Phillies

Power of Sports: Bin Laden, Phillies and Patriotism

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Last night was one of those nights where you will always remember where you were when you heard the news. Bin Laden, we’ll forget your ass pretty quickly; however we will never forget our brothers and sisters we lost on 9/11. As a sign of solidarity, please “Like” this post on your Facebook page and Retweet it to as many people as possible. God Bless America…

 

If you tuned in to ESPN last night expecting a memorable Sunday Night Baseball game you got more than you bargained for. And if you were of those lucky enough to have had a ticket to the sold out New York Mets vs. Philadelphia Phillies game, I envy you. Will you remember that Ronnie Paulino had a career-high five hits in his first start for the Mets including a go-ahead double in the 14th inning? Maybe. Will you remember that the Mets handed Cliff Lee and the Phillies their first home loss of the 2011 season? Maybe. There may be a number of things about last night that you might remember, but I’ll tell you what you WILL certainly remember.

You will remember the 45,713 brothers and sisters at Citizens Bank Park wearing the hats and jerseys of their favorite team, rooting for arch enemies on the field, coming together as brothers and sisters celebrating the death of that rat-bastard-scumbag-worthless-piece of poop, Osama bin Laden. 

Listening to the crowd chant “USA, USA, USA” Sunday night sent a tingling up my spine reminiscent of a feeling I’ve only gotten watching a sporting event a handful of times in my life. It was a wonderful feeling I’ll never forget. I can remember having the feeling when the United States Hockey Team beat the Russians in the 1980 Olympics. I remember as a 13 year old running out into the streets and banging pots and pans with all the neighbors. In some ways we were sticking it to our Cold War adversaries as our amateur hockey team set aside nuclear weapons and took our national security into our own hands.

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I remember Whitney Houston’s Star Spangled Banner performance at Super Bowl XXV in 1991, during the Gulf War and the flyover of our military jets. It was perhaps one of our nation’s finest moments captured live on TV. You know the game, Scott Norwood, 47-yards, wide right. But that patriotic feeling that surrounded that game was something surreal at the time.

The last time I had this kind of patriotic feeling watching a sporting event also involved the New York Mets. Just ten days after 9/11, Mike Piazza stepped to the plate at Shea Stadium down a run against the Atlanta Braves late in the game and buried a 2-run shot against Steve Karsay to straightaway center field and the citizens of the devastated city of New York let loose. The outpouring of emotion was much different than any go-ahead home run I’ve ever seen or heard of. That home run wasn’t about the Mets/Braves; that home run was for the people of NY. Even Braves fans stood up and applauded. Watch it again and you tell me it doesn’t send shivers up your spine. I don’t care if you’re a Mets fan or not, it’s a sight to behold.

After the game Sunday night, Mets third baseman, David Wright,  had this to say about the fans performance in Philly. “I don’t like to give Philadelphia fans too much credit, but they got this one right.”

Fans in Philadelphia have caught a lot of flak for the way they have acted in and around the stadium over the years, but they don’t deserve it this time. In fact, I’m here to say that although I’m not a Phillies fan, Sunday night the people of Philadelphia earned my respect. Great job. USA, USA, USA……