Far too often sports fans over-emphasize the meaning of a football game, but Sunday’s featured game on FOX (4:15pm ET) between the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants has much greater significance than just another contest between two heated division rivals.
Sunday will mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, and no two areas felt more connected that fateful day than New York City and our nation’s capital. It’s no coincidence the NFL scheduled this game on this date, and its symbolism is not lost on residents of either region.
I live in Northern Virginia about 30 minutes from DC, and it seems like yesterday when I watched footage of those planes fly into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. As Americans we have always felt safe on our own soil, but we were never more vulnerable than that day.
The irony of this matchup is that fans of the Redskins and Giants despise each other. The rivalry dates back many years, and that carries over to the field with the players. Unfortunately for Washington fans, New York has been the much better team over the last several years. And that will probably prove to be the case Sunday when they take the field.
But before the game begins, all of that contempt will be temporarily set on the back burner at FedExField not too far from where the Pentagon was attacked. Players and fans alike will be bonded by the horrible attack that forever linked us together.
And therein lies the real beauty of sports. While the results are ultimately judged by the points on the scoreboard, there really is no loser when it comes to a game like this one. While I would love nothing more than to see my Redskins pummel the Giants, my mind will be first and foremost on the many Americans who lost their lives 10 years ago.