As the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks approaches, ESPN will recognize the anniversary and the intersection of sports, the attacks and their aftermath with special programming and content across platforms surrounding the anniversary date.
Among the initiatives: the E60 program Comeback Season: Sports After 9/11; live Major League Baseball from New York on Sept. 11; features in College GameDay and Sunday NFL Countdown; content on ESPN.com and the ESPN Daily Podcast; features on the ACC and SEC Networks and more.
On Saturday, Sept. 11, the 8 a.m. ET edition of SportsCenter on ESPN will note the national moment of silence for 9/11 at 8:46 a.m.
Some of the content on ESPN platforms will include:.
E60: Comeback Season – Sports After 9/11 (Wed., Sept. 8, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
E60 looks at the role sports played 20 years ago as the country mourned in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. The one-hour program is hosted by Mike Greenberg from the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City. Among the sports figures appearing in the program are Vinnie Testaverde and Herm Edwards (New York Jets); Mark Messier (New York Rangers); Dale Earnhardt Jr. (NASCAR); Kate Markgraf and Julie Foudy (USWNT); Joe Andruzzi (New England Patriots); Bobby Valentine (New York Mets); Amani Toomer and Howard Cross (New York Giants) and more. The program also will be available for on-demand viewing on the ESPN App for a limited time after the airing.
MLB – Yankees vs. Mets (Sat., Sept. 11, 6 p.m., ESPN Radio)
ESPN Radio will broadcast the Major League Baseball game between the New York Yankees and New York Mets on Saturday night, Sept. 11, from Citi Field in New York City. Michael Kay will call the game with analysis by Buster Olney. Bobby Valentine, who was manager of the Mets in 2001 when they played the Atlanta Braves in the first regular-season pro sporting event held in New York after 9/11, will be a pre-game guest on the broadcast as will former Yankees player Bernie Williams, who was a member of the team at the time. Other baseball figures from the 9/11 era also may join. Kay will join Olney on the ESPN Audio Baseball Tonight Podcast this week to discuss Saturday night’s game.
Numerous features and stories related to 9/11 will appear on ESPN.com during the week of the anniversary. Among them:
- A photo-driven feature on the September 21, 2001, MLB game between the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets, the first regular-season pro sporting event in New York City after 9/11. The feature focuses on some people at that game that night whose lives were never the same. (by Ryan Hockensmith).
- The Fun City Bowl, the annual football game between the NYPD and FDNY, which serves as a remembrance of 9/11 (by Tom Junod).
- College Football:
- Florida director of player personnel Charlie Skalaski left New York City and corporate America to pursue football coaching dreams after witnessing 9/11 up close (by Alex Scarborough).
- Indiana defensive coordinator Charlton Warren was working on cockpits at an Air Force Base in Georgia when it went into lockdown on 9/11 (by Andrea Adelson).
- Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson, whose sister was in the towers and narrowly escaped, remembers a former player, Nick Brandemarti, who was killed in the attacks. (by Chris Low)
- Memories of the first college football game after 9/11 (Mississippi State-South Carolina) (by Chris Low).
College GameDay Built by The Home Depot (Sat., Sept. 11, 9 a.m., ESPN)
In recognition of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, College GameDay on Saturday, Sept. 11, will include a feature from Gene Wojciechowski on how college football reacted, including personal stories from coaches. The show will also highlight tributes from various college football teams as they commemorate the anniversary.
Sunday NFL Countdown (Sun., Sept. 12, 10 a.m., ESPN)
The Sunday, Sept. 12, edition of Sunday NFL Countdown will include a feature on New York Jets coach Robert Saleh, whose brother’s second day of work in the World Trade Center was 9/11. The brother survived, but the experience resulted in Robert leaving his job as a financial analyst and going into coaching. Adam Schefter narrates. (Also a written piece on ESPN.com by Rich Cimini).
- The Friday, Sept. 10, edition of the ESPN Radio program Keyshawn, JWill and Max (6 a.m. ET), will feature an interview with Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards. At the time of the 9/11 attacks, Edwards was coach of the New York Jets.
- Also on Sept. 10, host Mike Greenberg will talk with former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine on Greeny (10 a.m.). The Mets hosted the first regularly-scheduled pro sports game in New York following the 9/11 attacks.
ESPN Daily Podcast
Host and native New Yorker Pablo Torre will discuss his memories of 9/11 in an essay during the Friday, Sept. 10, edition.
- ACC coaches remember and offer their perspective on 9/11.
- The importance to Boston College of Welles Crowther and the Red Bandanna.
- Feature on former Vanderbilt pitcher and 1995 graduate Mark Hindy, who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11. Former teammates Bump Elliot and Josh Paul share their memories of Hindy and how they’ve honored him in the years since 9/11.
- Feature on Alachua Country Fire & Rescue’s annual tradition of climbing steps in Florida’s Ben Hill Griffin Stadium to honor the victims of 9/11, including NYC firefighters and first responders. The ACFR, like many Fire Departments all over the country, will climb over 2,200 steps to replicate the steps taken on get to the top of the World Trade Center.
Other 9/11 Content on ESPN Platforms
Among 9/11-related content that will appear on SportsCenter or other ESPN platforms as part of the recognition:
- “First Pitch” – The ESPN Films 30 for 30 short looks at President George W. Bush’s ceremonial throw at Yankee Stadium to kick off Game 3 of the 2001 World Series, just seven weeks after the September 11 attacks. (Available on ESPN+).
- “The Man in the Red Bandanna” – ESPN’s SC Featured remembers former Boston College lacrosse player Welles Crowther, who led people to safety after planes struck the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
- “Bingham” – The SC Featured piece from 2016 explores the legacy of 9/11 hero Mark Bingham, who helped stop Flight 93 from reaching the U.S. Capitol. In his honor, an inclusive rugby team was formed in New York, and others followed.
- Also: a look back at the Army-Navy game that took place on Dec. 1, 2001, in Philadelphia; a personal 9/11 story from ESPN reporter Adam Schefter; an essay from ESPN writer Tom Junod on sports and 9/11, and more.
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