Part of me thought that this video was sufficient summary for Sunday night’s events. The other part of me thought that I couldn’t do justice to the events and my comments would need to be well thought out and well written and let’s face it: I may do a poor job. Regardless, I feel the need to post something about the capture of America’s number one enemy especially in wake of the way that Phillies and Mets fans, people in Boston, Times Square and across the country celebrated. We’ll keep a baseball flare but remember that baseball takes a backseat sometimes.
Mets pitcher Chris Young called it “a night I’ll never forget.” Americans everywhere are calling it a “where were you when” moment. Obama’s announcement will likely serve as a bit of a closing of a chapter in American history. Mets announcer Bobby Valentine commented, “I’ve lived through the healing process with many friends for the last 10 years, and I’m praying [bin Laden’s] demise helps with that process.” The significance of the news to American families cannot be understated as this will help to heal and close some of the wounds still left by the events of 9/11.
Let’s return to last night in Philly. The chants pictured above took place without warning, or announcement from Philly. Players in the field had no idea what was going on, even Cliff Lee who was watching the game from the dugout said “I didn’t really understand what was going on there for a minute, Then someone came up and said bin Laden had been killed over there.” It’s got to be a cool feeling.
“You almost want to stop the game. You almost want to just stop the game and have that girl come and sing another beautiful rendition of ‘God Bless America.'” – Mets manager Terry Collins
“You’ve got the New Yorkers, you’ve got the Philadelphians, the city, you kind of come together for a common cause. It put a smile on my face before I even knew what was going on, and then made me feel a lot better after I found out. As proud and as great a moment as it was for me being on a baseball field, you multiply that by a million. That’s probably what they’re feeling at the fire houses, at the police stations, at the places like Walter Reed.” – David Wright
“I came inside and heard the news. There’s some things in life bigger than the game and our jobs. I was inside and could hear the crowd chanting ‘USA’ and I got chills hearing that. It was a pretty neat atmosphere and place to be to get that kind of news.” – Mets Pitcher Chris Young
All these images, quotes, words, and stories remind me of the unifying nature of sports. I love the role that sports, and sporting events take in American culture. Whether its around the watercooler after the Grizzlies beat the Spurs in the NBA playoffs, or the reaction in Citizen Bank Park after news of bin Laden’s death breaks, sports plays a special role in America. It can serve as a forum to bring people together (such as after 9/11 in New York) or as an outlet from the difficulties of life. Look, without sports our country would have a lot less to talk about, a lot less to agree on, a lot less to argue about, and less of an area to express themselves. But, on Sunday night in Philadelphia, fans wearing red and blue alike reminded us all of their true allegiance. The Red, White, and Blue of America.
Stat of the Day: In the wake of the newsflash of Osama bin Laden’s death, Twitter set a new record for rate of tweets when an average of 3,440 tweets per second were sent between 10:45PM EST and 12:30 AM EST.