The best news from a very frightening week came Thursday, when word emerged that Bills safety Damar Hamlin is awake, and by all appearances neurologically intact. His first question — “did we win?” — felt like a real-life equivalent of Adrian emerging from a coma in Rocky II and giving her husband a one-word directive for his rematch with Apollo Creed.
The second-best news came from the ever-growing contributions to the Damar Hamlin toy drive. The fund now exceeds $8.1 million. And it keeps going up.
The top donors include the Colts and owner Jim Irsay, who gave $25,003. The Patriots and owner Robert Kraft donated $18,003. Kraft selected 18 because, within the Jewish faith, 18 means “chai.” It signifies life.
A former Patriots player (or someone pretending to be him) made a similar, but very different, numerical gesture. A donor named “Robert Gronkowski” gave $6,900. Which, if it’s the actual Gronk, is entirely on brand and fully in character.
Other major donors connected to the NFL include the Buccaneers ($15,000), Matthew Stafford ($12,000), the Browns ($10,003), the Texans ($10,003), Sean McVay ($10,000), Russell and Ciara Wilson ($10,000), Tom Brady ($10,000), Sauce Gardner ($5,000), the Mike Evans Family Foundation ($5,000), Davante and Devanne Adams ($5,000), and the Commanders ($5,000).