In the aftermath of the darkest day in American history, fans of all teams were united through sports.
It has now been twelve years since the attacks on the World Trade Centers, the Pentagon, and Stonycreek Township, PA. The image is something the people of the world will never forget.
Some of my fondest memories with sports comes the night baseball resumed in New York City on September 21. It was the bottom of the ninth and beloved catcher Mike Piazza of the Mets hits a game tying homerun.
For that moment in time, the people of New York could take a deep breath and cheer for something great. The cameras showed firefighters even cheering and clapping because of pure swing of the bat.
A month later, the Yankees, a team everybody either loves or hates was in one of the greatest World Series in baseball history.
Former president George W. Bush would throw out the first pitch in New York and Derek Jeter told the president “don’t bounce it, they’ll boo you.”
The series would go seven games with it coming to an end on a Luis Gonzalez blooper off New York icon Mariano Rivera that would go over the head of another legend, Jeter.
The only time I can reflect and say everybody was on the Yankees side came for those seven games against the Diamondbacks. Heck, I wouldn’t even be shocked if the people of Arizona were rooting for the Yankees up until the unforgettable game seven.
ESPN has a great piece on former Boston College lacrosse player Welles Crowther who later became known as The Man With the Red Bandana.
Crowther is known for his act of heroism during the attacks when he saved at least a dozen lives before losing his own. The piece is very heart warming and reminds me of the good people do possess even when the worst is on us.
Another great story comes from the Arizona State University Sun Devils football team. Earlier this summer the school put a painting of former linebacker Pat Tillman on their door for the players to remember the courage he displayed.
Tillman played four professional football seasons with Arizona Cardinals and eight months after the attacks, decided he would enroll in the U.S. Army instead of accepting a contract extension.
The brave soldier would later lose his life in the war in Afghanistan.
Twelve years later, sports continue to show they remember the dark day. With all MLB teams wearing American Flag patches on their head and football stadiums rocking the gigantic flags during the pre-game, there is no shortage of respect given to the people who lost their lives in the attacks and the brave men and women who helped restore the nation.
Sports help unite people. It doesn’t matter what side of the rivalry they are on. For one day, the people put their differences aside and remember the brave people who helped restore the nation and made it possible for sporting events to continue only ten days after the tragedies.
Arthur’s Pick ’em:
Redskins 17 @ Packers 31
Broncos 31 @ Giants 23
49ers 13 @ Seahawks 17