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For the second time this year, police in South Carolina used football talk to stop a man from jumping off a bridge.

According to The State, Officer Michael Blackmore of the Columbia Police Department responded to a call of a man sitting on an overpass early Saturday morning.

Blackmore, along with another officer and EMS workers, discovered the man sitting on a guard rail, crying with his feet dangling over the edge of Highway 77, near downtown Columbia.

Upon his approach, the man told Blackmore he was tired of living, to which Blackmore replied, “I have bad nights, too, sometimes.” He then engaged the distraught man and began steering the conversation toward football, inching closer to the man as they spoke.

“I just wanted to get his mind off of what was bothering him,” Blackmore told The State.

Blackmore asked the man if he liked football then began discussing the Washington Redskins and the South Carolina Gamecocks. The potential jumper revealed he was a fan.

“You’re just having a bad night tonight,” Blackmore told him. “But tomorrow night, when you’re sitting around and you’re watching the Gamecocks – or on Sunday when you’re watching the Redskins play or whatever – you’ll look back (like), ‘Man, what was I thinking Friday night?’ You’re just having a bad night.”

Blackmore eventually got close enough to grab the man and pull him to safety with the help of another officer.
The man was reportedly taken to a local hospital.
Blackmore said it was a carbon copy of an incident from the previous month when he stopped a man from jumping from a parking garage roof by talking football with him.

“It was pretty much the same exact thing,” Blackmore said. “I ended up talking to the guy about football. He told me he was a Notre Dame fan.”

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