Sports after 9/11: 3 moments that brought the country together – USA TODAY

Sports have always provided an opportunity to create a stronger sense of community. They also have a history of providing people with a distraction when it’s most needed.
In America, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 that killed nearly 3,000 people and left countless more injured and scarred, provided a unique chance for sports to create that sense of community and to create a distraction for a few hours each night.
Here are three moments from the sports world helped bring the country together during that time 22 years ago.
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After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced the postponement of all games the following weekend.
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Two weeks later, the Jets played in New England and the Giants in Kansas City. Despite the division rivalry matchup between the Jets and Patriots and the well-documented hostile environment most away teams face in Arrowhead Stadium, both the Patriots’ and Chiefs’ home crowds welcomed their New York visitors with open arms. One sign in New England read “Go Pats AND Jets Go USA.” Another in Kansas City said “KC loves NY.”
Patriots guard Joe Andruzzi’s three brothers, all FDNY firefighters at the time, were featured as honorary captains for the game against the Jets.
The Jets and Giants both won on the road that week in their first games after 9/11.
Just 10 days after the terrorist attacks that rocked the country, the New York Mets returned home to Shea Stadium to play the first sports game in New York after 9/11.
With the Mets trailing the Braves 2-1 in the eighth inning, New York’s star catcher, Mike Piazza, stepped up to the plate with a runner on first and one out. Piazza took the first pitch for a strike but blasted the next ball he saw high and far to deep center field. The home run was enough to push the Mets in front, 3-2, as they won their first game back in New York after 9/11.
The New York Yankees faced the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2001 World Series, and Game 3 of the series was the first in New York.
Wearing a bulletproof vest under an FDNY jacket, the president took the mound ahead of the game to deliver the ceremonial first pitch. Bush’s throw was right down the middle.
The moment symbolized the nation’s resiliency and strength in one of its most vulnerable periods.
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