(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Game Over sports stores in Colorado Springs are seeing an outpouring of support from NFL fans locally for Damar Hamlin, the Buffalo Bills safety who suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed on the field in Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
A customer at the Game Over store in the Citadel Mall, Christopher Gay, shared his thoughts on the tragic incident that occurred during Monday Night Football:
“Well, football is a very contact sport and things happen, you know, injuries happen,” Gay said. “But I think it was very necessary for them to stop the game because the players wasn’t [sic] ready to play, that’s their brother. So, I think it was necessary.”
Players on both teams took a knee as Hamlin was taken off the field in an ambulance and the game was suspended, and eventually halted.
“The Bengals they felt that, too,” Gay said. “They felt the Brotherhood. They felt the pain of his family and their heart goes out to his family and friends and things like that… it was good to see everyone come together.”
Game Over sells merchandise for professional sports teams, as well as collegiate and local teams in the Colorado area.
“We’re in Broncos country, but we pride ourselves in carrying all the teams at Game Over,” said Regional Manager of Game Over, Katherine Endicott.
At the checkout counter, Buffalo Bills merchandise was for sale including hats, shirts, a hockey hoodie and more.
“So we put together a little collection of just variety of all the Bills merchandise… we’re still in the post-Christmas inventory, but we still have quite an impressive collection for the Bills,” Endicott said. “The Bills are pretty popular for this region, surprisingly popular, so we do try and keep quite a variety in stock.”
Endicott shared how the store has seen customers react to the collapse of Damar Hamlin.
“We’ve seen a lot more people wearing their Bills merchandise out and about,” Endicott said. “We’ve had our employees discussing with customers, it’s really been a point of conversation. Just the gravity of the situation is unprecedented and how the Bills are going to be moving forward with the Bengals and the seeding for the playoffs.”
Game Over does not have a Hamlin jersey in stock, but has a wide variety of other merchandise for sale.
“We had people asking about Damar Hamlin’s jersey,” Endicott said. “So the uptake in the inquiry for his jersey really is just kind of a testament to, you know, people’s concern, the community concerns, NFL fans in general, their concern. It’s a community the NFL, so it’s really nice to see other fans of other teams reaching out and asking about his jersey as well.”
Buffalo Bills merchandise can be purchased in person at a Game Over store or online.
The Buffalo Bills tweeted out this morning that Damar Hamlin remains in the ICU in critical condition and has shown signs of improvement.
“We at Game Over wish Damar Hamlin a speedy recovery,” Endicott said. “We were really happy to hear that there was positive news in his condition today. And that, you know, it’s going to be a long recovery for him. But I know he’ll be getting out on the field soon, taking advantage of his opportunity to start for the Bills incredible opportunity to play in the NFL at all.”
A GoFundMe page was created for a toy drive in Hamlin’s hometown and has reached over six million dollars.
NFL fans all over the country are cheering on the health and recovery of Hamlin.
“I think it’s sending out a positive message that no matter who team you root for…it’s one fight” Gay said. “You know everyone’s in it to win it and everybody’s competitive, but it’s a family at the end of the day.”