Sometimes sports has to take a back seat.
Billy Byler- staff mug
September 1, 2005
Photo by Jim Blaylock
In light of the Sept. 11 anniversary, sports just doesn't seem to matter ... or does it?
Four years ago, when those airplanes slammed into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, no one cared who won a baseball game or who would start in Sunday's football match-ups. Suddenly, sports seemed nothing more than a trivial pastime.
Where does sports fit in a moment like that? When it comes to the value of life, does it really fit at all?
Professional sports responded quickly that day. Major League Baseball postponed all games for the day and eventually for the rest of the week.
Days later, the NFL did the same thing. The sports world had come to a complete standstill.
Athletes didn't want to play, and fans didn't want to cheer. For one somber, sportless week, all of America simply gathered with friends and family and mourned.
The terrorists tried to take something more than buildings and individual lives that day; they wanted to take away our way of life.
Four years later, we can take a look back and see exactly where sports fits during such a time.
We've fought the enemies that attacked us in the best way we know how. I'm not talking about a war in Iraq or bombings in Afghanistan. I'm talking about a dad taking his kid to a baseball game and the pair sharing in a tradition and a memory that will last a lifetime.
This is where sports fits in.
When the terrorists attacked, Americans were shocked, stunned and afraid. As time went on, we gradually and respectfully went back to our daily lives.
Eventually, we went back to work or school and, whether for escape, comfort, or both, many Americans turned to sports.
As a result, before each sporting event today around the nation, we'll stop, honor and remember those who died in the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001. But those sporting events will be played. Athletes will compete, fans will cheer and the American way of life will endure.
So today, go have fun. There's a time for remembering, and we will do that before and during the games, but don't forget to enjoy the game itself.
Watch football. Cheer when your team gets a first down in the red zone. Be happy when your starting fantasy football kicker hits a 35-yard field goal.
Go nuts when Andruw Jones cranks another long ball in a Braves win.
Celebrate when the Hawks beat the Orlando Magic on the road in their first preseason game one month from today. Wait ... sorry. I guess I got a little carried away.
I think you get the idea.
Now, where did I put my foam finger?
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