2001-09-22 / Sports

Ode To The A by Elio Velez

Ode To The A by Elio Velez

President George W. Bush, Mayor Rudy Giuliani and others have called for people to return to normalcy after the bombings of last week. Sports has followed that order in returning to play games once again. When Major League Baseball started again last Monday, there was a feeling of tension, apprehension and sadness that prevailed through all the stadiums. It won’t be easy for players such as New York Mets’ pitcher and captain, John Franco, to return to the mound. Franco, who was born in Brooklyn, has said that one of his friends died in the disaster. Mike Piazza of the Mets had admitted to feeling of depression and sadness because of it. Players from all sports will feel the same way for a long time but the games must go on.

Sports today can help ease the pain and sadness for just a few hours. Watching high school football can help not only the school kids who were affected by it but their parents as well. Sports even helps the writer of this piece get away from the madness and chaos of the last week. I need sports to be played again. I want the blood to pump again with adrenalin and emotion. I root for my New York Mets to make the improbable comeback to win the NL East Division. For a few hours, I become an unabashed, unapologetic fan of my team. On that Monday it was rough, I did not feel any excitement. It reminded me of that Tuesday where I couldn’t take my eyes off the television screen. When the Mets came back to beat the Pirates 7-5 last Tuesday, I felt good. I think it started to help the healing process within my soul.

There were two things this week that stuck out in my mind. It was watching the David Letterman Late Show and it was the first show taped after the disaster. Watching Letterman console guest Dan Rather, who cried because of the disaster, got to me. Even someone as stoic, calm and reasonable as Rather seemed to be in covering the event, even made him reveal his emotions. And Letterman reminding him that it was ok to cry because he was human was a reminder that we all have a right to express our sadness.

The second thing was a letter I received from my friend Michelle, who explained of what happened to her in the days following the World Trade disaster. She recalls the events of looking at the stories unfold on the television, trying to contact her family and hugging her fiancé for just a moment in a time of madness. I read on how she helped the Red Cross by drawing blood from people at a site near Ground Zero. I read it and I started to cry. It was the first time that I cried.

The anger encompassed me for a week but I denied the part of my soul that wanted to cry out. To cry for the dead, the injured and the people who are so affected by it. I knew people who worked there and won’t be alive again. I was wondering why I did not shed tears. For that few minutes of crying, I felt human again. I felt complete and attuned to my emotions. I know it will take a long time to heal. It will take a long time but I know I have friends and family to find the right path. I want this country and the world to come together to find the right path. I’ll see you all next week.

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