Remembering NFL/America pride after 9/11

Enchantment Sports

In early March, I told my wife, Robyn, how I truly hoped and prayed the pandemic would bring the country together the way 9/11 did.

“Unfortunately,” I told her, “I don’t think it will. I don’t know which party will go which way, but this country has been so politicized that I fear each camp will use this against the other.”

But I never thought it would reach the level it now is.

I’ll never forget the horror of 9/11 – or the beautiful togetherness this country had after it.

On Sept. 23, 2001, every true American stood in unity for the simultaneous National Anthem across the country when the NFL returned.

At that moment, tears pouring down my cheeks while I stood with all other patrons in a packed sports bar, I truly thought all political divisiveness had ended for good this great, great nation of ours.

But 19 years later, for the first NFL game this season during the midst of the worst tragedy since 9/11, NFL fans booed during the pregame.

I never even bothered to turn on my TV.

Today isn’t the day to argue politics.

It is, however, a day to remember.

And think.

Mark Smith has worked in New Mexico sports media for more than four Mark Smith mugdecades, and is one of the most decorated sports journalists in state history. Smith has won more than 30 combined awards in print, television and radio and has been honored nationally for investigative reporting. He is the editor in chief of Enchantment Sports. Contact him at


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