Running up to this Sunday there will be a lot of things written, broadcasted about the Tenth Anniversary of the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks on the United States. At our house we’ve watched several different documentaries on channels ranging from National Geographic to MLB Network’s Nine Innings From Ground Zero. Many people were directly impacted when they lost loved ones in the attacks. Others were directly impacted as they helped clean up and rebuild those areas. Many of these people are still dealing with the toll that work took on their bodies. Even more signed up for our armed forces to track down and take care of those evil people who committed these crimes. If you’re one of those people reading this: I’m sorry for your loss, and thank you for your service. I would hope if I’m ever called to make those sacrifices that I would answer that call positively. I hope that you don’t find the rest of this writing offensive or frivolous.
Most of us watched the event unfold live on television or heard about it second hand and rapidly found a television. 2001 was very busy year for me. I graduated from college, started my career, traveled quite a bit, and got married. Before September 2001 the economy was booming. The tech boom was just coming off of its peak. Companies couldn’t get enough workers. I had a job locked up with a signing bonus 45 days before I graduated from college. And I wasn’t that great of a student. I won’t tell you my final GPA, but had I been a D1 athlete I would barely be eligible.
I view the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks as a game changer for anyone around my age. As a group our cognizant lives up until then had been relatively without struggle. Those attacks were the first signal that life as an adult was not going to be fun and games. Those attacks brought about uncertainty to a group who wasn’t used to that. I work in the aviation industry. Hearing all aircraft ordered out of the air is a sobering prospect when your living derives from them being there.
After a few days the planes began flying and we began moving forward to our new normal. As I am now, I was a huge sports fan in 2001. As the fall of 2001 approached I was looking forward to a football season where I didn’t have to worry about homework. Until that fall I was always working on a project on Saturday or Sunday afternoons. During week 1 of the 2001 NFL season my buddy Brian from college, a pilot, flew in to town and we went to the Cowboys-Buccaneers’ game at Texas Stadium in Irving. (Remember that place? before Jerry’s World?) As many of you know, the draw back to going to a game is that you don’t get to watch other games. Smart phones and newer technology are changing that. But we were a long way from mobile information and streaming video in 2001. I was looking forward to Week 2 on the couch and watching a lot of games…well the future Mrs Drenched might have had something to say about that, but I was going to try
My professional love, aviation was ordered to a halt on 9/11/01. As I got home from work that day I was looking for a release, a distraction, my entertainment love was also ordered to a halt. I have some strong opinions about morality and politics, but you don’t click on a web site called sportsdrenched.com to hear about that stuff. But, If there are no sports, you can’t be sportsdrenched. What was left? My real love: My friends and family.
As we’ve learned with this economy your job may not be there forever. As a Royals fan, I know that most fans care more about winning than the organization they root for. Jobs should be used to support a family, and sports should be used to enhance family experiences. When your job or team annoys you, you go home to your family. If 9/11/01 reminded us of anything it’s that family and Love (love your fellow man, not Barry White bedroom love) are what is important.
After the attacks, the most of us not directly involved asked, “What can we do to help?”. Many stood in long lines to get poked by a needle and donated blood. Many donated to charities that helped support those affected. Ten years later there are still plenty of places that need help. But you don’t have to look to New York to find a place to lend a hand. Most of us don’t even have to go to the end of the block. If you look around and notice someone with out friends or family to enjoy, go be a friend. Being a friend can be as easy as watching a game. If you’re not up to being a friend, just be nice and smile. If everyone does that there will be fewer people angry enough to perform acts of terrorism.
This Sunday the Chiefs open their season. I won’t be watching. I haven’t decided if I’ll DVR the game. We have a family outing planned, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Regardless of how you spend Sunday, smile at some one you don’t know.