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Sports are cool but sometimes we lose track of what’s actually important

Buffalo Bills v Cincinnati Bengals
CINCINNATI, OHIO – JANUARY 02: Buffalo Bills players react after teammate Damar Hamlin #3 was injured against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at Paycor Stadium on January 02, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

I’m a huge passionate sports fan. I follow my favorite teams religiously. I’m not even religious so you could say I follow the religion on the NFL, MLB, NBA and NCAA.

I watch every game. It doesn’t matter if it’s St. John’s Basketball playing Cupcake University in November or if the Yankees are playing a playoff game in October.

If it’s broadcasted, I’m following it. Many sports fans are the exact same way. Games consume our lives.

We know everything about the players. Where they went to college, who wears what jersey number, the entire history of the franchise.

We’re passionate and will do anything to see our teams win a championship. We buy all the team gear and overpay for tickets because we love it.

Many times, however, fans take it too far. Whether it’s tweeting hateful things at a player or coach who made a mistake or even worse, tweeting at their family members.

We see viral videos of fans from opposing teams fighting with each other in the stands or stadium parking lots. Nobody would act like this in their own homes or at work but at sporting events it seems to be a common occurrence.

Being passionate about your team is one thing but if we’ve learned anything from the scary events that took place in Monday night’s Bills vs Bengals game involving Damar Hamlin, at the end of the day a game just isn’t that important.

It shouldn’t take player going into cardiac arrest in the middle of a game to realize this though.

Fans from all around the world have come together to offer their thoughts and compassion for this young man who is currently fighting for his life.

Athletes put their bodies on the line every day while the fans sit on the couch or in the stadium with a beer in hand watching. As a fan I do that every week.

We call for coaches to get fired, players to be cut and overreact to any negative thing that may happen.

I’m not saying that teams shouldn’t fire coaches or release players. No matter the industry you need to be able to perform to keep your job but there seems to be a sense of entitlement when it comes to fandom.

Sports are fun. Fans should be passionate for their teams, but we need to remember at the end of that day, the result of a game is not that serious.

The athletes on those fields are parents, siblings, someone’s child, they’re people and I think that gets forgotten sometimes and fans just assume they’re robots.

It’s ok to be upset when your team losses. It’s ok to be mad. That’s what the DNA of a fan is.

Likewise, it’s ok to be fired up after a win and it’s ok to talk trash to opposing fans but there’s a line that shouldn’t be crossed. We can’t let the results stick with us for too long.

Eventually we need to move on with something more important: Life.

The way sports fans have come together to support Damar Hamlin, his family and all the other players and staff who were on that field last night is amazing.

Damar Hamlin’s Chasing M foundation has raised over $4 million dollars in less than 24 hours. Parody accounts on Twitter broke character to show their support. Fans from both the Bills and Bengals fan bases were waiting outside the hospital for any updates.

There’re so many more examples of unity being spread. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter which team you root for, a 24-year-old is fighting for his life.

I just hope we don’t forget the unity that has been created in the past 19 hours. This scary situation has brought many different people together because at the end of the day it’s bigger than football.

Hopefully this is a wakeup call for everyone and we continue to spread more love and positivity in the sports world without having something tragic for that to happen.