“Everybody’s out on the run tonight
But there’s no place left to hide.”

It doesn’t bring me any joy to say this, but I’ve had enough.

No, not talking about all of the one-run losses – although those can stop, too – but rather the 9/11 tributes that everyone makes again and again and again. It’s impossible to get away from on a personal level and then, because of the big role that the Mets played in baseball’s response to the tragic events of that day, it’s a story that the Mets are a big part of, too.

Like everyone reading this, I lost friends and classmates and acquaintances on 9/11.

But I just can’t deal with the tragi-porn images and overwrought stories about the responses people had. It was terrible and we all suffered as individuals and a nation. But do we still have to have these over-the-top public displays of grief here 20 years later? It just feels … phony. It comes across to me that people and companies think that if you don’t have a huge public response that, somehow, you’re not doing your part.

I couldn’t watch the beginning of yesterday’s broadcast on Fox. There was no doubt that they were going to make it nauseous. And while it happened to be on Fox, my response will be the same thing with tonight’s ESPN game. Because if there’s a network out there that can go lower than Fox, it’s ESPN.

My daughter, who was born four years and 12 days after the attacks, came home from school on Friday and said that her classes showed videos of the attacks five times. We want people to “Never Forget,” but are we doing more damage than good?

It’s important that future generations know what happened. Everything should be made available for public consumption and we absolutely should talk about the who, the what, the why, the when and all of those questions. And more.

But can we talk about it and honor the memories of those that perished without turning everything into some kind of ****-measuring contest, to see who can show the most terrible images of that day or who can fly the biggest flag or who knows the most people who died or which league or team or player had the best public response?

I’m a baseball fan and a part of the reason why I’m a fan is that it provides escape. But ESPN isn’t going to provide any escape tonight. The Mets are on the fringes of playoff contention and they’re playing the hated Yankees. I should be hanging on every pitch. Instead, I’ll be trying to figure out when ESPN will get all of its 9/11 “tributes” out of the way and I can safely tune in and watch a ball game.

11 comments on “Swimming against the tide with the Mets and 9/11

  • Woodrow

    Gutsy column!

  • Wobbit

    Wow, Brian… courageous of you to tell it as you see it, and it is exactly how I see it. I tuned in 20 minutes late yesterday hoping to miss it all, but still had to suffer through 20 minutes. I actually think it hurt the Mets, who had some momentum until it all got drained away.

    I’m not going to elaborate here. I’m ready to move onto the pennant race. In short, Fox and ESPN are both evil empires, each has nothing more important than making money, no matter what. They turned a human tragedy into a prime time special… Fox destroyed baseball decades ago.

    Mets need to win today, period.

  • ChrisF

    I listened on mute for much of it.

  • T.J.

    Brian,
    Thanks for today’s column. I can honestly say I have similar feelings. mostly kept to myself. It is absolutely a somber day, a horrible anniversary, mostly for those directly who lost loved ones, be it on that day or from the aftermath. I think to some degree the technology/media driven world both entices the content providers to “plan” for this type of anniversary and to “keep up with the competition” or face some backlash. It absolutely is over the top, and it smacks to some extent commercialism. I avoided almost all of the coverage, did not watch the pre-game, and didn’t even catch the game until Judge’s unfortunate late homer. I am actually able to see the light beams from my front yard, as was fortunate last night to be able to get a close view of the city skyline and both remember what occurred, those impacted, and what has transpired over the last 20 years.

    And, then there’s the Mets…the great escape and the clutching of defeat from the hands of victory…against the big bade Yankees…once again. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  • Foxdenizen

    Interesting that all the commenters so far have denounced the tasteful commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack, but nobody so far sought fit to watch and hear the entire segment. I watched and it was very moving. Players from both teams mingling pregame, the bagpipe and drum band of first responders playing a mournful song, the singing of America the Beautiful and God Bless America and many more touching moments. It may be inconvenient for “Cancel Culture warriors, but 20 years ago America was attacked by fanatical terrorists who hated America. They may have killed thousands of Americans, but American resilience held. I think that resilience of spirit is worth honoring.

  • T.J.

    Fox,
    With regards to my comment, it was in no way denouncing or boycotting any particular service or commemoration. With respect to the Met-Yankee pregame, without seeing it, my understanding is that it was well done, and it was certainly appropriate at the NY baseball game on the anniversary. What bothered me overall is that the overwhelming media attention of the anniversary seemed, perhaps unintentionally, to hype it, almost market it or commercialize it. I hope MLB allows the NY teams to wear first responder hats on the anniversary date in the future, as remembrance, in years when there isn’t quite as much attention.

    • ChrisF

      I feel the same TJ. Buck and Smoltz, already among the bottom of all baseball commentators, were the worst part of the whole night with the commercialization and why I put the game on mute.

      Love the first responder hats, and bagpipes.

      Lets hope that MLB does not auction off all the jerseys, hats, balls, etc, which I highly fear they will do.

  • Name

    In a vaccum, i do agree that this type of performance is over the top and would rather prefer the small personal tributes.
    However, normally the tributes aren’t that big and if they decide that every 20 years they want to have the Mets-Yanks play each other on 9/11 and have a grand big theatrical show with all the bells and whistles and go all out, I can absolutely live with that kind of frequency.

  • Wobbit

    You guys are all good dudes. I would not nibble with your patriotism nor your humanity. Nice to be among decent people on this site.

  • Mr_Math

    Well, given that I left NYC permanently in 1988, I don’t know of any friends who died on 9/11/2001. I just want to reaffirm that you are a bunch of fine blokes with every right to vent. For me personally, the greatest impact was that, given that I lived on the 19th floor in downtown Manhattan, I used to look out my bedroom window at those buildings. It might sound weird, but their departure left an empty space somewhere in me

  • Mike W

    The city lost almost 3000 people on that terrible day including scores of police officers and firefighters. The tragedy allowed us to unify as a nation. But, it felt like they were trying to show all of this again in hope of unifying the nation again.

    They should have taken bin laden out at Tora Bora in 01 and avoided a costly 20 year war.

    I did like the bagpipes though. What they could have done is use all of the seats for the one game for police and fire and family of the victims.

    I dont think they should have played the video 5 times in a class.

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