Some may ask how we all can focus on NFL football on an emotional day, but if you love the Philadelphia Eagles or any other team, you know football helps us heal.
‘It’s just sports’. Have you ever heard that? Too many, when they hear ‘it’s just a game’, emotions run high. If you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan or a fan of any of the other NFL teams, you realized something a long time ago. That isn’t a very accurate statement.
Just ask the citizens of New York City. While all of us can remember where we were on September 11th of 2001, it’s hard to imagine what it must have felt like to live in the city where one of the most unfortunate tragedies in our great nation’s history took place.
Just typing the words to describe what happened on that day is almost enough to bring someone to tears. For every citizen of our nation, carrying on with life and trying to find some normalcy was almost impossible, but in New York, some turned to sports to take their minds off of everything that they had witnessed.
The New York Yankees were in the middle of a playoff push.
The Yankees are one of the most polarizing franchises in all of the professional sports. You either love them or you hate them, but if you watched them in 2001, you couldn’t help but get caught up in every magical moment or home run. If there was any year that they deserved to win, it was that one. In the end, it wasn’t meant to be. New York would lose the 2001 World Series to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
It wasn’t their year, but they had succeeded in doing something more important. They helped heal their city.
Major League Baseball may be the National Pastime, but the NFL is America’s passion. Nothing’s even a close rival. Football is a game, yes, but it’s also a game that many of us have played. In football, we became part of a team. In football, we found the love of our cities and high schools. In football, we learned to deal with heartbreak and failure.
So, no it isn’t ‘just a game’. We may never heal from what happened on ‘9/11’ completely. Many of us are still in mourning, but we carry on. How can we discuss football on an emotional day like this one? It’s easy.
The NFL may have its’ flaws, but in engaging ourselves in America’s passion, we find an escape. We can escape from pain. We can escape from tragedy. We can escape some bad memories, even if it’s just for a few hours. The staff of ITI sends well wishes to everyone who may have lost someone on this day, and our thoughts and prayers are with those who are in pain or in mourning.