9/11 reminds us that sports are just a diversion

 Ed Daniels   We all remember where we were, and what we were doing 10 years ago, Sept. 11.
    Back then, Monday night football was still airing on ABC. I had arrived home about 1 a.m. and crashed.
    Shortly before 8 the next morning, my daughter Erin called me on her way to school. She simply said, “Dad, get up. Go turn on the TV right now.”
    Like you, I sat there transfixed. Like you, I was asking myself over and over again, how could this happen in America?
    A lot has changed in 10 years. Thanks to the terrorist attacks of 9/11, it takes a lot more time to get through an airport. There’s something called a Department of Homeland Security.
    For most of us, 9/11 has been an inconvenience. For those who are serving in our military, it has been far more.
    I am reminded of 9/11 every day. As I pass our assignment desk at WGNO TV, I see editor Gabrielle Romig often wearing an Army hat. Her brother, Specialist Christian Romig, was killed in Afghanistan in January. Young men and women like Christian Romig deserve not only our heartfelt thanks but also our remembrance forever.
    It is because of him that I know this country is still on solid ground.
    In my line of work, I constantly hear from readers and viewers how the sports world is falling apart. College football is going through a tumultuous time. Barry Bonds, baseball’s all-time home run leader, is likely headed to jail. Corruption and greed seem to be staples of our society.
    Maybe so. But I am not buying it.
    In the news business, sadly, those who do the wrong thing get 99 percent of the headlines.
    As I write to you now, I am watching the Weather Channel. They are showing a replay of a fight at a youth football game in Florida. I have seen the video 20 times now, on probably 10 different channels.
    In the ’60s, I heard America was on the brink. Back then, everyone watched Walter Cronkite. He told me President Kennedy was assassinated. Five years later – two months apart – bullets felled civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King and President Kennedy’s younger brother, Robert.
    There was the Vietnam War. Then Watergate.
    But, America survived it all. Why? Because we aren’t the Washington Senators. We are the New York Yankees, the standard of excellence around the world.
    So, this Sunday, as most of us are watching football and the NFL is honoring our heroes who served and still serve, I won’t be looking back. I will be looking ahead.
    Young men like Christian Romig allowed us as a nation to have a future.
    And, here’s a non-football prediction for you. For America, our home sweet home, the greatest days are ahead.
    Ed Daniels is sports director of ABC26 WGNO. He can be reached at edaniels@clarionherald.org.

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