Saturday, September 11, 2010

Extra Blue

Bad day to be a Cougar fan!  Should I admit out loud that I almost became an Air Force fan today?  Seriously.  They at least looked proud to stand for something and had the desire to go out and win the game. 

With today being 9/11 the game was interesting to watch.  Nobody forgot for a moment what happened to our country nine years ago today.  That day was so surreal.  Of all the memories of feelings experienced because of 9/11, the one feeling I cherish the most was the feeling of unity in our country.  We really were one nation under God. 

I remember my grandma feeling like we shouldn’t follow through with our camping trip to Lake Mead, NV.  We all convinced her that it was ok to go back to our regular lives.  That that was what America had to do.  Not let the terrorists stop us. 

So we water skied on Lake Mead as planned.  And relaxed on the beach. 

What I remember most about that trip to Lake Mead in September 2001 was the undeniable uniting of America.  I remember seeing flags on cars.  I remember going to church in Logandale, NV and hearing the bishop of the ward talk about his son’s football game.  He talked about the players shaking each other’s hands and that before the game the teams had a prayer.  He talked about how in that moment it was more than a football game.  It was Americans playing an American game together.  I remember the hair on my arms standing on end as I listened to his story. 

Today’s game reminded me of that.  At halftime the talking heads said something about the special opening to the game and they said if you didn’t feel anything from that display then you’re not an American!  Unfortunately I missed it. 

As NYPD officers were interviewed between plays I thought of Chad Lewis.  Several months ago I read his book “Surround Yourself with Greatness.”  Let me tell you, it is quite the experience to read someone else’s experience with 9/11 while flying in an airplane somewhere between Salt Lake City, UT and Oakland, CA!  Chad Lewis (former BYU football player) and his team, the Philadelphia Eagles discussed whether or not to play their next game in light of the historical events that had just taken place.  They decided to play.  America needed football as a distraction and as a source of inspiration. 

That sentiment was reiterated in today’s game.  People interviewed talked about how as football players they aren’t really heroes like the heroes of 9/11 but they were grateful to have had the opportunity to play football at such a turbulent time in history.  Everyone talked about Air Force as if they were real heroes.  Football heroes and armed servicemen heroes.  I didn’t doubt that was true. 

BYU may not have known what interviews were taking place or how those interviews were being placed in the TV coverage of the game but it was if BYU conceded the game from the beginning.  Let Air Force have a win on such a special day.  In fact, we won’t even put up a fight for it. 

I was extremely disappointed in BYU’s performance.  And ready to cheer for the opposing team because they were much more exciting to watch.  Air Force threw the ball, caught the ball, ran with the ball, scored with the ball.  BYU never had their heart in the game.  They didn’t do anything with the ball.  Disappointing day to be a BYU fan.  But I’ve staked my claim on my team and I’ll stick it out.  go cougars.  rah rah rah sis boom bah.  your game was boring today.  I just hope they play better next week or there will be a lot of yelling in our house.  Heath hates Florida State! 

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