What a week it was to open the New Year. Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin in the biggest football game of the NFL season before a national audience, suffered cardiac arrest upon being hit. This showed the risk versus reward and love of the game — but to what extent that every football player faces.
The player in the arena cannot even allow the thought of injury or a fear of how severe an injury could be to even creep into his mind. This would take away his passion, aggressiveness, and ability to perform at the highest level. Players work through pain and injury during every workout or rehab session, practice, and game. This is not even thought about by most fans and watchers of football; it is just the way it is. Nor is the fact if you don’t play through pain, you may lose your job to the person who replaces you.
The severity of Damar’s injury and the fact that he needed over 11 minutes of CPR to bring him back to life presented a dire situation to the world in a way never witnessed before. The last time I remember watching a game when I experienced similar emotions was when Steeler linebacker Ryan Shazier suffered a severe spinal injury. However, the NFL world had witnessed several injuries like this in the past; Shazier gave a thumbs up as he left the field, and the game continued. As this situation unfolded from Cincinnati, there was definitely the thought Damar might not make it.
There have been so many emotionally charged opinions, thoughts, and nonfactual information presented by both national media and social media that I want to keep my column clean and to the point. The best news I heard this past week was on Thursday when doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center held a press conference and stated Damar had made remarkable progress since his cardiac arrest and was responsive physically and neurologically. Doctor Timothy Pitts then stated that Damar was able to write a note on a clipboard, and his first note was, “Who won the game?” Doctor Pitts responded, “You won the game of life.” Wow, what an emotional moment that said so much.
The doctors then both noted Damar has a long way to go and still is in critical condition. The complete extent of damage caused, and the recovery ahead, are unknown.
I will have much more on this in the future. I will continue to pray for Damar’s full recovery and for his family and teammates to find peace during a tough situation as the season resumes.
I want to leave you at this point in Damar’s journey with this thought. Can you imagine what a difference each of us could make in the world of today if we could show each other just a little bit of the love and compassion witnessed for Damar? This caring for a complete stranger in almost all cases, coupled with the power of prayer. Talk about a miraculous event for the world to witness.
Still Time to Register
As our 15th Annual Uncle Ron’s Monster Buck Contest is winding down, I figured I should take a ride up and visit with Dana Poust and see what’s been coming through his door. Poust Taxidermy has been preserving hunting memories for folks for 81 years. It has been a family business, and passion for three generations and, along with taxidermy lady Sam Steinback continues to grow. After graduating from Williamsport in 2018 and joining the business, Sam has become like a daughter to Dana. If you didn’t know any different, you would just assume the pair were father/daughter. They both have that amazing eye and artistic ability when it comes to wildlife. Dana also wanted me to give a tip of the Webb Weekly hunting cap to Luke Musser, who has worked part-time for 26 years at the shop. He is unbelievable with the knife and enables the trio to do what they do.
Now to an amazing number, there have already been over 150 trophy whitetails entered into our Monster Buck Contest this year. As the season is coming to a close, there is still time to register either with Dana or at Sauers Trading in Southside. It was well worth the ride up 44 to take a look at the pile of antlers Dana, Sam, and Luke are prepping. Full details for the contest can be found on page 43.
Let’s all be safe out there.
God Bless America.