Sports sometimes have a strange but beautiful way of honoring and remembering, and that’s what happened after Damar Hamlin’s on-field cardiac arrest.
The day after the Buffalo Bills safety collapsed on the field during a game, the Buffalo Sabers’ Tage Thompson scored an overtime game-winner, his third goal of the night exactly three minutes after overtime.
It was also his third treble of the season, with the match being played on 3 January.
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Hamlin wears number 3, and the entire Sabers team wore jerseys with his number before a game in Hamlin’s honor.
The coincidences did not end there. The last one involved Hamlin’s college teammate from the University of Pittsburgh.
About an hour after the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans met for a group prayer before their do-or-die AFC South title game, Hamlin’s Pitt teammate, Titans’ Rashad Weaver, recovered a Jacksonville fumble. But it was no ordinary scoop.
The number 3 on each 30-yard line on NFL fields is highlighted in red to honor Hamlin. And that was precisely where Weaver got the ball back.
Weaver and Hamlin played five years together for the Panthers.
The Titans also took advantage of the rotation. Joshua Dobbs found Chigoziem Okonkwo for a 21-yard touchdown run to give Tennessee a 10-0 lead.
Hamlin has improved significantly in the past few days since he came into heart attack on the field during Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. He underwent CPR on the field for nine minutes and medical personnel used a defibrillator to revive him.
DAMAR HAMLIN MAKES FIRST PUBLIC COMMENTS SINCE CARDIAC ARREST: ‘LOVE HAS BEEN OVERWHELMING’
Hamlin made his first public comments Saturday in an Instagram post.
«When you put true love out into the world, it comes back to you 3 times over…» he said. «The love has been overwhelming, but I’m grateful for every person who prayed for me and reached out. We rallied the world behind this. If you know me, you know this only made me stronger. In a long way.» Please keep praying for me!»
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When Hamlin first woke up earlier this week, he asked doctors, in writing, who won Monday’s game, learning it had been postponed before it was later cancelled. He was also able to talk to his teammates on Friday and tell them that he loved them.
More than $8 million has been donated to his charity toy drive who originally had a goal of $2,500.