Patriotism unites even strong baseball rivals
Sunday was a proud day for America. Late Sunday night, President Obama and news networks across the country proudly announced the death of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. The sense of patriotism after the announcement was strong, much like the sense of Americanism after 9/11.
Besides our strong and brave military, nothing is more patriotic and American than baseball. So, it was only fitting that during ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball game in Philadelphia, Phillies and Mets fans alike erupted into cheers and chants of “U-S-A” in the ninth inning when the news broke.
Phillies and Mets fans have always had an intense dislike for each other. The teams have been rivals for as long as fans can remember, but the announcement of bin Laden’s death united these fans not as rivals, but as Americans.
The players all became unified as the news spread across the ballpark.
“I don’t like to give Philadelphia fans too much credit, but they got this one right,” Mets third baseman David Wright said in an ESPN.com interview. “I guess it’s a proud moment to stand out there and you’ve got 45-50,000 people chanting. That was pretty special.”
Mets starting pitcher Chris Young came out in the seventh inning with a 1-0 lead. He heard the news in the clubhouse while doing his post-game routine. He immediately turned a TV on to watch President Obama’s address.
“It’s probably a night I’ll never forget,” Young said in an ESPN.com interview. “I came inside and heard the news. There are some things bigger than the game and our jobs. You could hear the crowd chanting, ‘U-S-A.’ and I got chills hearing that.”
Patriotism is the strongest bond that a country can have. It is a bond that trumps all others.
“For more than a split second, you kind of come together,” Wright said. “You got the New Yorkers and Philadelphia to kind of come together for a common cause. It put a smile on my face before I even knew what was going on.”
The Mets and Phillies went back to being rivals after Ronny Paulino doubled to deep left, bringing home Wright in the 14th inning for the win. But for a moment, the teams were united as one. They were united as Americans.