We saw the worst incident possible take place Monday night in the NFL’s Bills vs. Bengals game in Cincinnati. The well-being of Damar Hamlin is the only thing that matters in the grand scheme of things, and we all know life-and-death issues are way more important than any game will ever be.
Many people have asked me what this means for the future of football — even though that doesn’t matter at all in this situation.
I say we have seen the safety protocols increase: We know the effort to lessen head injuries and try to understand what to do to make the game as safe as possible. We’ve also seen multiple high-profile players retire very early because of their personal health and future — look at Luke Kuechly or Andrew Luck.
Even after all the strides taken, the game is still very dangerous and the stark truth is that the game will never be safe. And the higher you go in football, the more violent it gets.
You still continue to try and make it safer, but we all know how big of a risk high-level football is to a player’s health. We also have to realize what happened to Damar Hamlin is very rare; I have watched football for over 30 years and I have never seen that happen before.
The concussion issue is very different from the horror we saw Monday night. Both are very scary, but we have to be able to separate the two when discussing consistent injury problems.
We always talk about the future of football and if players will eventually be wearing flags. While we need to continue to find ways to keep players safe the risk will always be there, but the sad irony is the reason the game is dangerous is the same reason we love it so much.
It’s the reason the sport is as popular as it is — the speed and violence of the game.
Sometimes we get so caught up in our team or our bets we forget these are human beings doing superhuman things in real time.
Is there a great answer for player safety? Not yet, but we all recognize the risks, and when you play, you know the possibilities. It doesn’t make it hurt any less and yes it is just a game. But if we take away what makes the game great to prevent what makes it dangerous, we won’t have a game.
Compared to life-or-death, it really doesn’t matter, but we have to be honest with ourselves during such a trying time.
Praying for you Damar and God bless you and your family.
Jake Crain is co-host of “Crain & Company.” the Daily Wire’s sports show hosted by former athletes and coaches Jake Crain, Blain Crain, and David Cone. Follow him on Twitter: @JakeCrain_
The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.