By now you’ve heard about the death of international terrorist Osama Bin Laden. And you’ve seen the celebrations in New York at Ground Zero and in Washington around the White House. We are together again, celebrating one event, a kill mission that was successful.
Bin Laden was the mastermind behind the worst attack on our country and it took nearly 10 years to find him and erase him. It is a day many of us will never forget.
But I will never forget how sports pulled us through the pain of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon. I remember President George Bush throwing out that first-pitch strike before Game 3 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium, the most important pitch in MLB history. He was strong and commanding. Bush put our minds at ease somewhat with that pitch.
“I wanted to make sure if I was going to throw the ball I was going to do it with a little zip,” Bush said. “I didn’t want people to think their president was incapable of finding the plate.”
Later he said: “I never felt what I felt that night. I felt the raw emotions of Yankees fans. It was overwhelming.”
We lost sports for a few days after the attacks and things did not seem right. But the NFL resumed business after taking a weekend off. Major League Baseball said it would play ball shortly afterward. We became accustomed to “God Bless America” in the seventh inning and pat downs before the first pitch.
Three weeks after 9-11 we had our own soul cleanser in the state of Michigan. That’s when the Michigan-Michigan State game that ended with the clock controversy added a sense of normalcy around here. The game sent Wolverines into a fit of rage. Spartans left that game with a sense of pride.