The commercial breaks were a mixed blessing — a respite for the Broadcasters, whose emotions were understandably tumbling out, had a terrible time selling light beer. and A reminder for inconvenient reasons that the Incompleteness of Latest news Hamlin’s condition (which would not be forthcomg anytime soon), and in the Incompleteness of An actual game of football (which is something that no reasonable person would have attempted to play). the mood to resume), advertising money was the Only reason the The cameras were still being filmed. We were, in other words, watching a young man’s near-death be commodified in real time. Buck repeated a variation of the same thing again. the Phrase “there’s nothing left to say at this point,” It sounded more like a direct directive. the production truck — Let someone else fail for a while — and It’s more of a proof to the audience. Why do you keep watching? Why haven’t you changed the channel? Which type? of Is there anyone who still loves a football match?

It was uncharted territory. the Guy the TV tells us, more often than not, to switch off the television. It was the very program that was experiencing an existential crisis. The game was not shown, and there wasn’t any update. Hamlin’s condition to share, no cutting to black. Joe Buck spoke the moment “CPR,” “Monday Night Football” It was done. Only it couldn’t end.

Only 250 miles Donovan Mitchell has a presence in Ohio. of the N.B.A.’s Cleveland Cavaliers was pouring in 71 Points Against the Chicago Bulls It was the Highest single-game total for 17 years and It makes it possible Mitchell one of only seven players in N.B.A. history to top 70. Mitchell is powerful and Balletic with 6-foot-10 wingspan, he has been recognized for his balletic skills the nickname Spida; the Cavaliers are likely to reach, in large part, because of him. the playoffs for the For the first time since 1998, without LeBron Jones the roster. You are here: the Emotional spectrum of sports fandom, Mitchell’s night was the polar opposite of the tableau in Cincinnati: jubilation in the Stands, stupefied teammates the bench, escalating delirium in the announcers’ voices. When the Cavaliers won, in overtime, Mitchell’s teammates kept drenching him with water bottles, as if to put out flames, and They then posed for photos together the night’s hero.

That was it! of the There are many reasons why we love sports. But it didn’t merely happen on the The same night Hamlin’s injury; the Overnight, two events occurred in unison. the Same hour of In real-time. Many fans shared both the dramas on social media. As I traded texts with friends about Mitchell’s swelling point total — 58! 66! 69! 70! — I kept toggling apps and Scrolling through Twitter to see stats the Basketball game was juxtaposed with uninformed speculation on blunt-impact cardiac arrhythmias and Infected ghouls are blaming Covid for their deaths Hamlin’s collapse. This wasn’t just any regular-season N.F.L. This was not your regular-season N.F.L. and the Cincinnati Bengals are Super Bowl contenders, and Their matchup could have major implications for the playoffs. and It was “Monday Night Football,” American institution worth multibillions of dollars Then suddenly and swiftly, there was consensus the game didn’t matter at all. The generosity was nearly unbelievable of Skip Bayless the Elon Musk of To step up, sports trolls and tweet a take About not putting off the You can’t even imagine what it would be like to win this game. the whole platform to unify against disgust. Shannon Sharpe was even offended. the ex-N.F.L. tight end with whom Bayless hosts Fox Sports 1’s “Undisputed,” There is enough to Sharpe to stand him up For their broadcast the Next morning.

However, social media has also opened up avenues to catharsis. Hamlin A sixth-round unheralded pick was released of the University of Pittsburgh near McKees Rocks in Pennsylvania He cracked the Bills’ starting lineup only in September, after the Micah Hyde (first-string safety) sustained a neck fracture. and We had to flee the Stadium in an ambulance 2020 Hamlin To support the McKees Rocks-based toy drive, set up GoFundMe. and As of Just before, Monday afternoon the game, he’d raised about $2,500. Thursday, the All of us felt helpless Hamlin’s behalf had poured more than $8 million into his toy drive.