When Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest during “Monday Night Football” on Jan. 2, the entire nation was sending their thoughts and prayers to him.
The Buffalo Bills safety was given CPR for nine minutes on the field, and had to be resuscitated.
As scary as the sight was, it seemed that every update on Hamlin from the moment he entered the hospital was positive — some more so than others.
But for Josh Allen, every time he heard than Hamlin’s status was improving, it was a reminder that faith is strong.
“It was kind of a spiritual awakening, really, for me,” Allen said on the “Kyle Brandt’s Basement” podcast. “I know for a lot of other people that maybe didn’t have the strongest belief, or wasn’t the biggest [or] strongest Christian followers.”
Sometimes, sports give us some wild coincidences when we need it.
The day after Hamlin’s collapse, Buffalo Sabres center Tage Thompson scored an overtime winner, his third goal of the night, exactly three minutes into the overtime period. It was also his third hat trick of the season, and the game was played Jan. 3.
Hamlin wears No. 3.
It didn’t stop there. In the Bills’ next game on Sunday, Nyheim Hines ran back the opening kickoff for a touchdown, sending the Orchard Park, New York, faithful into a frenzy. But what’s even crazier is it had been — you guessed it — three years and three months since the Bills last returned a kickoff for a score.
Allen was emotional after the game discussing it, and when he rewatched his media availability from the postgame, all the feels came back.
“I get tears in my eyes thinking about it and rewatching that clip,” he said. “For people saying the NFL is scripted and rigged and all this, I don’t think they really understand what’s really going on. But again, to that point, I’ve never been struck like that before — from a play, from an experience, from an emotion — it’s never hit me that way before.
“I’ll be the first to admit, like, I haven’t been the most devoted Christ follower in my life. I’ve had my different beliefs and thoughts and ideas and stuff like that, but something got a hold of me there, and it was extremely powerful that, you know, I couldn’t deny it.”
“It was just spiritual. I was going around, just something I was going around with my teammates saying, ‘God is real,'” Allen said at the time. “You can’t draw that one up, write that one up any better. And I was just told… it’s been three years and three months since the last kickoff return, so it’s pretty cool.”
Hamlin was released from the hospital on Wednesday, just nine days after the incident.
The Bills will host the Miami Dolphins in their wild-card matchup this Sunday, and there is wide speculation among fans that Hamlin could possibly lead the team out of the tunnel to open the game.