Sports Stars Reflect with 9/11 & Sports: 20 Years Later
2021 marks the 20th anniversary of September 11th, 2001, an event that shook the entire world. 9/11 & Sports: 20 Years Later is a podcast series featuring a collection of stories reflecting upon sports’ reactions in the wake of tragedy and how they were able to play a role in the healing of fans and people alike.
In episodes that focus on the impact of 9/11 on different sports and leagues, listeners will hear from executives and owners who made the decisions to postpone sporting events and determine when it was appropriate to resume play and the athletes and coaches who, after the initial shock of the attacks, would play a significant role in comforting citizens and sports fans around the country, and people who lost loved ones that day.
SiriusXM’s Steve Phillips, who was the New York Mets general manager in 2001, narrates three baseball-focused episodes that include interviews with former New York Governor George Pataki, former MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, Yankees GM Brian Cashman, and former Yankees catcher Todd Greene, who caught the ceremonial first pitch from President George W. Bush prior to Game 3 of the 2001 World Series. Listeners will also hear from former Mets Mike Piazza, Edgardo Alfonso, John Franco, Bruce Chen, and Bobby Valentine, and former Atlanta Braves Chipper Jones and Steve Karsay, who were all part of the first game played in New York after the attacks.
In an episode looking back at the NFL in the period after 9/11, listeners will hear from the league’s former commissioner, Paul Tagliabue, as well as former Jets head coach Herm Edwards and offensive lineman Kevin Mawae, former Giants DB Jason Sehorn, Washington Football Team owner Dan Snyder, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and former defensive end Trace Armstrong, who was the president of the NFL Players Association in 2001.
Another episode looks back at the 2001 Army-Navy Game, played weeks after the start of Operation Enduring Freedom by cadets and midshipmen who would be called into combat after their graduation. Narrated by SiriusXM host Chris Spatola, who was himself a first-class (senior) cadet at West Point in the fall of 2001, the episode features commentary from former Navy head football coach Charlie Weatherbie, former Army head coach Todd Berry, former Navy QB Ed Malinowski and former Army QB Chad Jenkins.
From the world of golf, listeners will hear conversations with former PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, former executive director of the European Tour Ken Schofield, and former PGA of America CEO Jim Awtrey, who made the decision to postpone the Ryder Cup, as well as the story of prominent amateur Jimmy Dunne, whose decision to attempt to qualify for the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship at Bedford G.C. on September 11, 2001, saved his life.
The NHL lost two members of its community on September 11, when L.A. Kings scouts Garnet “Ace” Bailey and Mark Bavis lost their lives aboard Flight 175 when it crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. They are remembered in another episode by Bailey’s widow, Kathy, and Bavis’ brother, Mike, as well as Wayne Gretzky, former Kings GM Dave Taylor and Bruce Boudreau, who was a Kings affiliate coach in 2001 and was scheduled to be on Flight 175 with Bailey and Bavis before his plans changed.
On a separate episode, SiriusXM’s Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo is joined by his former on-air partner, Mike Francesa, in a rare sit-down conversation between the two, to remember the events that took place across the sports landscape after 9/11.
Other episodes in the series feature former New York Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy, whose friend and college roommate was lost in the World Trade Center, SiriusXM host and former Kansas City Wizards goalkeeper Tony Meola, who hails from the New York/New Jersey area, and recalls the decision to go ahead with their game in Peru on September 12, personalities from the WWE who participated in the first public sporting event in the U.S. 48 hours after the attacks, the impact on the world of NASCAR, and Glenn Colton, who prior to his career as a fantasy sports host worked at the U.S. Justice Department and was involved in the prosecution of one of the 9/11 hijackers.
Listen to the entire series right now on the SXM App, included with most subscriptions and also listen to airings of the podcast at various times starting on Monday, September 6th, including Saturday, September 11th at 9 am ET on SiriusXM NHL Network Radio.
9/11 & Sports: 20 Years Later NHL Network Radio Air Times ( All Times Eastern)
Monday, September 6 at 6 pm
Tuesday, September 7 at 7 pm
Wednesday, September 8 at 10 pm
Thursday, September 9 at 3 pm
Friday, September 10 at 10 am, 1 pm, 6 pm, and 10 pm
Saturday, September 11 at 9 am, 12 pm, 5pm, and 9 pm
Sunday, September 12 at 10 am, 1 pm, 6 pm, and 10 pm