The Home Of The Free, Ten Years Later

A personal reflection on 9/11

CARSON, Calif. (Friday, September 9, 2011) - Sports represent for those of us that have a passion for them a way of life. Who that is a fan hasn’t proudly cheered and rejoiced in the victory of their team? And who by that same token hasn’t felt the sorrow and pain of defeat? Those of us who are fans live and die by the joy and sadness that being a passionate and dedicated fan comes with.  Chivas USA fans reflect these very same characteristics. Week in and week out we endure the fruits of success and decent of defeat, yet we push on and unite with a sense of hope only a true fan can understand.

Around this time of the year, for years now I can’t help but remember the devastating sense of helplessness, vulnerability if you will we felt one Tuesday September morning ten years ago.

A sense of paranoia that we as a nation had never felt before, we felt violated. What made these feelings worse was that we had nowhere to turn, no one to relate to, and no one to retaliate against. We were scared and angry at the same time. No one had clear answers to the questions of, why, who, and what just happened?

We needed comforting, reassurance! The same as when we were children and suffered a mishap and we would always have a parent, relative, teacher or someone we trusted tell us that, ‘Everything was going to be alright’.

It was difficult to find that, to fill that void. Very little if anything at all could offer us any sort of comfort. As the days went on and we learned more and more about what had happened and the initial shock we suffered had sunk in, Sports, as much a part of the fabric that makes up this great nation of ours played one of the most important roles in getting us at least a little bit closer to feeling some sense of normalcy. Every major league sport stopped simultaneously for the first time ever in our history. MLS’s season was shortened due to the 9-11 attacks, with the final weeks of the regular season matches canceled at the time and resuming as of September 20 with MLS Cup Playoffs and concluding with MLS Cup 2001 at Columbus Crew Stadium on Sunday, October 21.

Our resiliency would not be undone and as true fans of the world’s sport we would return to stadiums and unite as one in an outpour of passion with a sense of hope, only a true fan could understand. Just as our forefathers laid a foundation for us as a nation full of fight and courage, we would not back down. Ten years later we are strong as ever and constantly on the rise; and now more than ever that we can shout at the top of our lungs, words written by Francis Scott Key in his original poem:

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore, that the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion, a home and a country, should leave us no more? From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:

And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

God Bless America, Long Live Soccer!