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Buffalo Bulletin: Playing For Damar Hamlin

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Damar Hamlin has woken up, is breathing on his own, and the Bills-Bengals game is officially cancelled. Just like that, the NFL has announced their scheduling changes and the league is almost back to normal.

It feels odd. Surreal, even.

This time three days ago, we weren’t even sure if Damar Hamlin was going to live, with everything we love hanging in the balance. The schedule didn’t matter. Playoff seeding didn’t matter. The Super Bowl didn’t matter. Now, here we are preparing for a game this Sunday like everything is normal.

But it isn’t normal. It won’t be normal for quite a while. Not for us, not for the coaches, and not for the players.

On Wednesday, my fellow Buffalo Fanatics contributor Alex Spencer wrote an excellent piece on humanity in sports. It reminded me that this brief moment we had with everyone around us was special. It was remarkably human. After reading it, I felt like writing for the first time since the incident.

We knew that, after the world stood still for Damar Hamlin, it wouldn’t be long before it was turning again. Well, turn it has. We all love Damar, and we’re going to be following his recovery with every ounce of our free time, but life goes on. We’re lucky it goes on for him as well.

Moving Forward

Damar Hamlin Detroit Lions Buffalo Bills Jared Goff
Junfu Han/Detroit Free Press

We have to move forward. We don’t have a choice, with another game looming in only two days time.

According to Sean McDermott, in his Thursday afternoon press conference, Damar Hamlin’s father addressed the team on Wednesday. He gave updates on his son’s recovery and a message. He told them to focus on the goals they set together, and that Damar would have wanted it that way.

He’s right.

It feels wrong to see anything but Damar’s recovery. It feels incorrect to enjoy a Sunday game like nothing has changed. Like we haven’t been dealt this horrific and sharp reminder of just how dangerous this game we love can be. Like we don’t remember how scared we were. But we do. We won’t forget it. Neither will the Buffalo Bills.

They’ve gone from feeling the burning emptiness of not knowing to regaining purpose. For a while, football didn’t matter, but it does again. It matters to them because it matters to Damar. These men nearly lost a brother on Monday night, and they’ll carry that with them as they advance.

Everyone was praying for Damar Hamlin but, as the Buffalo Bills prepare for a game against the New England Patriots this Sunday, they’ll be playing for him too. The news of his recovery did wonders for this team’s mental state, and they can finally focus on doing what they do best. If we’re lucky, it may only be a matter of time before Hamlin gets to join them.

Any proceeds generated from views on this article will be donated directly to Damar Hamlin’s GoFundMe, which can be found below. Please consider contributing if you can.

The Chasing M's Foundation Community Toy Drive, organized by Damar Hamlin

UPDATE: This fundraiser was initially established to support a toy drive for Damar's community, sponsored by the Chasing M's Foundation. However, it has received renewed support in light of Damar's current battle and we can't thank all of you enough. Your generosity and compassion mean the world to us.

Original Featured Image: Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

One of the owners The Sports Wave, and a Journalist at Buffalo Fanatics, I'm an English immigrant living in Canada. A huge Buffalo Bills fan, I also love my Boston Celtics, Toronto Blue Jays, and Queens Park Rangers.