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March 24, 2023

1/13/2023 12:32:00 PM
A tough learning experience
J. Patrick Reilly

The Green Bay Packers losing to the Lions Sunday and being eliminated from the play offs did not generate as much negative comment as usual.
Perhaps it was because this past week football fans got a glimpse of what can happen without warning when Damar Hamlin was stricken on the field during the Bills-Broncos game and had life saving measures performed before taken to a hospital in critical condition.
That terrible event seemed to let people know the difference between what is a game and what is life. What happen to Damar Hamlin was life.
The good news is Hamlin has recovered enough to be able to go back to Buffalo. No doubt he still has a long road ahead of him to get back to being able to live life the way he wants to.
As a person who has seen over 70 years of athletic contests, covered games for 50 plus years and coached over 1000 games I have seen many injuries take place during competition. Some are minor but every so often one happens that is serious and possibly career ending. Some have caused me sleepless nights.
It is time to quit being critical of the players, coaches and officials and give them support. Cheer for them and encourage them to do their best.
You hope that competition can be fun and entertaining and not life threatening. You hope your team wins.
As you move forward as a sports fan keep what happened to Damar Hamlin in mind and emphasize support.

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