takes to perform at this level.

As of now? We are all reminded how precious life is. A 24-year-old with his whole life ahead of him collapsed in front of all of us. Did anyone want to watch football after that?


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