Local radio host reflects on humanity in sports

Untitled design (4).png
Posted at 6:00 PM, Jan 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-03 18:22:02-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Alan Cutler has been working in sports for some time. He was formerly the host of the Cincinnati Bengals radio network, LEX 18's former sports director, and now is a sports radio host. Last night, he settled in to watch the Bengals play the Buffalo Bills.

Cutler says, "I was looking forward to watching last night’s game because Buffalo and the Bengals, it was hyped, legitimately so, as the best Monday night game of the year — and it should have been outside the obvious tragic situation."

Today on his show, Cutler recapped what he and thousands of fans experienced during last night's game. He admits that at first, he thought Damar Hamlin's collapse might have been a concussion.

On the show, he says, "I turned my head away and, all of a sudden, I hear something like... 'um, and he collapsed.' And I did what everybody else did. I’m staring at the TV set and I’m quickly going 'oh my gosh.'"

As his concern for Hamlin grew, this moment felt all too familiar. It brought Cutler back to 1999.

"The second I got scared, I started thinking about John Stewart and— this is not about me — but it was by far the worst day in television I ever had."

18-year-old John Stewart — who had signed to play basketball at the University of Kentucky — collapsed during a high school basketball game and died. While Hamlin is hospitalized in critical condition, Cutler says that the support of both young men's families and from the community reminded him of the night Stewart passed away.

Cutler explains, "This would have been a really good feel, wonderful feel-good story and then this happens. And so, last night, the second I thought about John Stewart — I just, I got chills — I started shaking a little bit, not uncontrollably, but I started shaking because it brought back the memory of that night."

Cutler admits that he didn't know much about Hamlin before last night — about his philanthropy or his values — but he saw how much he is devoted to his family, just like Stewart was. He says humanity dominated in the sports world last night.

He says, "Humanity prevailed over business last night. And it should always be that way and to say it's always been that way would be a flat-out lie. And so, I found that actually kind of comforting while you're thinking about this young man — but if you ask me for a theme, it was family."