Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Patriot moment

Even sports was impacted by tragedy

Fear, anger, confusion and devastation are few of many words that could describe the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Prior to the attacks, the NFL season was well underway, entering its third week of the season. Prominent NFL teams were just beginning to hit their strides, only to be halted by the shattering event.

Before Sept. 11, 2001 the Dallas Cowboys were known as America’s team. But that year changed even our attitude about who that title would go to.

Days after the attacks, the NFL decided to postpone games scheduled that week in order to remember those who lost their lives.

Games originally scheduled for that weekend were moved to the first weekend of January. Meanwhile, that next weekend, the NFL continued to show its support to the Sept. 11 victims by wearing decals and having a moment of silence nationwide.

Each week of the NFL season reminded us how life in the nation had changed. Increased security from government buildings to airports to sports arenas reflected the anxiety.

All during this time, a star and leader was being born in New England. Tom Brady, a quarterback from the University of Michigan, took over as starter for a struggling Drew Bledsoe. The Patriots started the season with a 1-3 record. Fortunately, Brady led the Patriots from a slow start to a first round bye in the playoffs.

The NFL Playoffs began with the Patriots as the number two seed in the AFC conference. After winning two grueling games against the Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers, the Patriots made an appearance in the Super Bowl against the St. Louis Rams. A close game throughout, the Patriots were able to cap off a 20-17 victory over the favorite Rams due to a field goal by Adam Vinatieri.

For that moment, America rejoiced with the Patriots. And in doing so, honored the real patriots who died on that fateful morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

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