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Troy Aikman and Joe Buck have worked in an NFL booth for over two decades now, but the former Dallas Cowboys’ QB said Buck’s performance during the Damar Hamlin situation this past Monday was his finest hour.
Hamlin collapsed and suffered cardiac arrest during the first half of Monday’s game in Cincinnati, and had to be revived on the field before being taken to a local hospital via ambulance. The game never resumed, but the ESPN broadcast with Buck, Aikman and sideline reporter Lisa Salters stayed on the air for hours.
Speaking to a Dallas radio station Thursday, Aikman said the entire crew – including Disney head Bob Iger – were working through the situation.
“There was a lot of moving parts, that’s for sure, as you can imagine,” Aikman said on ‘Dunham and Miller’ on the Ticket in Dallas-Fort Worth. “It became a sports broadcast that turned into a news broadcast.
“As you guys know, I’ve worked with (Buck) for 21 years and I’ve been with him in some of the greatest moments in sports. I’ve seen him at his best and he’s unbelievable, but I think this was his finest moment.
“I think he handled everything better than anyone could have – any broadcaster. I don’t care if it was sports, or news or whatever it might be.”
Damar Hamlin gets encouraging update from doctors
Hamlin’s situation has greatly improved since Buck and Aikman were in the booth Monday night, with doctors telling reporters Thursday that the Bills’ safety is awake and communicating via writing because he still needs help breathing.
Doctors also relayed that Hamlin has movement in both his hands and feet, and that a “textbook resuscitation” was performed on the field Monday night to save his life.
Buck and Aikman were witness to the entire thing from the ESPN booth, with Buck telling the viewers several times that he saw medical staff perform CPR on Hamlin.
The two – along with Salters – were on air for well over an hour before the game was ultimately suspended indefinitely by the NFL.
“He and I were on the air for over an hour before we ever really did anything with it,” Aikman continued. “So, there was a lot of time that had to be filled with a story that we were not getting any information on.”