I was supposed to be in Mitten Hall at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday. Every Tuesday I’m supposed to be there, in the same room, at the same time, listening to a football press conference.
This Tuesday I got there at 10 a.m., football was no longer important.
The unthinkable, the stuff of movies and nightmares, had happened on American soil. I needed a place to watch what was happening with my own two worried eyes.
I sat on the floor of the Owl Cove, right above the room where football coach Bobby Wallace would speak an hour later, in positions ranging from fetal to fear.
Sports started meaning less. Bobby’s press conference seemed 18 floors away.
Things moved quickly at the conference. Nobody really wanted to be there, nobody wanted to think about sports.
The thought of kicking a field goal or completing a touchdown pass was lost in the rubble of a terrorist’s successful plan.
Saturday’s scheduled game against UConn has been postponed, as has every major sporting event for this week and this weekend.
They all mean less now. Sports have been put on hold.
My three most important writers were all affected by Tuesday’s events in one way or another.
One lost two friends- an airline stewardess on her first day back from vacation and a friend at the Trade Center.
Another was so upset at the day’s events that he couldn’t attend Tuesday’s football practice to work on a story.
The third writer’s father works three blocks away from the Trade Center. He found out early on that his father was okay. But thinking about what could have happened kept an empty look on his face throughout the press conference.
Everyone had empty looks on their faces. It’s hard to think about questions about quarterback controversies and offensive production when your world, your life, your being has been attacked.
Sports were not attacked this Tuesday. Games will still be played, even if they aren’t this weekend.
They’ll still give Americans joy- thoughts of victory, celebration and success.
This weekend Sports won’t do that. The victories and celebrations will come on different fields; the fields of the war against terrorism, and the stories of survivors of Tuesday’s vicious attack.
Sports, I’ve found, don’t mean that much.