Today we remember those who have lost their lives on September 11th, 2001, a day where the whole world practically stood still and all eyes were on our country.
A time that I remember pretty clearly even though I lived in Illinois at the time. I was about a month into the school year back in 2001, I was in eighth grade at Challand Middle School in Sterling, Illinois. I started off my typical morning routine, wake up at seven o’clock in the morning, get dressed and ready then I would turn on ESPN and watch SportsCenter until it was time to leave. I was in Mrs. Pioneer’s first period Science class and we were going through the morning announcements, everybody was getting to their seats and I remember the teachers aide at the time who was Mrs. Garland, walking in and talking to our Science teacher.
Shortly after they talked, the announcement was made over the intercom by the principal announcing that a tower in New York was under attack. Nobody knew what to do, I just remember sitting there confused along with the rest of my classmates.
The staff of the school made a decision to cancel whatever they were going to teach us that day and we would continue to go from class to class, following our everyday schedule. But instead of homework, every television in the whole school was on every news station as the day moved on.
While this was going on, I was also in the middle of a football season for junior tackle. I played for the Sterling Golden Warriors at the time and I have to admit we were pretty awful. But we were supposed to have practice that day and we kept scrambling around to find our coaches (who happened to be our English teacher and his brother was a janitor) but they were yet to make a decision on if we would practice or not.
We ended up meeting up and practicing and I remember looking around every once in awhile just in case, because you know, I was a paranoid kid. After what happened, do you blame me? I’m sure I wasn’t the only one but, anyways.
What this article is, is my reflection on what happened that day. I know it was 12 years ago, but it still stands out as one of the worst days of the past decade. I remember the regular season NFL was all messed up because of what happened and even Major League Baseball went through some changes. This season stood out to me most because my Chicago Bears (Bear Down!) finished the season 13-3. Mike Brown had back to back games where he had a pick six in overtime to end games against the San Francisco 49ers and the Cleveland Browns.
The only sport that didn’t really change at the time was the World Wrestling Entertainment (at the time it was Federation), who held their own tribute during WWF Smackdown on September 13th, 2011.
It was also the year where Tom Brady’s career took off against the St. Louis Rams in the Super Bowl.
As time went on and things were slowly being pieced together, obviously it wasn’t really pieced together after what happened. But as sports resumed, it was like the entire country came back together as one. You had President Bush throwing out the first pitch before a New York Yankees game in New York. We had Barry Bonds breaking Mark McGwire’s single-season home run record. But you had the city that was in mourning, in the World Series later on that year against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
A lot of things stand out when it comes to professional sports after what happened on this day 12 years ago. But one moment for me will always bring me to that year and remind me of the days we spent surrounding the television with the news blasting, is Sammy Sosa’s home run against the Houston Astros on September 27th. Sosa’s long ball barely cleared the right field fence as he rounded the bases holding a small American flag in his right hand.
Today every game played in the Major Leagues and possibly ever practice across the National Football League will find their own way to honor those who lost their lives on that terrifying day.
One thing about professional sports across the globe is it brings everybody together as one.
This is my personal story about September 11th, What’s yours?