Jan. 3, 2022 — Reminders of a formative incident


Final evening’s collapse of Buffalo defensive again Damar Hamlin of a cardiac arrest took me again about 35 years.

It was my first month as knowledgeable journalist, and I used to be protecting a Saturday night soccer sport between two suburban Philadelphia colleges.

In the course of the halftime interval, a coach from one of many groups collapsed and died within the locker room.

As a sportswriter, I had completely no concept what to do. I used to be capable of get a quote or two from the opposite head coach, however I got here dwelling with no story. The particular person on our police desk was capable of put collectively what occurred. As a result of that particular person had extra — rather more — expertise than I had. As a substitute of understanding what to do upon receiving report of the coach’s loss of life, what did I do? I shrank.

Maybe it’s as a result of it was the primary time that “actual life” had ever intruded into my house as a author. Maybe it was my very own first realization of mortality.

But in addition, maybe, it was the conclusion that there was one thing mistaken with how I did my job. I wasn’t ever educated to behave in conditions like this. Then once more, from what I’ve seen within the information enterprise today, there is no such thing as a coaching for what occurs when a sport is postponed due to a sudden incident.

It’s the place the NFL is correct now at this second as Hamlin is mendacity in a hospital mattress on the College of Cincinnati Medical Middle. There may be actually nothing within the guidelines, nothing that you may practice for, to account for a state of affairs like this.



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