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The Way I See It: Damar Hamlin tragedy, Pelé honored

In this The Way I See It, a look at the Damar Hamlin tragedy, farewell to true sports goodwill ambassador Pelé, and more.

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The Way I See It
The Way I See It: Damar Hamlin tragedy, Pelé (Pele) honored

The Way I See It

In this The Way I See It, the Damar Hamlin tragedy, farewell to true sports goodwill ambassador Pele (Pelé), and more.

Damar Hamlin

Monday Night Football, January 2nd, 2023. I’ve settled to watch a great match-up, the Bills at the Bengals. With just over six minutes remaining in the first quarter, Bills DB Damar Hamlin routinely tackled Bengals WR Tee Higgins after a short pass. No brutal hit, no apparent chance of a concussion for either player. Yet Hamlin got up after making the tackle, then almost immediately collapsed.

Consequently, medical personnel rushed to his side; players were visibly upset and concerned. Then I found out, like millions of viewers, that the responders administered CPR to Hamlin. For nine minutes. In Paycor Stadium, you could hear a pin drop. The silence was deafening, the tension palpable.

Stunned, I was instantly transported back in time, which I noted on Twitter:

As of this writing, Hamlin remains in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center’s intensive care unit. He is in a medically induced coma and has had a breathing tube inserted. Understandably, the game is postponed until further notice.

Out Come the Idiots

As a rule, human tragedy brings out human idiocy on social media. Almost immediately following Hamlin’s incident, Twitter was flooded by idiots using Hamlin’s tragedy to score political points. Not just any political points. Really moronic political points. I responded to several, but it was like trying to hold back a tidal wave. To clarify, a tidal wave of stupidity.

Folks, we don’t know for sure what caused Hamlin’s cardiac event, but the most likely cause is commotio cordis. That’s a Latin term that describes a heart attack (VFib) caused by a blow to the chest. Hamlin’s event was not caused by vaccines, a Soros plot, the lib agenda, or any other QAnon bullsh*t. A rare and random– but not nefarious– event. Despite what Jake Shield’s vast medical experience may indicate:

Support Damar Hamlin

Don’t be an idiot contributing to the decline of society. If anything, be like the people who chose to honor Damar Hamlin. Those people donated nearly $6 million to Hamlin’s charitable GoFund.me in essentially 24 hours. The fund’s initial goal? $2,500.

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R.I.P Pelé/Pele

You all know my thoughts when it comes to soccer. I don’t like it. I don’t think it’s a sport. It is so dull, I use it to cure insomnia. But even a soccer hater like myself knows about Pelé, the man credited with popularizing soccer in the U.S.

Pelé (born Edson Arantes do Nascimento) is one of soccer’s greatest players. He played in four World Cups, holding the record for most victories (three). He also has the Guinness World Record for career goals (1,279). In 1975, he came out of retirement to play for the New York Cosmos, leading to an increased interest in soccer in the U.S. that continues to this day. 

During and after his playing days, Pelé was a global ambassador for his sport. Much like Muhammad Ali, Pelé was instantly recognizable around the world. Also, he had a bright smile and an outgoing personality that endeared him to fans and world leaders.

Pelé died on December 29th, 2022, at the age of 82, due to multiple organ failure, a complication of colon cancer. RIP to a legend– even a soccer legend.

Happy New Year

I realize this is a bit of a “downer” column. But let me end it on a brighter note by wishing all you a happy and healthy 2023. I am a misanthrope at heart, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy seeing people suffer. It just means that I find most of you to be annoying.

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As the founder of the original Sports Grumblings brand (1995), FSWA award-winning writer "Big John" delivered on his promise of "All the ATTITUDE you can handle!" while remaining a staunchly independent voice in the burgeoning fantasy sports industry. After selling the business to fellow fantasy sports OG (and good friend) William Del Pilar in 2012, Big John pursued his interests in comedic entertainment. Fast forward 10 years and Big John finds himself back home at Sports Grumblings, where he belongs, still bringing all the attitude you can handle!

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