Monday, May 2, 2011

Baseball, real life come together for 1 night

It was a typical Sunday evening for me, enjoying ESPN's Sunday night telecast and wondering if the New York Mets had it in them to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Philadelphia Phillies’ vaunted rotation, when the announcers broke in with news that Osama Bin Laden was killed in a firefight by US forces. My first reaction was shock and disbelief, switching the channel over to ABC and CNN to make sure what I was hearing was correct before turning back to the baseball game just in time to hear the heart-warming USA chants fill the ballpark.

I pride myself on not being a hateful person, but Bin Laden is the one person for whom I truly have hatred in my heart. I remember walking up Broadway toward my office on September 11, 2001, enjoying the spectacularly beautiful day and gleefully planning to convince my friends/coworkers to play hooky with me when the sky all of a sudden went black. I’ll never forget the fear I felt that day, wondering if they were all OK, especially my coworkers located in Tower 2 of the World Trade Center and a friend/colleague who I knew was on a flight to San Francisco that morning. I did not know the fate of many of them until the next day, but thankfully, we didn’t lose anybody. Unfortunately, many people we spoke to and interacted with daily lost their lives. Bin Laden’s death doesn’t bring any of them back, of course, but at least he has finally paid with his life for the pain he has caused.

I guess that explains the flood of tears that I just couldn’t stop last night, tears that are still flowing as I write this today. Tears of joy and relief that the monster was finally brought to justice and can no longer continue his murderous ways. Tears of sorrow for the victims of 9/11 and for their families who still live with inhumane amounts of pain as the rest of us moved on from that horrific day. Tears of gratitude to President Obama and the brave soldiers who finally put an end to the madman who has haunted our country for the last 10 years.

I was so focused on one of the baseball rivals of the New York Yankees last night that I briefly forgot that we have real enemies that we should be worried about. But that's the beauty of baseball and other sports. They allow us to forget, just for a short time, all the very real problems that we have. For at least one night, baseball and real life came together in the best way.

Thanks to UpstateNYer via Wikipedia for the photo montage.

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