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Remembering …

September 12, 2011

Like most of you I can still recall exactly what I did the morning of September 11, 2001. I was attending the University of Massachusetts at the time. I recall waking up around 8:45 AM with the intention of attending whatever class I had that morning. I sat up in bed, turned on the television, and turned away for a moment. Then, suddenly I realized that I was listening to Peter Jennings speak. Jennings wasn’t ever on ESPN’s Sportscenter so I knew instantly that something wasn’t right. The first plane had just struck the World Trade Center. So, I grabbed my cellphone and threw a shirt on and headed down the hall of the dorms to a friend’s room where he too had just woken up and was trying to determine what was going on. There we sat for the remainder of the day, glued to the television like we had never been before. We didn’t bother going to classes that ultimately were cancelled anyway. We watched and talked about the day’s events with everyone that streamed in and out of the room. This was before Facebook so all of these interactions and sharing had to take place in person. Despite the sadness of the day’s events, we knew we were witnessing something we’d never forget.

Yesterday marked the 10th anniversary of the single most historically significant day in my lifetime. September 11, 2001 was the date of the most horrific attack on American soil that we’ve ever seen. And it was the date that directly impacted the course this country has taken over the past ten years.

While tributes were plentiful throughout the weekend, I took a different course of action here at BFTB. Rather than a mere moment of silence to remember those lost on such a historic date, BFTB remained silent for the entirety of the weekend. No posts. No Tweets. Nothing.

Sports were fundamental in the way in which this country grieved and subsequently moved on after 9/11. Fittingly, they took center stage on the 10th anniversary to help commemorate the date. Let’s take a quick look at some of the notable items from this past weekend that were worth reading.

  • In an effort to “maintain unanimity across baseball” the Mets were not allowed to wear NYPD, FDNY, or other hats from those units which acted so heroically in responding to the attacks on the World Trade Center. While I understand the desire to maintain a singular front to the MLB tribute, I disagree with the decision. When the Mets took the field 10 days after the initial attacks of 9/11 they helped people understand it was ok to go on with our lives. Wearing the caps they did (which as it turns out was against the wishes of MLB at the time) paid tribute to those fallen and it would have been a nice gesture for the Mets to be allowed to pay tribute once again.  
  • Some former players on the Mets hold a special bond with survivors of 9/11. The Mets were the first professional team to play a game in NYC after the attacks, and the only team to play at home in New York yesterday.
  • A number of member blogs of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance also elected to remain silent as a means of tribute on Sunday. Some of the participating members can be found listed here.
  • Over at SI.com, Michael Rosenberg takes a look at how sports play a bigger role in today’s society than they did ten years ago.
  • An article over at the Wall Street Journal (thanks once again to RAB for the link)late last week took a look at how the travelling schedules of MLB teams has changed greatly since 9/11 due to the increased security measures. Definitely a good read.
  • Nearly every sporting event that took place yesterday involved some sort of tribute – as they should have. Not to be cynical, but it’s got to be a good business making those oversized American flags.
  • Finally, a video thanks to SI.com looking at the impact the New York sports franchises had on the way we recovered is worth sharing.

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