The Power of Sports: 14 Years After September 11, It Still Holds True


Fourteen years ago, on September 11, the sports world took a back seat. Although, in the short time following, it revealed its power more than ever

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Editor’s Note: In honor of September 11, here is a small piece on the power of sports and a nation coming together through that outlet 

When you step out on to a field or court at any level, in any sport, you carry with you a purpose. For some it might be personal, a chance to fulfill a dream or maybe a chance to prove something. Some might be carrying with them the weight of another, perhaps a sick or deceased loved one. Either way, anyone who has ever played a single minute, or inning can tell you that the game they play means something.

Fourteen years ago today, tragedy struck. The entire nation was brought to its knees. A terrorist attack on home soil, was a wound that still has yet to heal. Thousands of lives were lost, some who were in the Twin Towers when they were struck, and others who were responding in an effort to save the life of another. Husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters were lost in a heartless act of terrorism.

In the days that followed the attack on September 11, 2001, New York City rallied around a couple of baseball games. The hometown Yankees and Mets were stepping on to the field with a new sense of purpose. The weight of a


nation fell on the shoulders of nine men standing on some dirt and grass in the Bronx and Queens, respectively.

Guys like Derek Jeter, Mike Piazza, Andy Pettite and John Franco became symbols of heroism. They became the heroes that the city needed, embodying the efforts of the many first responders at Ground Zero.

A culmination of that feeling came on October 30th, roughly six weeks after the attacks. President George W. Bush, stepped out on the pitcher’s mound at Yankee Stadium. It was Game 3 of the World Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the eyes of the nation were glued to their screens.

Just over a month removed from the tragedy and the clean-up and recovery teams were still busy at work around the site where the World Trade Center once stood. Hundreds of people’s bodies still had yet to be recovered from the wreckage. Families were still trying pick up the pieces of their lives now that major holes were left.

As President Bush released that baseball from the mound, it was like the country as a whole was doing it. We were showing the world that we would rise again. We were still standing, and the loved ones lost at the hands of our enemies would not be forgotten.

In the days and months after that pitch, the football season really picked up and the fans embraced their teams the same way they did the baseball teams around the time of the tragedy. The NBA season came as well and support poured into the arenas across the country as the nation needed a place to rebuild and feel strength again.

When times seemed darkest, and most bleak, a nation needed a place to put their hopes and their faith; so they turned to fields and courts of America.

That is the Power of Sports.

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