Exclusives: The Varsity Typewriter
PAW web exclusive column by Patrick Sullivan '02 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
in the aftermath of September 11, 2001
Patrick Sullivan '02
Let the records show
In many ways, a sports
column appears trite in the tragic aftermath of the events of September
11, 2001. I consider it a formidable task to entertain the now-dwarfed
realm of college sports, especially given the fact that the topic
furthest from my mind should be the central focus of my words: sports.
What does a columnist write when there were no athletic contests
to analyze, no athletes to applaud, no last second heroics to describe?
He writes precisely
I applaud Princeton's
decision to cancel all sporting events throughout the remainder
of the week and weekend following the cowardly, despicable attacks
on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania. I
heartily endorse the symbolic gesture of an empty football stadium
on a perfect Saturday afternoon, or the unity of the teams that
attended memorial services instead of practices.
I completely disagree,
however, with any rescheduling of these postponed games, races,
Let the record books
log a year when the football season was nine games instead of 10.
Let the current and future student athletes and fans of Princeton
athletics remember a year when they collectively and symbolically
shortened their seasons out of a deep sense of respect and national
mourning. "Let all with one accord" remember fondly our
deceased and missing friends and alums.
Don't reschedule a single
The havoc of these terrorist
attacks was no rain-delay it was utter cancellation and paralysis,
not just the "postponement" of normality, from Wall Street
to the runways of our airports to the green expanses of Princeton
Emblazon that upon our
Like many Americans,
I understand the importance of "returning to normal activities,"
something our university administrators and national leaders have
stressed as a first step in rebuilding a sense of routine, and in
that return to normalcy, a heightened sense of comfort. So start
from this day forward, but don't attempt to trivialize last Tuesday's
attacks with rescheduled games. Make that missed football game against
Lafayette a symbolic memorial to those who were killed, and a moment
of silence on the record books for those who are still missing,
and those heroes who continue to work around the clock to fight
fires and search for survivors.
The log should record
that Princeton athletes, like countless other professional athletes
throughout the nation, are Americans before football players, runners
or golfers. Last week, ESPN.com and the New York Times recounted
instances of well-known athletes like Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter
or Keyshawn Johnson of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers contributing time
and money to the relief and rescue efforts. Nobody complained of
shortened seasons, or the big game they missed. Not one owner, manager,
or athlete. Not one fan.
In a similar gesture,
countless Princeton teammates spent the days following the September
11 comforting one another, reaching out to friends and attending
candlelight memorials and scholarly panels in an attempt to understand
and cope with the tragedy. Saturday's big game, that important footrace,
that pivotal tennis match undoubtedly took a distant second to the
more immediate, and certainly more important, issues of the day.
Record in the annals
of Princeton athletics that during the year 2001, student-athletes
chose to honor their country and mourn their collective losses through
the symbolic cancellation of a week of sports.
Patrick Sullivan can
be reached at email@example.com.