Buffalo Bills Damar Hamlin wins Pro Football Focus 2023 Comeback Player of the Year

Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

Damar Hamlin literally died on a football field in front of millions watching. This wasn't your weekly ACL or Achilles tear. It wasn't a Joe Flacco story of coming off the couch and playing well either. There were a few names you could have put on this list, but I challenge you to find how any of these players changed lives because of their play. Hamlin died playing a game we all love so much. He died on the field fulfilling a dream, playing in the NFL, which only an extremely small percentage of people get an opportunity to do, let alone accomplish.

Hamlin's story is more than just what happened on that night in Cincinnati. It's more than him coming back to the team and getting back on the field this year too. It doesn't matter how much he played or that he was primarily a practice squad player who was rarely called up to play. His story is more about what happened afterward. It's about what he did for millions of people all over the world. It's about people all over this earth coming together and donating their hard-earned cash to Hamlin's Chasing M's Foundation.

Hamlin founded the Chasing M's Foundation as a way to give back to his community with toy drives, kids camps, back-to-school drives, and various other events. The millions raised due to his life-changing event on that night, are changing lives in more ways than one. He has brought incredible awareness to the public regarding CPR and AED training. Check out this linked article to learn more about what has happened over the past year.

So, before you get upset over the fact that he didn't play much and think that's important, take a step back and realize what is important. It's what this incident has done for communities all over the country, the lives that have been saved due to CPR awareness and AED equipment and training, and how Hamlin brought the world together, even if only for a few days. Unfortunately, it takes an event like this for people to set aside their petty differences to come together for the good of humanity. It's equally unfortunate that those same people are now arguing over whether he "deserves" the award.

I for one am extremely proud of what Hamlin has done and his accomplishments. Taking this moment in his life and making a difference in millions of people's lives. No one would have blamed him for walking away, calling it a career, and vanishing from the spotlight. Instead, he walked into that spotlight and made a difference.