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Buffalo Bills announce play-by-play voice John Murphy had a stroke before ‘MNF,’ Damar Hamlin incident



The Buffalo Bills announced Friday that play-by-play broadcaster John Murphy is recovering at home after having a stroke last weekend.

Murphy has been the “voice of the Bills,” calling games on the team’s radio network since Van Miller retired after the 2003 season.

“John Murphy suffered a stroke last weekend,” the family’s statement said. “He is recovering at home with his family and making progress every day. John and the Murphy family are grateful for the excellent care by the staff and doctors at Buffalo General Medical Center. We appreciate everyone’s support.”

One Bills Live co-host Chris Brown filled in for Murphy on Monday night and will continue to do so until Murphy can return, the team said.


On Monday, the team announced that the longtime radio talent would miss Monday’s matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals because he was “under the weather” and offered well wishes.

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In a scene of events that shocked millions, that game was suspended and later canceled after Bills safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest and collapsed on the field.

The 24-year-old is in better condition now. No longer relying on a breathing tube, Hamlin is able to speak and FaceTimed into the Bills’ meeting, the team announced on Friday.

In the same way that Buffalo’s loyal fan base continues to rally behind Hamlin, Murphy will have the support of “Bills Mafia.”

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: John Murphy, Voice of the Bills, speaks to the crowd before the game between the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 14, 2014 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
John Murphy, has been the ‘Voice of the Bills” for almost 10 years. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

‘It’s ok to feel overwhelmed’

Members of the loyal fan base who live in Buffalo also faced a historic winter storm in late December that saw a death toll of at least 27 people.

The city dealt with massive snowfall in November, which almost prevented the Bills from making it to Detroit to face the Cleveland Browns in Week 12.

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Through it all, the city continues to support the Bills with vigor. Amid Hamlin’s emergency, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown acknowledged the recent struggles.

“Our City has experienced some challenging times. It’s ok to feel overwhelmed,” he wrote on Twitter. He offered mental health resources and added that “as a community, we have experienced grief and trauma.”

Buffalo roads reopened after the storm on Dec. 29, and the Bills will host the New England Patriots on Sunday as part of a full slate of games to end the regular season.


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