Twitter Mob Comes For Anyone Asking Questions About Fairness Of Cancelling A Football Game Due To A Horrific Incident

Editor’s Note: We discussed this topic on the Live Show (49:25)

Last night during the Bills-Bengals game a special teams player on Buffalo named Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest on the field after tackling Cincinnati receiver Tee Higgins.

Although player injuries are routine in the NFL, often necessitating an ambulance, we’ve never seen anything like this before. Hamlin stood up after the hit, collapsed, and required CPR on the field that brought his heartbeat back. Players were crying and were understandably shook up because they just witnessed something traumatic. After a 30 minute break they initially planned to continue the game, but it was clear that the Bills in particular were not in the right headspace to do so and the game was postponed.

I had some thoughts about this on Twitter that I shared which turned me into a villain, and ended up losing 300 followers and counting over it. I’m here to explain my position.

My first reaction was, how do the players continue playing after watching that?

I totally get why they would need to stop playing last night and don’t disagree with the decision. However, what turned me into the villain was that a lot of questions needed to be answered, and anyone who asked them last night was a Bad Person.

But the fact of the matter was that this was the most consequential game of the year:

  • The first round bye is a huge advantage that drastically increases a team’s chances of making the Super Bowl. They play one less game, get a week of rest, and do not have to leave their homes. If the Bills played at home against the Chiefs in the playoffs the Bills would be favored. If the Chiefs were home then the Chiefs would be favored. The line moves at least 7 points based on the outcome of this game.
  • If the Bills won they’d just have to beat the mediocre Patriots next week and they’d have the bye and home field throughout the playoffs.
  • If the Bengals won they’d move into the second seed, the Bills would move to third, and the Chiefs would get the bye. This makes a huge difference because the third seed will probably have to play the Chargers or Ravens, who are better teams than the mediocre bunch fighting for the 7th seed (Dolphins, Patriots, Steelers). A Bengals win means the Bills would likely have to play the Chargers, then go on the road and win at Cincinnati and Kansas City to make the Super Bowl.
  • If the NFL cancelled the game then it would mean the Chiefs got the 1st seed, Bills 2nd, and Bengals 3rd. This would be unfair to the Bengals, as they were winning the game and would have to go on the road to play the Bills in the second round, if they got by the frisky Chargers.
  • If the Bills forfeit their final 2 games of the season the Patriots would automatically make the Playoffs and go to Cincinnati in the wild card round.

Going into the game the Bills had a 20% chance of winning the Super Bowl, Chiefs 21%, and Bengals 11%.

If the game was cancelled altogether it would be Chiefs 25%, Bills 18%, Bengals 8%.

If the Bengals lost or forfeited it would be Bills 30%, Chiefs 17%, Bengals 5%.

If the Bills forfeited it would be Chiefs 24%, Bengals 15%, Bills 11%.

So the Chiefs have the most to gain if this game isn’t played, and the Bills have the most to lose. Therefore I don’t have a problem with the Bills making the call – either they forfeit or they play it. A cancellation shouldn’t be on the table because it’s not fair to the Bengals. A bills forfeit next week against the Patriots wouldn’t be fair to the Dolphins and Steelers, who would be eliminated from the playoffs automatically.

You can be sympathetic towards Hamlin and pray for him while simultaneously discussing the popsicle headache this created for the league. These things are not mutually exclusive. But anyone who dared to ask questions about the playoff implications was accused of not caring bout Hamlin. I found that out when I began asking questions.

Moving the game to Wednesday or Thursday isn’t a possibility because you can’t play two consequential football games on such short rest. You can’t continue the game last night because the mental state of the players presents a danger on the field. And what if Hamlin died? These questions needed to be answered and answered quickly, but for asking them the virtue signaling police reprimanded you for not having empathy. Many began to tag Gerry Callahan and others, like second graders telling the teacher on one of their classmates for not having his homework.

Hope Gerry doesn’t spank me.

Others suggested that I didn’t really mean what I was saying (which was asking questions), and that I was only being contrarian to seek attention.

There were many who said that I was a good investigative journalist and should stick to that. If you believe that then you haven’t been following for very long, because that’s not what I do. The entire premise of my blog is that I speak my mind regardless of whether or not it’s popular. I don’t seek the approval of the collective. Those who follow the blog know that I’ve lost some of my own followers because of my opinions about sharks, Trump, abortion, Libertarians, etc. Good riddance. If you’re only here because you demand that I say things you agree with then you’re in the wrong place. Occasionally you will disagree with me, and that’s OK. I’ll do better next time.

But when people tell me not to say things, it just makes me want to say them more, so I continued to ask questions:

  • Would the game have been cancelled if a fan fell from a balcony and died?
  • Would they cancel the game if the special teams coach went into cardiac arrest?
  • Would they stop selling beer if a beer guy collapsed and had a heart attack?
  • If you answered no for any of those things, does that mean that Damar Hamlin’s life matters more than some guy working for tips? Does death only matter when we witness it and know the person?
  • If the game isn’t played then how will the Bengals and Bills agree to an outcome, considering their future prospects change so much as a result?

These are reasonable questions, but the Twitter police said you couldn’t ask them.

So many boomers announced their departure I thought I was at Logan Airport.

But these people don’t care about Hamlin any more or less than I do. They just wanted to make themselves seem like better people because doing so meant that they valued human life over sports. One woman told me there was no need for a discussion because “a life is more important.”

Hamlin’s odds of living don’t increase if the game is cancelled, and there is absolutely a need for a discussion. The knee jerk reaction to cancel everything and vilify anyone that asked questions for being indifferent to people dying, was eerily similar to the first days of COVID. So was the idea that some jobs are essential (cops) and must continue after an employee dies, while others are not (NFL). Guess we didn’t learn anything from that mistake.

Newsflash – you don’t get to pretend that you value human life over entertainment if you watch the NFL. The average NFL player dies 20 years younger than the average American for a variety of reasons. The hits to the head and the body obviously play a part, but so does size. NFL lineman must be 300 pounds to play in the league. This is not a healthy or natural body weight, but they get that big ON PURPOSE! A 240 pound high school tackle immediately gets put on a weight increase program the second they sign with a D1 college. Andrew Luck left the game in the prime of his career because he valued his health more than football.

But players have free will and so do we. This is the social contract we have created with the NFL – players agree to be gladiators and drastically increase the chances of health risks in exchange for lots of money and fame. We agree to pay them by buying tickets, merchandise, and watching on TV. What happened last night was a visual reality of that, which is why it hit so hard. But no one says they should stop playing games when Junior Seau, Demaryius Thomas, or Tony Siragusa die young. No one even noticed when 38 year old former Jaguars lineman Uche Nwaneri died a couple days ago after collapsing in his house.

All of those men would be alive if they didn’t play in the NFL. We enjoyed watching them play, and they did so by choice. You’re not a bad person for doing so, just as you’re not a bad person for talking about football while a player is in a hospital fighting for his life.

A lot of people said that you were being a “tough guy” if you suggested having a discussion.

We get it dude, you’re a much better person than I am. Congratulations. Now go back to watching NFL players slowly kill themselves next Sunday and don’t bat an eye when they die 10 years from now.

Because of the backlash I was getting I did an impromptu Twitter Spaces live stream, and invited anyone who disagreed with me to come on. I clarified my thoughts and I think misunderstandings were cleared up.

Unfortunately they don’t save so I can’t share it here (if you know how to play it let me know, it was my first time trying).

One thing I addressed in the Twitter Spaces were all the people who immediately blamed the vaccine. I’m unvaccinated and anti-mandate, but I refused to go there for 2 reasons:

  1. I think the knee jerk reaction for people on my side of the aisle to say “wAs hE jAbBeD” every time someone dies, is lazy, and I refuse to participate in that. It’s an important discussion to have, but there is no evidence that Hamlin’s hospitalization is vaccine related. I like evidence.
  2. I think it distracted from the bigger point, which was that people were attempting to police speech based on emotions and feelings.

As Albert pointed out, the people who are pretending to be upset about this on social media are really just collectivists who are mad I’m not conforming.

So stay mad all you want, but you’re not The Good Person you think you are because you’re pretending that you care about a stranger’s health more than another person does on social media.


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