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1-6-23 After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 1

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
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January 6, 2023 6:05 am

1-6-23 After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 1

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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January 6, 2023 6:05 am

Damar Hamlin making significant progress in recovery! | The NFL got it right. | Members of the Bills meet the media.


No one's more locked into the NFL than First and Pod. Why is it not within the realm of possibility that Geno Smith was a victim of a horrible organization, bad offensive coaching, and then went and played behind three high-level talents and only got spot starts and did okay, by the way?

Well, because it doesn't really happen that often anymore. Subscribe to First and Pod on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. There's a lot to listen to, so get started and download the free Odyssey app today. We finally got the news we were waiting for. Damar Hamlin is awake. Damar Hamlin is making significant progress. Damar has shown that he still has his neurological function. According to his doctors, it's intact, and he's able to move his hands and his feet.

He's communicating. They believe that he is home, if that makes sense, that when they speak to him, when they communicate with him, they can see him processing, and they believe that Damar is still there. He's still home, and so they're speaking about his neurological activity and his neurological function. He's still on a ventilator. They do think he has lung damage, though they're not sure how significant.

Right now, though, very encouraged because Damar is awake. He's no longer in an induced coma, though he is still on a ventilator. And, man, what a huge lift it was for the football community, for the Bills, the Bengals, the rest of the NFL, and then fans to find out that after two plus days of waiting and wondering and worrying, praying, talking about Damar Hamlin, this story has transcended the sports world.

My family knew about it. My friends, who don't follow sports on a regular basis, they've reached out to me to let me know they're praying for him and that they are wondering if there are any updates. So it was really cool to be able to start firing off text messages and to hear from so many people who'd been waiting for something positive from the UC Medical Center. And it was awesome to hear from his doctors today. Man, I had no idea how extensive the teams and the protocols and the emergency action plans that are in place in every NFL city where they do have medical centers and doctors who are on staff and on standby for this specific purpose if the plan should be enacted. And in this case, from the first responders and the trainers and the medical personnel who were on site at the game at Paycor Stadium to the doctors who then received him and the nurses and all of the specific physicians who have been attending to him over the last couple of days, he's had the best medical care possible and it has made a huge difference. Substantial improvement is the term that was used by DeMar Hamlin's doctors. So even now, as his family is with him in Cincinnati, they've been there the whole time, as has Brandon Bean, the general manager of the Buffalo Bills.

Their faith, their patience, their confidence in the medical treatment and the medical staff, it's been rewarded. And if you saw any of the videos of his teammates getting back to practice today, now it was a closed practice for the Bills, but we heard from Sean McDermott and Josh Allen and Dane Jackson, a longtime friend and former college teammate of DeMar's. And we heard from a select number of the Buffalo Bills, but we know they got back to practice. And even though media wasn't allowed to watch their practice, there were photos and videos of them smiling and flashing thumbs up and you could see it in their faces and their body language. Okay, now we can think about football. Now, because our brother, because our teammate has woken up and is communicating and wanted to know who won the game because of that, even though DeMar is still considered critically ill, that's the label that his doctors gave his condition, even though he still needs significant progress and there's a long way to go and right now there's no talk about whether or not he will play football again. Can't you feel it?

Can't you see it? The huge lift, the weight that has come off the shoulders of his teammates and the Bengals and the rest of the NFL. This is exactly what the league was waiting for and exactly what the NFL community needed to hear.

Not to mention his family. Can you imagine the relief? So we're going to hear from his doctors as well as from the Bills and we're going to get you set for week 18 in the NFL. The final weekend of the NFL regular season bleeds right into the national championship in college football. So you've got football Saturday, Sunday, Monday. It's going to be an incredible three days of football, but culminating with Monday night at SoFi Stadium. And I always love this time of the year because not only do we get the college football national championship, but we also get these final couple weeks of the regular season right on into what is now a supersized wildcard weekend. Though thank heavens it's not going to be a super supersized wildcard weekend. The NFL says, contrary to the rumors that you heard, the NFL indicates there was never any consideration given to adding an eighth team to each conference in the playoffs. A few.

A few. I can barely navigate the playoffs as it is. We got a lot of information to pass along, including playoff scenarios with the Bills and Bengals game now officially canceled. It will not be resumed.

It will not be made up. They are actually going to cancel that game. And instead they're going to move forward with a couple of contingencies for the AFC top seed, as well as the championship game, should it come down to Bills and Chiefs or Bills and Bengals or Bengals and Chiefs. So a lot of that won't matter until we get a few weeks down the road.

But I want to give you the NFL's contingencies and at least indicate where they are with the playoffs on the horizon. But the best news, the best news that I can offer, the best news that I heard all week is that Damar Hamlin now knows that the world has been praying for him, now knows that after two days of essentially being in a medically induced coma, his family has been there the entire time. And meanwhile, his GoFundMe page has completely exploded.

So apparently his parents told him, you're going to have to buy a lot of toys when you get well. Just as an aside, the money that's been donated to his GoFundMe page, the Chasing Ems Foundation, originally started for a community toy drive in 2020, is upwards of $7.7 million. 7.7 million. Do you know over the last couple of days, we have seen it hit 4 million and 5 million and 6 million, 7 million. And I don't know if it'll hit 8 million before we get off the air, but I bet it will hit 8 million by the time we hit the Bills next game.

So yeah, he's catching up. The NFL is preparing to return to football. There are playoff implications and contingencies, raw emotion, joy, relief, a lot of gratefulness, a lot of medical personnel being hailed as heroes, as they should be.

And I think a lot of people believing more in the power of prayer. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. Thanks so much for hanging out with us. And part of this week felt like it inched by.

It was crawling. And yet here we are. It's the final week, excuse me, the final night of our first week of January 2023. And yes, we're staring at week 18 in the NFL.

That's crazy. So producer Jay and I went back and we tried to figure out the last time that we had done a specific interview about Detroit Lions football. We determined that it was before the Matthew Stafford trade to L.A., which would be just about two years. And if I remember correctly, he was traded in February of 2021. I think right about the time the combine was taking place.

And now you know that he helped to engineer a Super Bowl win for the Rams, even though this season has not gone well and he's recovering from his own injuries. That was the last time when Matthew Stafford was on the trade block. That was really the last time that we had done an interview specific to the Lions. That was maybe right around the time that Dan Campbell got hired. Maybe it was before Dan Campbell got hired.

I know that we have Cynthia Freeland on the show every now and then. She's a huge Lions fan. And so it's not as though we haven't spoken about the Lions at all. Only that we don't and haven't had reason to talk about the Lions specifically for a couple of years until now.

Just wait. A Lions reporter. He's going to stay up past his bedtime.

He told us he was going to hang in there. It's a huge week for the Lions. It's a huge week for the Detroit sports fan base.

And you know what? We have adopted the Lions this year and have been rooting for them openly, if you will. By the way, if you wanted to flip on NFL Network while you're listening to the show, of course, you have to multitask. The first Packers-Lions game of the season, which was way back in week nine, it is re-airing now on NFL Network.

They're just one minute into the first quarter. You can find me on Twitter, ALawRadio, if you were not with us last night or you missed the part of the show when you, or when we, excuse me, revealed the number of M&Ms in our Christmas mason jar. I shared the photo with the actual number on Twitter.

So again, ALawRadio. On our Facebook page, I'll have to get producer Jay to help me to post that photo. But the number is there. The jar is there. The swag will soon be on its way to our winners because producer Jay has reached out to, right?

Thumbs up. He's reached out to the five winners, two that nailed the number dead on and then three who are within one M&M of the actual number. And so if you missed it, the jar and the number of M&Ms is now posted on Twitter and we'll put it up on Facebook as well. Our phone number 855-212-4227.

That's 855-212-4CBS. Great news about DeMar Hamlin. And it came from his medical team, Dr. Timothy Pritz, handling a lot of the questions and sharing the good news on Thursday afternoon. We would like to share that there has been substantial improvement in his condition over the past 24 hours.

We had significant concern about him after the injury and after the event that happened on the field. But he is making substantial progress as of this morning. He is beginning to awaken and it appears that his neurological condition and function is intact.

We are very proud to report that. Very happy for him and for his family and for the Buffalo Bills organization. That he is making improvement. He continues to be critically ill and continues to undergo intensive care in our surgical and trauma ICU.

He is being cared for by ICU neurosurgery, I'm sorry, neurocritical care teams, trauma surgery and a cardiology team as well as our expert nurses and respiratory therapists. They are attending to him and he still has significant progress that he needs to make. But this marks a really good turning point in his ongoing care. According to his doctors, Timothy Pritz there, this marks a significant milestone.

This is significant improvement. And so we got a little bit of the medical background and a little bit of what he's been through from his doctors. But it was really cool to hear not only that he was awake, but that he was able to communicate.

And that was really cool to hear. That now finally after a couple of days, DeMar at least partially understands what's been going on around him. We were in the situation where we wanted to allow him to gradually, you know, wake up as the rest of his body was healing. And last night he was able to emerge and follow commands and even ask who had won the game.

How about that? This might have been the particular revelation from his doctors that captivated social media and that captivated fans more than anything. He actually wanted to know who had won the game on Monday night. To paraphrase one of our partners, you know, when he asked did we win, the answer is yes. You know, DeMar, you won.

You've won the game of life. And that's probably the most important thing out of this. And we really need to keep him at the center of everything else that's going on.

And we really want to ensure a good outcome for him. Dr. Timothy Pritz of the UC Medical Center providing updates along with his colleague, Dr. William Knight. And it was pretty incredible to hear them laud the quick response of the medical staff on site at the stadium as well as the first responders who saved DeMar's life. Can't say enough about the quick actions of the Bills training staff and then the physicians who were on the field. I would get into him recognizing that this was a very serious situation and responding and saving his life. It was really, really outstanding work from all of them. And not just saving his life, but his neurologic functioning.

The reason why we're talking about his recovery of neurologic function is the true critical importance of immediate and good and high quality CPR and immediate access to defibrillation. Amazing. I had a conversation, a phone call previously scheduled with a girlfriend of mine from my time in Oklahoma. So we've been friends for 20 years. We worked in news radio together in Oklahoma City. And I mentioned to her that I'd been listening to these doctors and she said, yeah, the Bills trainer, he's an Oklahoma native. I don't know how she knew that.

Well, I guess she'd been watching the news or listening to the news or seeing it on social. But apparently in Oklahoma, Denny Kellington is all the rage right now. He's the one that Dion Dawkins and other Bills are holding up and saying, hey, it was his quick action in delivering CPR, recognizing that CPR was needed and that this was a dire situation. Denny Kellington is the one whose picture you're going to see all over the place. The Bills are so proud of him and he's being hailed as a hero for his quick response.

And you hear the doctors talk about how this saved Demar's life. Well, Denny Kellington is a Midwest City, Oklahoma native who went to Oklahoma State University, which is where my friend graduated from. So she's claiming him as a fellow alum and someone who went to her alma mater. So that was kind of fun.

It was a revelation from her that I was not expecting on the phone. But yeah, right now he is trending in Oklahoma. So Denny Kellington, you are a hero, along with the other first responders and medical teams that were there and were waiting, not just on the sidelines for this exact moment, but also at the hospital. And here the doctors talk about the number of people who were waiting for Demar when the ambulance showed up is incredible. He's had world class care and no doubt it's that world class care and the emergency action plan that.

The majority of the time is never needed, is never called on, but the NFL has it in place for situations exactly like this. And for that reason and for the response of the humans who are trained for these types of emergency situations, Demar Hamlin is alive and has shown significant improvement, continues to make strides and is now able to communicate. And his neurological function is intact.

All of that coming from his medical team. Amazing. I was crying happy tears on Thursday afternoon. You can find us on Twitter after our CBS. We will put up our poll. What is the after hours game of the week as we head into the actual last weekend of the regular season? We're there peeps.

Also on our Facebook page too. It's great to connect with you. I'm flying high and feeling joy. I'm really excited over Demar. After the week that has been, we're going to hear from Josh Allen, Sean McDermott, all the emotion. Now it feels different knowing that Demar is OK and is recovering. But it's been quite a week for the Bills, as you can imagine. It's after hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS. Oops, sorry, Mike triggered happy Mike finger. It's after hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio.

You are listening to the After Hours podcast. I thought they just did a tremendous job of allowing all that to unfold and everybody getting to the decision that ultimately was get to. But I thought that Sean and his his crew really, really managed a difficult situation in which there's really not much presence that I've ever been a part of.

I thought that they handled that really well. No one's more locked into the NFL than first and pod. Why is it not within the realm of possibility that Geno Smith was a victim of a horrible organization, bad offensive coaching, and then went and played behind three high level talents and only got spot starts and did OK, by the way?

Well, because it's just it doesn't really happen that often anymore. Subscribe to First and Pod on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcast. There's a lot to listen to.

So get started and download the free Odyssey app today. No one's more locked into the NFL than first and pod. Why is it not within the realm of possibility that Geno Smith was a victim of a horrible organization, bad offensive coaching, and then went and played behind three high level talents and only got spot starts and did OK, by the way? Zach and I were on the same page so so quickly there. It was amazing that how compassionate Zach was and his players, you know, his I'm jumping ahead here, but their captains came down to our locker room and met with our team and captains and just just an amazing show of compassion, empathy, love. And it's it's just so amazing because minutes before that.

You know, they were we were going at each other. This is after hours with Amy Lawrence. First, you hear Zach Taylor crediting Sean McDermott and his leadership on Monday night, and then you hear the voice of Sean McDermott speaking to the media for the first time on Thursday and giving the same praise and credit to Zach Taylor and the Bengals in Cincinnati. It's after hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio before this hour is up, we'll let you know how the NFL is choosing to move forward. My goodness though, it seems like even in the wake of this incredible news to Mar Hamlin, he appears to be in such a great spot is getting amazing care.

Yes, he has a long way to go, but how awesome is it to hear that he's awake and his neurological functions intact and he's communicating and yet still people are bitching like it's it's amazing. The NFL is navigating a situation that it has never navigated before and is trying to do it with as much heart and compassion and empathy for its players. And still people are complaining about how the league is handling this situation.

I just want to go on record and say, in addition to the leadership of Zach Taylor and Sean McDermott, I believe the NFL has navigated this week as best it possibly can. It has taken the appropriate amount of time and space to allow the players to get help, to talk to people, to, in the case of the Bills, to grieve and to worry. They've waited and supported the Bills and the Bengals as well as the individual players who cared far more about DeMar and what was happening with his health than they did about getting back on the football field. They've allowed these teams really for two, three days to just focus on what mattered, which is a member of their brotherhood.

Now they've come forward as opposed to being callous and talking only about contingency plans earlier in the week. Now the league has come forward and come out with what they believe is a viable option or two or three, depending on what happens, and still people are complaining. I think the NFL has done a marvelous job. Roger Goodell has not been front and center. He's issued an update, but for the most part, we're not hearing from Roger Goodell.

He's not putting himself in the middle of this situation. We've heard a little bit from Troy Vincent, from Jeff Miller, from some of the members of the league front office, but they have not made themselves the conversation. And they've allowed these players and these teams to get the help they need mentally, physically, emotionally. They essentially allowed the league business to come to a complete stop for two days. It's a massive league.

It's a massive undertaking with millions of dollars and thousands of people involved. So they take a couple extra days to come up with a contingency. I guarantee that's not what was top of mind for the athletes who were worried about DeMar and who were shaken after what happened Monday night. So my kudos to the NFL for the sensitivity and the timing and the empathy that the league has shown in supporting its players.

It's after hours here on CBS Sports Radio. So yeah, you have the two coaches who've kind of told their own versions of what happened on Monday night. But behind the scenes even, as the Bills were trying to figure out a way forward, but waiting to hear about DeMar. As it turned out, the father of DeMar Hamlin, Mario Hamlin, actually took the time to do a Zoom call with the Bills locker room. And Josh Allen says that meant so much to them. From a player's view, hearing Mario talk to us, the words of encouragement that he had for us, I had the chance actually to talk to him Monday night.

And the only thing he said was, my son's going to be all right. When DeMar's father spoke to us, again, the days have blended together here. So today is Thursday, so yesterday DeMar's father spoke to the team. And really his message was the team needs to get back to focusing on the goals that they had set for themselves.

DeMar would have wanted it that way, and I'm paraphrasing. And so that includes our game against New England this week. And I think that has helped. And then again, today the news, today, as Josh alluded to, was a huge help to getting us back to focused on the game this weekend. I feel strongly that, as his dad, as Mario mentioned to us, that this is what DeMar would have wanted and wants. And we owe that. This is my opinion and my take on it. We owe that to DeMar, and we owe that to his family. Yeah, it's pretty amazing to think about the family who was so concerned about their son, and yet they also wanted the Bills to know how much the support meant to them. They wanted to encourage that Buffalo locker room, DeMar's teammates, to be able to move forward. It's okay.

He would want you to play football. I just think about the emotional roller coaster that the family has been through in Cincinnati all week, and we know that there were dozens of them that were there. I'm not sure how many remained all week long. But their thoughts not only were for DeMar, for their 24-year-old son, and their 7-year-old son, but also for his teammates. And I love that they told him when he woke up about what was going on with his GoFundMe page, and with his toy drive, and his Chasing M's Foundation, and that he would have a lot of toys to buy when he was able to get back to it.

Pretty amazing. So we'll hear more from Sean McDermott. Josh Allen, very emotional on Thursday as he was speaking about Monday night and the fear and what the team was feeling as their teammate was there on the field receiving life-saving measures.

The scene just replays over and over in your head. Again, it's hard to answer that question and actually describe how I felt, how my teammates felt in that moment. It's something we'll never forget, but to know that DeMar is doing okay, and I know there's still a lot of things and stuff that he has to process and continue to go through to get back to himself. Again, we heard that news this morning, and there's nothing that could have been told to us to bring our day down. We're extremely happy for him and his family.

We just want to love up on him, so the next chance we get, I don't know when it's going to be, if we get to see him anytime soon, it's going to be awesome. Seriously, you can hear it. Not only the emotion in his voice, but you can hear it as he speaks, the relief.

I know they would have gotten back to playing football, and the Bills would have hosted the Patriots on Sunday, even if they'd heard nothing about DeMar. But imagine, it's got to feel like the weight of the world's been lifted off their shoulders, at least for now. It's positive. It's powerful. It's what they were waiting for. I love it. I love that this is how we get to end our week. I know it's such a small part of it, the media, the shows that we've done. It's much more about how the football community and fans have come together to support this man and his family. But it makes me smile, too.

I'm not kidding you. I was crying happy tears. It was out the window once I picked up my phone and realized the doctors were about to start issuing their updates, and then social media just blew up.

It was amazing. So if you haven't seen some of the specific reports, well, they're all over my Twitter, ALawRadio, and really, they're everywhere that you look right now. And we'll let you hear more from the Bills locker room. Also, Tee Higgins, who sounds so ridiculous to say, but has been receiving some flack from fans.

I almost don't want to validate it by even speaking it because it's so dumb. It was just a routine football play. It had nothing to do with Tee. He just happened to be the receiver who made the catch. And then others around the NFL. We hadn't heard from Bill Belichick. Apparently, he dropped everything earlier in the week to reach out to Sean McDermott. It's a different side of Belichick. And then we've got week 18, and we've got contingencies from the league, and so a lot that we want to pass along to you.

But mostly, whoo, DeMar Hamlin is showing improvement, and he is awake. It's awesome. So get started and download the free Odyssey app today. The listening you love is on the free Odyssey app. Your trusted local radio stations, coverage of your favorite teams, live news from your hometown, and millions of podcasts on demand.

Best of all, you can completely customize your listening experience. Follow topics you care about, like leagues and teams. Pause or rewind your local sports and news, and add shows to your queue to catch up later. There's a lot to listen to, so get started and download the free Odyssey app today. The listening you love is on the free Odyssey app. Your trusted local radio stations, coverage of your favorite teams, live news from your hometown, and millions of podcasts on demand. Best of all, you can completely customize your listening experience. Follow topics you care about, like leagues and teams. Pause or rewind your local sports and news, and add shows to your queue to catch up later.

There's a lot to listen to, so get started and download the free Odyssey app today. Man, my nephew's so humble. He's going to truly be floored. Like, he's going to be floored. He's going to be in disbelief. But I mean, he shows so much love, and he shows so much care and compassion, so it should reciprocate, you know, back to him, because he's a genuine guy.

This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. Dorian Glenn, the uncle of DeMar Hamlin, earlier in the week. It's been a family affair, and really it's been a Bills Mafia affair, as well as an NFL-wide initiative to support the Bills, the Bengals, DeMar Hamlin, his family. Teams and individual players are putting their money where their mouths are.

And to a man. And we've got more of it to get us ready for Week 18. Producer Jay said it to me last night, and it's definitely the case, as I've listened and watched. There is not one player, not one coach, who didn't have words of support for DeMar Hamlin and the Bills, and who didn't show concern this week, even as they're trying to get ready for games that matter in the last weekend of the regular season.

It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. So yeah, this is the great news. DeMar Hamlin is awake. He's shown significant improvement. While he's still on a ventilator, he hasn't been able to speak yet. So they're not removing him from the oxygen they need him to breathe on his own. He is able to write, and he, according to the doctors, and I thought it was really cool the way the Bills shared a bunch of the significant updates from the doctors, and kind of a conglomeration on their own Twitter.

If you haven't seen it, I retweeted it at A-Law Radio. But the doctors were able to write, well, they were able to speak to him, and they were able to read what he was writing. And apparently one of the first things that he wanted to know is who won the game Monday night. And the doctors answered, yes, DeMar, you won.

You won at the Game of Life, which is pretty phenomenal. So the update, I think, frees the Bills. There's a freedom here in them being able to move forward. Not easy, of course. They're missing their teammate.

He's still in a hospital bed in Cincinnati, in ICU. But this has got to propel them forward and give them maybe a little bit of an emotional lift as they look ahead. To me, the health and well-being of your staff and your players is the number one job of a coach in this situation.

And so that includes mental health. Mental health has been a big theme, really, for all of the teams, not just the Bills, who are back speaking today for the first time. But the Bengals, we heard it too. We heard Andy Reid talk about it. And other coaches around the league saying, hey, we want to offer counseling. We want to offer someone that our players can speak to, but not just our players. Andy Reid even said our assistant coaches. And so think about the number of assistant coaches in the NFL who were players themselves, who have been in this situation where they've seen a teammate go down, but almost always that teammate either gets up on his own or is helped off the field on a cart.

This is something completely different. So a lot of the NFL community was shaken, and it helps to talk. As human beings, even if you're not a talker, you may be an introvert.

It may not be your first instinct to share, but this helps. And this burden is a shared burden around the NFL this week. And that obviously has brought a lot of these teams and even opponents and competitors closer together, as Sean McDermott mentioned. The fact is that we're going at each other. There's all kinds of intensity.

We're trying to win a top seed, win a division in the case of the Bengals. And yet that comes to a grinding halt when we realize that one of us is lying on the ground. And for Sean, he said he was in that moment just trying to figure out the best way to navigate a situation he'd not been in before, but also to make sure his team was OK.

I really feel like I did what anybody else would have done. And so when you're in those situations, you just react. And when you prepare for a game, the game can slow down because you've prepared for the game and you've visualized it ahead of time. In this case, I can tell you it was moving very slowly at the beginning, just as we were, as DeMar was on the field. Time was just creeping by as we were trying to get a response to how he was doing. And then from that point on, it moved very, very quickly in terms of us trying to get to a decision and do the right thing. And I think that's what it really comes down to, is just trying to do the right thing for everyone involved. The way he handled it was he was a perfect man in that situation to handle that type of situation. I can't say enough about what he did, what he said to us in the locker room. Obviously just a dire circumstance that nobody's expecting, nobody's ready for.

There's nothing that you can train about. You can never put yourself in that situation until it happens. I want to thank our, I know Coach mentioned it earlier, but our training staff for going out there, not knowing what's going on, but going through a checklist, working as a single cell symbiote, like saving his life. And being on that field, you lose sleep, you hurt for your brother, a lot of shared grief.

But to the question before, getting updates and positive updates eases so much of that pain and that tension that you feel. But Coach handled it as perfect as anybody could. Aside of Josh Allen, we've not seen before. Aside of Josh Allen that has made him more human, more human than MVP candidate, more human than quarterback of a Super Bowl contender. And I, of course, know that all of these are human beings and they hurt, they feel, they laugh, they cry, they've got friends, they've got families, they've got other cares and concerns away from the football field.

They're not superhuman, they're not robots. But to hear and see them share their vulnerabilities and their care and compassion, not just for one man, but really for the rest of their locker rooms and to understand that this was far more important. I have such great respect for them, but also compassion for them because it could have been, and over the course of our lives it will be at some point, us who are waiting or believing, praying for the health of someone that we care about, whether we lose them or we don't.

I mean, we're all in a situation where we can understand what it's like, the loss and the grief that he talks about, the fear and the anxiety over someone that matters to you that you care about. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. We'll hear from T Higgins and others in the Buffalo Bills locker room moving forward, but I wanted to give you the latest from the NFL, and this is the plan moving forward. Bills and Bengals has been officially canceled.

It will not continue, it will not be made up. So even during the COVID year, the NFL was determined to get every single regular season game played. They did not cancel even one game.

Well, here we are in 2022 slash 23, but the 22 season, and they actually will cancel this game. So Bills and Bengals will officially be stricken from the record. No tie, no contest, it's going to be canceled and it will be taken off of the schedule. And so now moving forward, what the NFL has come up with is contingency plans based on who ends up winning the top seed, but also based on how the playoffs go, right? So they can't tell you exactly where the AFC Championship game will be held. They can't tell you who's going to be there, but based on the various combinations of who might reach the AFC Championship, they're looking at neutral sites.

They're looking at the way that they should handle the home field advantage. So at this point, Buffalo is tied with Kansas City for the best record in the AFC, but you know the Bills held the tiebreaker. Cincinnati trailed both of those teams by one game, but actually would have had the tiebreaker over the Bills.

That's why it's convoluted. If they all finished with the same record, the Bengals would have had the top seed. Now the Bengals are the AFC North champions because that game was not played, meaning they didn't lose so the Ravens can't catch them.

The Bengals are now the champs of the AFC North. So the league's owners are going to vote on Friday. They need to approve these various scenarios, but here's what they've come up with. And these all depend on what happens this weekend. If Buffalo and Kansas City both win or tie this weekend, so Casey actually plays on Saturday, Buffalo plays on Sunday, but if they both win or they both tie, the Bills-Chiefs championship game, if it gets to that, now we don't know that it'll get to that, but if Buffalo and Kansas City end up in the championship game together, they'll play it at a neutral site. If Buffalo and KC both lose, but Baltimore wins, meaning Baltimore beats Cincinnati this weekend, again, a Bills-Chiefs championship game would be hosted at a neutral site.

And on and on it goes. So they haven't determined the neutral sites yet. The seeds will hold up through the playoffs, though, so they're not going to reseed. If Kansas City wins this weekend, the Chiefs will have the top seed. They will have the buy, but ultimately might not have the home field advantage for a championship game should it feature Buffalo. So, again, there's a bunch of different dominoes that it would have to drop. Most importantly, though, if Buffalo and Kansas City both take care of their business this weekend, the Chiefs will get the buy, but if Buffalo wins and Kansas City loses, the Bills will be the number one seed and get the buy, and then there would be no neutral sites that come into play.

So we have to see what happens this weekend. We're talking Lions next here on CBS Sports Radio. Subscribe to First and Pod on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. There's a lot to listen to, so get started and download the free Odyssey app today. No one's more locked into the NFL than First and Pod. Why is it not within the realm of possibility that Geno Smith was a victim of a horrible organization, bad offensive coaching, and then went and played behind three high-level talents and only got spot starts and did okay, by the way?

Well, because it just doesn't really happen that often anymore. Subscribe to First and Pod on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-06 08:24:23 / 2023-01-06 08:40:16 / 16

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