On his eponymous show last night, Keith Olbermann reflected on the value of sports on 9/11. He began by mocking the case of The Tumbledown Trails golf course, which offered a special 9/11 promotion: “18 holes with cart for $9.11! 9/11/13 Only!”
He then advocated for the effectiveness of sports in ushering a return to normalcy, recalling a story about the Monday after 9/11, when he was reporting from the New York Stock Exchange.
He remembered how he walked past “the ashen stockbrokers who had all lost somebody, who had all seen the death, and were now being marched past checkpoints manned by grim-looking men in khaki uniforms with machine guns, as the fires still burned at the World Trade Center.”
As the day went on, he said, the smoke from the fires thickened into a haze so thick “you couldn’t see the American flag hanging from the Stock Exchange, even thought that flag had to have been 100 ft. square. And that was when, at about ten or eleven in the morning, a policeman came up to me. He knew me from SportsCenter.”
“‘Hey,’ he said, and shook hands and smiled. ‘How are you doing?’”
“I asked him how he was doing.”
“‘Well, I’m worried.’”
“‘We all were.’”
“‘I’m worried about the Mets. Do you think they can do it?’”
Olbermann said he was floored by the man’s concern for the fate of a baseball team at a time like this.
To which he said the policeman responded:
“‘At least I can go home and put my feet up and pretend that things haven’t changed.’”
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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