New York Jets: Remembering 9/11


As a huge sports enthusiast and of course fan of the New York Jets, I still have the Daily News from the next day, fourteen years ago. I was 11 years old, the school year just beginning. Everyone was leaving early that day, so many picked up by parents strangely anxious to get in and get out, I had no idea what was going on. My mom was a teacher in a different school, so she had to stay with them. It wasn’t until the school day was over, hours after what had happened, that I found out our country was attacked.

Eleven was right around the age when youth sports started taking a truly team first mentality. I’ve grown up learning sports and falling in love with them squarely in the 9/11 age. The first World Series I remember watching entirely was the 2001 matchup between my hometown Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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I came into understanding sports during a time of great emotional outpouring and patriotism. The modern day Patriots were born that season.

Sports provided such an incredible escape from what we had all just witnessed, especially for professional New York teams. It was a distraction I needed as well as countless others.

Games were, and rightly so, postponed immediately following the attacks. When the NFL was faced with the decision whether or not to hold games the following Sunday, Jets players voted unanimously to not fly to Oakland for their matchup with the Raiders. It was their city, their hometown and many witnessed the towers fall right in front them.

When sports returned they provided New York an incredible emotional lift. The Jets, Giants, Mets and Yankees all won their first games back. The Jets’ victory came against the then under-the-radar Tom Brady and the Patriots. These games gave people a reason to rally around something beyond a war effort.

New York teams honored first responders on the field wearing NYPD and FDNY baseball caps and played with a notable chip on their shoulder. Teams around the country in all sports joined in the outpouring of support for fellow Americans.

Sep 3, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; The American flag flies prior to the game between the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 38-10. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Players did their best to provide some sort of normalcy for the country, to keep America cheering on through tragedy. We thank them for suffering as the rest of the country did, but giving us a reason to turn the television on to something other than the news.

I’ll never forget and will always remember all the great men and women that did everything in their power to help during that time and of course, for the Jets standing up for what they believed in and winning that game to get my mind off of things.

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